Also in this series: Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1)
by Alison Goodman
Genres: Historical Fiction, Fantasy
Format Read: Paperback
on January 1st 2017
Book Depository | Buy from publisher
After the scandalous events at her presentation ball in London, Lady Helen has taken refuge at the fashionable seaside resort of Brighton, where she is training to be a Reclaimer with the covert Dark Days Club.
As she struggles to put aside her genteel upbringing and take up the weapons of a warrior, Helen realizes that her mentor, Lord Carlston, is fighting his own inner battle. Has the foul Deceiver energy poisoned his soul, or is something else driving him towards violent bouts of madness? Either way, Helen is desperate to help the man with whom she shares a deep but forbidden connection.
When Mr Pike, the hard bureaucratic heart of the Dark Days Club, arrives in Brighton, no one is prepared for the ordinary evil he brings in his wake. He has a secret task for Helen and Mr Hammond, and the authority of the Prince Regent. They have no choice but to do as he orders, knowing that the mission will betray everyone around them and possibly bring about Lord Carlston's annihilation.
Read my review for Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club (Lady Helen #1) here
Lady Helen and the Dark Days Club was one of my favourite books of 2016, and its sequel was definitely one of my most anticipated books for this year. It did NOT disappoint. Dark Days Pact was everything I needed in a sequel and more — dark, intriguing and that slow burn romance…perfection!
Following straight on from that bombshell ending in the Dark Days Club, where Lady Helen was disgraced at her own ball, she’s since travelled to the seaside English town of Brighton with her friends Lady Margaret, her brother Mr Hammond and the ever secretive Lord Carlston, to train her up to take on her rightful role as the direct descendent of a Reclaimer.
Being a female in the 18th century comes with some difficulties, one of them being the fact that they’re restrained to wearing clothing that do not allow for ease of movement. This is not exactly helpful when you’re a Reclaimer. Lady Helen spends a majority of the novel training to act like a man, while also strengthening herself and learning how to fight with Lord Carlston. You might think that sounds really boring and slow-moving — and while yes, I agree in a sense as this is definitely not a fast-paced book — the action does pick up halfway through and doesn’t stop. I actually really enjoyed the pacing for this whole series because I never wanted the books to end. Goodman truly transports the reader to 18th century England with her writing. And knowing how much time and effort she spends on her research, it was definitely all worth it because it seriously adds multiple layers to the whole series.
There was less Deceivers in this sequel than in the first book, but this didn’t make the story any less great. A lot more was at stake this time around, even though a lot of the book was spent on characterisation and everyone trying to figure out how their lives are rapidly changing with the arrival of a potential Grand Deceiver. There was not a single part of the sequel that I thought was filler, which was a very nice change to the last book I read!
And the best part of the whole book? The romance. Oh. My. God. Lady Helen and Lord Carlston 4eva! This is why I love regency novels — the romance is always a slow burn (since it’s forbidden to touch unless you’re related or married) and they’re not even allowed to call each other without addressing each other as Lady or Lord. Then they finally cross that hurdle, it was like the sun started shining after a month of cloudiness and rain. I almost cried because it was beautiful yet heartbreaking at the same time.
This series, seriously. Highly, highly recommend if you’re a lover of fantasy and regency novels. And crazily, this fusion actually works so well — especially written by Goodman. I really need the third book now!
Thank you to HarperCollins Australia for providing a copy in exchange for an honest review.