Once upon a time, inhabitants of another world tore a hole through the universe and came to Earth. They called themselves Suriias, and rivalled humans in knowledge and skill with one great exception: they had magic.
War followed. Humanity lost. And three hundred years later, humans are on the brink of extinction.
Orphans Thorn and Thistle live in hiding. They are the last of their families, the last of their friends. They scrape by, stealing to survive and living on the streets or hiding in sheds. But even under the brutal regime of the Suriias, there are places where humans can mingle in secret with magical sympathisers, and one night Thistle gets an unexpected offer of marriage from a Suriia with high standing and friends in all the right places. For Thistle, it’s a chance at safety and comfort; for Thorn, it’s a chance to find the ones who killed her parents.
And so the pair move into the capital city of Courtenz. An urban monstrosity of magic and might, false friends and flying cars, drones and death tolls, the new city promises a fresh start – and new love – for both.
But if there’s one thing Thorn knows for certain, it’s that dreams can swiftly turn into nightmares.
A few hundred years after a war that changed the world forever, humans are at the mercy of an otherworldly, magical race called the Suriia. Some factions of the Suriia hunt and kill humans, others enslave them, but a small portion is doing their part to see them granted equal status. As a human, Thorn has been on the run and in hiding for years. She seeks to find the Suriia responsible for the death of her family and take revenge—but getting caught could prove deadly for herself and her handful of allies.
Cut to Lucien, a Suriia living in an alternate world/reality suppressed by humans. Suriian magic has been suppressed using clips, and Suriia in general are treated poorly. Lucien saves a human’s life, and in so doing puts himself and his whole family at risk.
The dynamics between Thorn’s world and Lucien’s world are opposite, but their stories do intertwine later in the book, and in ways I didn’t expect.
I loved the world-building in this novel. It was unique, the magic system was very interesting, and the characters in the story were (for the most part) relatable. I found Thorn to be incredibly frustrating at times, but I think she was intended to be that way… In the end, she finally figured things out and became much better. As a main character, I liked Lucien more but his story didn’t begin until part two.
There’s a fair amount of action, a bit of romance, and some intrigue throughout the story. In spite of all the struggles both characters endure, they both had a happy ending.
This is a very long book, but never felt that way as I was reading. It’s very well written, fast-paced, and the world was incredibly immersive. These Violent Nights is a standalone, so if you’re looking for a fantasy that isn’t part of series, this one is well worth the read.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book.