One Dark Window

Orbit. Oct. 2022. 432p. ISBN 9780316312486. pap. $17.99. FANTASY
DEBUT The kingdom of Blunder lies shrouded in mist, governed by the magic of the Providence Cards. There are twelve face cards, each with their own power, allowing their owners to wield the power of the specific card. Few people in Blunder actually have intrinsic magic. In fact, when a child is “infected” with full-blown magic, the Destriers come with the Physician to kill the infected patient. A former Captain of the Destriers hides his daughter Elspeth from this fate, sending her away to an aunt. Years later, Elspeth is the embodiment of the Nightmare Providence Card, with a monster in her brain. When she celebrates Equinox at the King’s castle, she can no longer hide her abilities and joins a quest to reunite the far-flung deck of Providence Cards, hoping to finally lift the killing mist from her country. Elspeth’s slow-burn romance with a mysterious highwayman adds depth to the story.
VERDICT A finely detailed magical system enriches Gillig’s debut; fantasy readers will enjoy.
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