REVIEW: What Feasts at Night by T. Kingfisher

What Feasts at Night is the latest folk horror offering from the reigning Queen of creepy novellas, the one and only T. KingfisherWhat Feasts at Night is the second story in Kingfisher’s Sworn Soldier world and reunites us with some of the main characters of her earlier What Moves the Dead, retired Lieutenant Alex Easton, their long-suffering valet Angus, and mycologist Eugenia Potter. It is no secret that I am a massive fan of T. Kingfisher’s writing; I have loved everything of hers that I have read. So, when I picked up What Feasts at Night, I was willing to bet my house that I would enjoy it, and I did. T. Kingfisher packs a lot into her short fiction, and these flights of fancy are no less fulfilling than a regular-sized novel. What Moves the Dead and What Feasts at Night are more disturbing novellas than Kingfisher’s darkly heart-warming tales, such as Thornhedge or Nettle and Bone, but still showcase her trademark style. The writing is witty, the characters superb, and the tale will keep you gripped from cover to cover. While reading What Moves the Dead is not essential to the story of What Feasts at Night, I do recommend it as an introduction to the characters.

What Feasts at NightAfter some time spent recuperating in Paris, Easton and Angus return to their home country of Gallacia for the first time in years. Their friend, Eugenia Potter, noted mycologist, is continuing her study of European fungi and asks for their assistance as her travels bring her to their native land. Ever the gentleperson, Easton reluctantly travels home to host Eugenia in the old family hunting lodge. They find the lodge in disarray, the elderly caretaker recently dead, and rumours of the return of a breath-stealing monster filling the local villagers with dread. Easton tries not to hold too much stock in superstitions, but even they can feel the eerie unease that surrounds the lodge.

One of the best things about Kingfisher’s writing is that her novellas are usually short standalone stories. They all have unique creepy little worlds and give a reader the satisfaction of a completed narrative with only a small amount of reading time to be committed. So, I was really looking forward to returning to Easton and the Sworn Soldier world. There was instantly a familiarity to the characters, which you usually do not get straight off the bat with a Kingfisher story. The dark folk tale of What Feasts at Night was awesome, but it is Kingfisher’s characters that I genuinely love. The camaraderie between Easton and Angus was one of my favourite parts of What Moves the Dead so I loved seeing more of that relationship in What Feasts at Night. Also, the beginning of the romance between Angus and Eugenia adds some sweet distractions to what is otherwise quite a dark plot. Whilst What Feasts at Night might not suit everyone’s tastes, if you have enjoyed any of Kingfisher’s other works, I guarantee it is worth the space on your shelf.

I had a great time reading What Feasts at Night. T. Kingfisher remains one of the top authors on my auto-buy list, so if she ever decides to return to the Sworn Solider world again, I will be there with bells on and raise a glass of livrit in celebration. Thank you to T. Kingfisher and the team over at Titan for providing me with a review copy of What Feasts at Night.

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Fiona Denton

Fiona Denton

Fiona is a former secondary school teacher and current stay at home parent to two very wild and active children. She lives with them and her husband in the UK and can often be found on a beach paddling in the North Sea or stomping through a forest with the sprogs and hounds. She loves to read and has always enjoyed fantasy novels, particularly the very dark and twisty ones with mythical creatures.