A Wish Too Dark And Kind

Fiction - Fantasy - Urban
398 Pages
Reviewed on 10/25/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by K.C. Finn for Readers' Favorite

A Wish Too Dark and Kind is a work of fiction in the urban fantasy genre. It is aimed at adult readers and was penned by M. L. Blackbird. The book follows a group of immortals who have been invited to the home of the powerful Arnaud Demeure for a simple dinner party. But despite accepting the request, none of the guests knows the party’s true nature, whether it be a run-of-the-mill celebration or an apocalyptic ritual, or something in between. As each guest tries to unravel the mystery of their host’s purpose while forwarding their own agenda, the party edges ever closer to a grim fate for all.

The murder mystery dinner party is one of my favorite staples of the detective genre, and to see someone take the format and the style of such a story and instead apply it to a tense urban fantasy tale makes me kick myself for not thinking of such an arrangement earlier. M. L. Blackbird demonstrates mastery and understanding of multiple literary genres and forms, using this expertise to craft a tale that twists and turns and constantly finds new ways to excite and surprise readers. Each character in A Wish Too Dark and Kind feels like a living, breathing chess piece being moved around a board by an unseen force as part of a game they had no idea they were even playing. Their plight would be sympathetic if each of them didn’t have a closet full of skeletons giving them a hard edge and ensuring that from beginning to end, none of them is above suspicion.

Ankita Shukla

In A Wish Too Dark And Kind, author M.L. Blackbird takes readers into the most mentally stimulating journey. When Arnaud Demeure's invitation reaches eight immortals, it stirs up drama unparalleled by any other. Declining the invitation is not an option when the host is known to grant one true wish of any person. Even so, there was no excitement in any of the recipients. From the moment they reach the venue, Alex, the only witch among the immortals, smells a conspiracy of the most unsettling kind. To add to her suspicions, she finds symbols hinting at a ritual that may use them as sacrifices. Nevertheless, the host's face betrays nothing. To survive, these immortals will need to work as a group to solve the many mysteries surrounding them and flee before time, along with their luck, runs out.

M.L. Blackbird is a genius storyteller, leaving engrossing breadcrumbs that require some intelligent decrypting throughout the plot. While Alex, a believer in science, is given complicated explanations about magic, the other immortals find the source of their faith in stories from the past. Although worlds apart, both kinds had one thing in common: their powerful hold on the audience. Alex's serious theories regarding telluric pressure and dissonance demand the attention of readers. The result was spectacular. The whole process of Alex and other immortals decoding various symbols was reminiscent of National Treasure. The chapters of A Wish Too Dark And Kind begin in the form of evidence from an ongoing investigation and then proceed with the conventional narration. Fresh and intriguing, the writing style enhanced the intended effect of intrigue and suspense. The mind-stirring story is matched by the fascinating characters who intrigue readers with their actions and powers. A Wish Too Dark And Kind by M.L. Blackbird will appeal to those who enjoy a fantasy world with nonstop action and mind-boggling enigmas.

Vincent Dublado

A Wish Too Dark And Kind by M.L. Blackbird is one of those urban fantasies that treats the genre in a mysterious and intriguing manner, and in such an approach, the story succeeds in eliciting the kind of effect it wants to get from readers. That is the catharsis from witnessing a gripping diabolical scheme. Eight invitations are sent to eight immortals that include a philosophy major, a witch, a nun, and a giant. Arnaud Demeure is an immortal who sent the invites. This so-called old prince of Paris has the ability to grant any wish according to the invite, but what his guests are not aware of is that Demeure is an age-old nightmare, and his wish-granting power comes with a price—for what turns out to be a wish can be an obsession in disguise.

A Wish Too Dark And Kind is a satisfying reading experience in itself. M.L. Blackbird gives the plot a challenging twist that pays off. From a stylistic standpoint, the storyline is suspenseful in the sense that the old prince’s party becomes central for the guests to decode why they are there and what Demeure is truly up to. The intensity of the moment never falters and it works like detective fiction as you try to find out which of the guests is working for Demeure. It powerfully conveys an atmosphere of dread that is genuinely convincing, because Demeure is one of those formidable villains that truly make life difficult for those he chooses to toy with. This is an intelligently conceived urban fantasy that deserves to be given a chance, and it may well appeal to the taste of fantasy readers.

Rabia Tanveer

A Wish Too Dark and Kind by M.L. Blackbird is a complex, urban fantasy novel that will keep you hooked to the story until the end. Arnaud Demeure is dubbed 'the old prince of Paris,' and for a good reason. This elusive recluse is famous for “The Horror Vacui,” bizarre gatherings to which Arnaud invited various people, but it has been centuries since the last one. Now, eight invitations have been sent out, and everyone knows not to decline the invite. Another thing everyone knows is Arnaud's ability to fulfill one true wish of a person who approaches him. Everyone is surprised by the invites, and no one knows why they are invited. However, unbeknownst to everyone, Arnaud and one of the guests work together on a sinister plan that will curdle everyone’s blood. What is it that Arnaud needs?

A Wish Too Dark and Kind is complex and intense right off the bat. I have never read a novel that opens in such a manner. M.L. Blackbird has a unique approach, and it suits the theme and the narrative of the story. There is a mystique around Arnaud, his abilities, and how he acts. The author does full justice to the characters and cleverly makes them sinister. Elements such as blood magic and mythology play a vital role in the story's progress, and it is apparent how heavily they weigh as the story progresses. Arnaud is a mystery, but I found Alex and Ioan to be my personal favorites. They are human and calculating in their approach, which makes them stand out in this story. The narrative style is unique, a little different, and makes A Wish Too Dark and Kind all the more interesting, in my opinion.