☆☆➹⁀☆ 5 stars☆➹⁀☆☆
What it’s About:
Temporary peace descends on the Deschanels in New Orleans. Loved ones have returned. A calm appears in the chaos. Life is, seemingly, back to normal.
Those who had been away look to establish their new routine. They trade intrigue for dinner parties. Survival skills for day jobs. Settling into a quiet life comes with a sense of long-awaited relief, and they want, desperately, to embrace it with open arms. To sit in silence in their gardens at twilight and dream a dream they dare not: One of health, happiness, and above, all family.
Yet under the surface lurks the shadows of their past, and the promises of tomorrow. A whisper in their ear, reminding them, “Soon.”
Within the Garden of Twilight continues the saga of the Deschanel and Sullivan families, their mysterious curse, and the battle with the Empyreans. This series crosses the fantasy, time travel, and paranormal genres. The books cannot be read as standalone novels.
I have been reading Sarah Cradit’s series from the start. With every book she has added more plot threads, more characters, and more details to the House of Crimson and Clover worlds. There have been times when I felt a bit lost in the details because I had forgotten something from a prior book. That cannot be said for Within the Garden of Twilight. Ms. Cradit superbly provides sufficient reminders of where each character’s story left off. This is a complicated storyline that requires reading in order, and since the various books don’t necessarily provide continuous coverage of each storyline, I really appreciated the recap on each character as their story was picked up in Within the Garden of Twilight.
The story is told in a third-person narrative. Each chapter continues the story of a different main character. In this second-to-last book of the series, Ms. Cradit starts weaving together more of the storylines. With each chapter, the characters contribution to fulfilling the prophesy grows more apparent. The plot is well paced; it allows readers to dive into the details of the characters, and it has enough action so the story isn’t bogged down. I loved how Ms. Cradit showed the frailty and vulnerability of her characters juxtaposed with their individual strengths and powers.
Within the Garden of Twilight is one of the longer books in the series, and it is currently one of my favorites. It pulled together the story, answered many of my questions, and the ending is the perfect cliff-hanger segue to the next and final book of the series.
If you’re not already a fervent fan of the series, check out the author’s recommended reading order: http://www.sarahmcradit.com/reading-order/
The House of Crimson and Clover Series:
Volume I: The Illusions of Eventide
Volume II: Bound
Volume III: Midnight Dynasty
Volume IV: Asunder
Volume V: Empire of Shadows
Volume VI: Myths of Midwinter
Volume VII: The Hinterland Veil
Volume VIII: The Secrets Amongst the Cypress
Volume IX: Within the Garden of Twilight
House of Crimson & Clover Series Prequels:
The Storm and the Darkness
La Famille Lagniappes (Character Bonus Stories):
Flourish: The Story of Anne Fontaine
Shame: The Story of Jonathan St. Andrews
Banshee: The Story of Giselle Deschanel
House of Crimson & Clover Lagniappes (Series Bonus Stories):
St. Charles at Dusk: The Story of Oz and Adrienne
Surrender: The Story of Oz and Anasofiya
Fire & Ice: Remy & Fleur Fontenot
Dark Blessing: The Landry Triplets
Pandora’s Box: Jasper and Pandora Broussard
A Band of Heather: Colleen and Noah
The Ephemeral: Autumn Sullivan
Lagniappes Collection I
Lagniappes Collection II
The House of Crimson & Clover Volumes I-IV
The House of Crimson & Clover Volumes V-VII
An unabashed geek, Sarah enjoys studying obscure subjects like the Plantagenet and Ptolemaic dynasties, and settling debates on provocative Tolkien topics such as why the Great Eagles are not Gandalf’s personal taxi service. Passionate about travel, Sarah has visited over twenty countries collecting sparks of inspiration (though New Orleans is where her heart rests). She’s a self-professed expert at crafting original songs to sing to her very patient pets, and a seasoned professional at finding ways to humiliate herself (bonus points if it happens in public). When at home in Oregon, her husband and best friend, James, is very kind about indulging her love of fast German cars and expensive lattes.