Night Shine

Night Shine
Age Range
Release Date
June 21, 2022
An orphan girl must face untold danger and an ancient evil to save her kingdom’s prince in this lush, romantic fantasy perfect for fans of Girls of Paper and Fire and Tess of the Road.

How can you live without your heart?

In the vast palace of the empress lives an orphan girl called Nothing. She slips within the shadows of the Court, unseen except by the Great Demon of the palace and her true friend, Prince Kirin, heir to the throne. When Kirin is kidnapped, only Nothing and the prince’s bodyguard suspect that Kirin may have been taken by the Sorceress Who Eats Girls, a powerful woman who has plagued the land for decades. The sorceress has never bothered with boys before, but Nothing has uncovered many secrets in her sixteen years in the palace, including a few about the prince.

As the empress’s army searches fruitlessly, Nothing and the bodyguard set out on a rescue mission, through demon-filled rain forests and past crossroads guarded by spirits. Their journey takes them to the gates of the Fifth Mountain, where the sorceress wields her power. There, Nothing will discover that all magic is a bargain, and she may be more powerful than she ever imagined. But the price the Sorceress demands for Kirin may very well cost Nothing her heart.

Editor review

1 review
A Queer Howl's Moving Castle
(Updated: September 09, 2022)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
Magic? A diverse set of characters? Queer? And a comparison to Howl's Moving Castle? Sign me up!

Night Shine by Tessa Gratton is a YA sapphic fantasy novel that follows the secret life of an orphan girl named Nothing. Only her life no longer becomes quite so secret when her best friend, Prince Kirin, is kidnapped. Like most YA fantasy novels, Nothing and the Prince's bodyguard are the only ones able to find and rescue him. Throw in the addition of tons of demons and an evil Sorceress who is solely known as "The Sorceress that Eats Girls" you have Gratton's Night Shine.

At first, I was skeptical of how much I would like Gratton's work, given it was compared to Howl's Moving Castle, one of my favorite works of all time. She easily delivered. Gratton has a way of writing peril and action with a poised hand. All while building suspense and mystery. And we can't exactly leave out her wonderous skill at writing romance, even though it was a bit predictable at times.

In all honesty, I can see plenty of routes Gratton can take to continue this story. Who I hope involves Nothing and her swoon-worthy romance. Not to mention the many delicious one liners Gratton throws into her work. (I'm looking at you: "I would destroy a thousand hearts to find you, again and again.")

I will forever look forward to reading Tessa Gratton's works. Especially anything that will take me back to Nothing's many adventures.
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