Last Updated on January 18, 2023 by ThoughtsStained
OH WOW. Friends, last year, the first fantasy book I read, The Councillor by E.J. Beaton, was so amazing, it stayed crowned as my favorite read of 2022. I’m not sure if The Helm of Midnight by Marina Lostetter will do the same, but by gods. It’s certainly set itself up to be one of my top five reads of 2023. And we’re only halfway through January. 💀
Publisher: Tor Books | Release Date: April 2021 | Pages: 464
Age Range: Adult | Genre: Fantasy | Format: Hardcover | Source: Bought
A legendary serial killer stalks the streets of a fantastical city in The Helm of Midnight, the stunning first novel in a new trilogy from acclaimed author Marina Lostetter.
In a daring and deadly heist, thieves have made away with an artifact of terrible power–the death mask of Louis Charbon. Made by a master craftsman, it is imbued with the spirit of a monster from history, a serial murderer who terrorized the city with a series of gruesome murders.
Now Charbon is loose once more, killing from beyond the grave. But these murders are different from before, not simply random but the work of a deliberate mind probing for answers to a sinister question.
It is up to Krona Hirvath and her fellow Regulators to enter the mind of madness to stop this insatiable killer while facing the terrible truths left in his wake.
On the Page
- Amnesia and memory disorders
- Animal attack
- Blood and gore depiction
- Dead bodies and body parts
- Death of a child
- Death of a sibling
- Grief/loss depiction
- Hostage situation and kidnapping
- Bodily mutilation and medical experimentation
- Nightmares and night terrors
- Panic attacks
- Pregnancy (unplanned but wanted)
- Animal death and death of a pet
Content warnings are written up by me, unless specified. Subject to being an incomplete list, though guided by referencing this list and trying to highlight as many as I can identify.
- Magic System: Absolutely impeccable. I am beyond fascinated by the masks, the gods, the time tax and the way emotion works.
- Mystery. I have wanted more mysteries in fantasy since I read Empire of Exiles by Erin M. Evans last year. And wow, did this book deliver.
- Layered writing: Not only do we have multiple-POV. We also have multiple timelines. Not to mention layered stories within stories. It was a masterful web that was delicious to untangle.
- Our sisters. I will die for Krona and De-Lia. No, I’ll not be taking questions at this time.
- Queernorm world! The more books I read that regularly use neopronouns within a queernorm world, the less I want to read books that don’t have these elements, tbh.
- Length/pacing. Personally, I thought this book could have been just a smidge shorter. I found it started to drag a bit in the middle. Yet it did not have that issue by the end.
The Helm of Midnight is not a book you want to miss. Especially since the sequel comes out in less than a month!! Though I’m naturally an emotional person, it actually takes quite a bit for a book to make me cry? Look at this one, making me weep buckets by the end. I’m so fascinated by its intricacies and creativity. Yet the characters had my heart. And I seriously cannot get over the magic system of this world.
100% recommend this book, friends. Unparalleled in so many ways, I cannot wait to continue this series!