Young Adult Book Review: The Darkening #1 The Darkening by Sunya Mara

Posted November 4, 2022 by jrsbookr in Uncategorized / 0 Comments

Young Adult Book Review: The Darkening #1 The Darkening by Sunya Mara

by Sunya Mara
Young Adult Book Review: The Darkening #1 The Darkening by Sunya MaraThe Darkening Series: The Darkening #1
Published by HarperCollins on July 5, 2022
Genres: Young Adult Fiction / Action & Adventure / General, Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Epic, Young Adult Fiction / Romance / General
Pages: 400
Find the Author: Website, Twitter, Goodreads, Amazon, Instagram

In this thrilling and epic YA fantasy debut, the only hope for a city trapped in the eye of a cursed storm lies with the daughter of failed revolutionaries and a prince terrified of his throne.

Vesper Vale is the daughter of revolutionaries. Failed revolutionaries. When her mother was caught by the queen’s soldiers, they gave her a choice: death by the hangman’s axe, or death by the Storm that surrounds the city and curses anyone it touches. She chose the Storm. And when the queen’s soldiers—led by a paranoid prince—catch up to Vesper’s father after twelve years on the run, Vesper will do whatever it takes to save him from sharing that fate.

Even arm herself with her father’s book of dangerous experimental magic.

Even infiltrate the prince’s elite squad of soldier-sorcerers.

Even cheat her way into his cold heart.

But when Vesper learns that there’s more to the story of her mother’s death, she’ll have to make a choice if she wants to save her city: trust the devious prince with her family’s secrets, or follow her mother’s footsteps into the Storm.



The Darkening debut started strong, but the ending was a confusing mess that made me think I missed something important somewhere along the line. We have a daughter who is determined to save her father, who is wanted for his use of ikon magic and is found out due to his daughter trying to be brave. The storm will curse you if you touch it and is home to some strange creatures. Vesper is determined to learn ikon magic even though it is forbidden for her to do so. I thought the little glimpses we got into her learning as she tried to save her father and the prince’s mom. I was confused about what they were trying to accomplish within the storm and then with the mom in the later parts of the story. This author had a solid start, but I think it went off track in the novel’s last few pages.

About Sunya Mara

Sunya Mara grew up in six different cities across five different states and now calls Los Angeles home. She studied film and business at the University of Southern California and went on to write and illustrate at Kobe Bryant’s Granity Studios. When not telling stories, she spends her time haunting old movie theaters and staring at museum walls.