Title: The Dark Days Deceit (Lady Helen #3)
Author: Alison Goodman
Publisher: Walker Books
Genre: Teen/young adult fiction, Historical fiction, Fantasy
Book format: Paperback
Description: Bath, December 1812
Lady Helen Wrexhall is finalising the preparations for her wedding, but her focus is on the Dark Days Club. Time is running out to find the vital answers needed to defeat their unknown foe, the Grand Deceiver.
Lady Helen and Lord Carlston are also struggling to control their new dyad bond, and their illicit feelings for one another. As Helen tries desperately to juggle the demands of her double life, an old enemy arrives in Bath, bringing death and deceit.
*Free copy provided by publisher for review…
Review: (Although there are no spoilers to this book, this review may mention mini-spoilers to the first two books)
Wow, what a brilliant end to a fantastic trilogy! ‘The Dark Days Deceit’ is the final book in the Lady Helen trilogy, a series mixing fantasy with the historical Regency period. After the amazing events of the second book, Helen and the others have moved to Bath in order to find the Bath deceiver who apparently has information that they need about the Grand Deceiver and about their new bond as the Grand Reclaimer. But while searching for answers to their questions, and the preparations for Helen’s upcoming wedding, Helen struggles to keep the dark forces inside her contained.
I really loved reading the first two books in the series and this thrid and final installment has not disappointed! ‘The Dark Days Deceit’ takes place a few months after the second book, ‘The Dark Days Pact’ and this time the group move to Bath to locate the Bath Deceiver. Just as in the first two books, we get to know about Bath and a lot of the buildings and entertainment that existed there during the Regency period. I love how this book’s descriptions are detailed enough to make you feel like you are really in the Regency period, but at the same time aren’t so long that they become boring in any way. There’s just enough balance between descriptions and action to keep the main story moving along with lots of things happening along the way.
The story starts off slow, with a lot of the earlier book focusing more on Helen’s upcoming wedding. But this is mixed with things also happening with Helen’s reclaimer duties and I like how the Ligatus is a constant struggle for Helen to control, and what manifests as a result. As the story continues it gets better and better and I constantly felt like reading this book, not wanting to put it down for a moment. This was the same of the first two books and I love how detailed this story really is and how many different things happen along the way, all building up to a brilliant conclusion.
Although some reviewers have said they managed to guess an eariler twist in the story, I didn’t. It’s probably because I was so engrossed in the tale that I just didn’t notice it so it was a big (and welcome) surprise for me, especially with the last twist towards the ending which just left me (and probably many reading this) shocked and speechless when you discover what happens. The ending of the book is really good, although the story does give an almost mini-end much earlier on, which felt a little flat and made me wonder if that was really it considering there were still a150 pages left to read. But after finishing the whole book, I’m glad the story went this way as there really ends up being quite a shock twist towards the real ending and the whole last part is so dramatic that you just don’t know what will happen right to the end!
There is nothing really offensive in this book. There are a few mentions of deaths and some detail about blood but nothing is overly graphic, so I would recommend this to most teens and older although I would say you must read the first and second books in order to enjoy this one as you won’t understand what deceivers or reclaimers are without the descriptions and detail of the first two books. The author’s notes at the end of the book make for very interesting reading. It’s interesting to see how much research the author did for this and the first two books. I love how even a newspaper story that’s in the book is a real one from the time in Bath! Knowing how much the book is based on the real Regency Bath just makes this all the more interesting to read and it has definitely made me want to visit Bath just to see some of the architecture and the places mentioned in this book!
I would definitely recommend this book, and indeed the whole series to anyone interested in historical fantasy. What is amazing about this series is just how interesting and detailed it is, it really does suck you into Regency England at that time and you really feel you are there, but with that fantasy element that just makes it so much more interesting. You just won’t want to put these books down! This series is definitely a favourite of mine and I’m already keen to re-read it after just finishing this book!
Have you read any books in the Lady Helen trilogy? Do you like historical fiction or fantasy books? Let me know what you think in the comments below 🙂