Review: They Mostly Come Out at Night from #SPFBO

theymostlyHe locked himself away from the dark, but in the Magpie King’s forest nowhere is safe…

Lonan is an outcast, accused of letting the monsters that stalk the night into the homes of his fellow villagers. Now, he will not rest until he wins back the heart of his childhood love and reclaims the life that was stolen from him. However, locked safely in his cellar at night, in his dreams Lonan finds himself looking through the eyes of a young prince…

Adahy has a destiny, and it terrifies him. How can he hope to live up to the legend of the Magpie King, to become the supernatural protector of the forest and defender of his people? But when the forest is invaded by an inhuman force, Adahy must rise to this challenge or let the Wolves destroy his people.

Watching these events unfold in his sleep, Lonan must do what he can to protect his village from this new threat. He is the only person who can keep his loved ones from being stolen away after dark, and to do so he will have to earn back their trust or watch the monsters kill everyone that he holds dear.

They Mostly Come Out At Night is a Dark Fantasy novel from Benedict Patrick’s Yarnsworld series. If you like Neil Gaiman and Patrick Rothfuss then you will love this captivating, dangerous world in which ordinary people struggle to find their place in a land ruled by stories.

Start reading today to discover this epic tale of dreams, fables and monsters!

Author: Benedict Patrick
Genre: Dark Fantasy
Rating: 5/5 stars
This is one of the more original fantasy stories I’ve read in a long time, with a mixture of high fantasy, mythology, and religious beliefs. There is an ostracized peasant boy, Lonan, who lives in a village plagued by monsters in the night; but he dreams of the hardships of a prince, Adahy, son of the Magpie King who must learn to follow in his father’s footsteps as a hunter of the monsters. Woven between the main story are folk tales and myths which provide hints to the secrets behind the story. It’s all deftly written and captivating with vivid characters.
The mythology in particular is interesting because it’s a combination of European and Native American influences into something totally new. At first it seems like these folk tales are just world building or a distraction from the main story, but they actually provide important clues and become more closely involved with the plot as time goes on.
All is not what it seems in this story and the twists surprised me in several places. Yet the ending feels inevitable when it comes. I almost wanted to look away from what was happening but I had to keep reading until the last page, hoping against hope that things would turn out better. One character, the Pale Lady, had the hairs standing up on the back of my neck.
This book is a prime example of dark fantasy, not in the newer sense of “grim dark” that dwells on explicit violence and gore, but in the classic sense that straddles the line between fantasy and horror. There’s an oppressive tension throughout the book, a fear of what could be out there in the dark, horrors brought on by both monsters and men. It starts with the promise of the beautiful cover and the ominous title, and doesn’t fail to deliver from there, right up through the bittersweet ending. It’s sad but fitting to the rest of the story.
It’s part of a series, but it’s a complete story arc on its own. A peek at the second book in the back hints that it will be a new location with different characters, so I think they’re intended to be stand-alones in a shared world. Either way, I’m eagerly looking forward to the next book. This is an amazing debut from the author and I want to see more of his writing.
I’d recommend this book to fans of Tanith Lee, Charles de Lint, and Terri Windling. If you like dark fantasy with a new take on fairy tales and folklore, you should definitely check this out.


I'm an author, a blogger, and a nerd. I read and write fantasy.