Review: House of Dusk, House of Dawn by Sarah M. Cradit

 

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☆☆➹⁀☆5 stars☆➹⁀☆☆

 

What it’s about:

Dive into the secret, ancient, powerful world of two New Orleans families, the Deschanels and the Sullivans…

From USA Today bestselling paranormal author Sarah M. Cradit comes House of Dusk, House of Dawn, the final installment in the bestselling witches family saga, The House of Crimson & Clover. Not a standalone story, this novel’s plot makes the most sense only after having the prior volumes.

This is the end.

This is the beginning.

The stage is set. The players, ready.

A midnight dynasty, cursed to fall. An empire of shadows, determined to rise once more.

Here they are, at the end of everything.

One wrong move spells irreversible defeat.

But, ah, what if they win?

The Saga of Crimson & Clover:
A sprawling dynasty. An ancient bloodline. A world of magic and mayhem.

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My Thoughts:

House of Dusk, House of Dawn is the dramatic conclusion to Sarah M. Cradit’s epic House of Crimson & Clover saga. By far, this is her best work yet. I read the first book in this series in July 2013, and I have been amazed with every additional book. This series is not only long, but it is also broad. Ms. Cradit has created richly detailed worlds, characters, and storylines that are now pulled together in this culminating masterpiece.

The title “House of Dusk, House of Dawn” is descriptive of not only the plot of the book but also the story layout. The story is told in three parts. The first part is the epic battle in the Empyrean world, and the results of that confrontation are seen in parts two and three. Ms. Cradit gives each main character a chapter to give her readers closure for the multitude of storylines she has been spinning since the start of the House of Crimson & Clover. I will admit that in some of the prior books, I was frustrated by the increasingly broadening storyline and lengthening character list. I have to say that Ms. Cradit’s ability to pull it together in House of Dusk, House of Dawn is nothing short of miraculous.

I surprisingly enjoyed the Empryean battle. Ms. Cradit’s vivid imagination shines through in her descriptions of this mythical beings and their alternative world. I got a little emotional as each of the Sullivan and Deschanel family members mourned their losses, celebrated their victories, and made plans for a future. As the story has meandered through 10 books (plus an additional 11 lagniappes), some of the characters lost their way, but in this last book, all the questions are answered and the remaining characters find hope and purpose for the future.

House of Dusk, House of Dawn is not a standalone novel. It can only be understood and appreciated if you have read the entire series. While the Lagniappes—backstories on many of the characters and their relationships—are considered extras to the main series, they are critical to understanding the characters and their motivations.

 

The House of Crimson and Clover Series: 

St. Charles at Dusk: The Story of Oz and Adrienne
Flourish: The Story of Anne Fontaine
Surrender: The Story of Oz and Anasofiya
Shame: The Story of Jonathan St. Andrews
Fire & Ice: Remy & Fleur Fontenot
Dark Blessing: The Landry Triplets
Pandora’s Box: Jasper and Pandora Broussard
The Menagerie: Cyler
A Band of Heather: Colleen and Noah
The Ephemeral: Autumn Sullivan
Banshee: The Story of Giselle Deschanel

This is the recommended reading order for the series. 
Prequel: The Storm and the Darkness
Prequel: Shattered
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
Volume X: House of Dusk, House of Dawn

Crimson & Clover Lagniappes (Bonus Stories): 
Lagniappes are standalone stories that can be read in any order.

St. Charles at Dusk: The Story of Oz and Adrienne
Flourish: The Story of Anne Fontaine
Surrender: The Story of Oz and Anasofiya
Shame: The Story of Jonathan St. Andrews
Fire & Ice: Remy & Fleur Fontenot
Dark Blessing: The Landry Triplets
Pandora’s Box: Jasper and Pandora Broussard
The Menagerie: Cyler
A Band of Heather: Colleen and Noah
The Ephemeral: Autumn Sullivan
Banshee: The Story of Giselle Deschanel

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