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Reviewed by Stephanie Chapman for Readers' Favorite
Liza Clarke’s novella The Night Woods is a fantasy romance. Lorelai has taken a shortcut through the Night Woods. She doesn’t heed her brother Rowan’s warning to stay away from the woods. Lorelai dismisses the rumors of disappearing people as superstition. It has turned dark, and the sound of howling wolves worries her until she sees a man with a light. He offers to escort her home, and she accepts his help. Lorelai senses danger after they had been walking for a long time. She asks the man where he is taking her, and his blue eyes shift in color. Lorelai passes out. The Night Prince, Niall, takes her to his home in the Night Realm. Meanwhile, Rowan awaits Lorelai’s return, but something is amiss.
Liza Clarke devised an original idea by making Niall into an honorable kidnapper. Prince Niall wants a wife, but he does not want to force Lorelai to marry him. I don’t think Niall felt guilty about taking her away from everything she knew. I found transcendence magic interesting because it allowed Lorelai to adjust to the changes in the Night Realm. The supporting characters of Aman, Castor, and Iason are vivid in their descriptions and thoughts. The transition between each individual is flawless. Even Lorelai’s brother Rowan is present throughout the story. Comparing his life to Lorelai’s showed the timing and aging differences. The imagery of their surroundings was easy to envision, and I could almost smell the roses in the garden. I would recommend The Night Woods to fantasy romance readers who like seeing individual character development.