Fantasy · Review · Young Adult

The Dark Wood by Sydney Mann

A young woman trapped in darkness faces a choice–a chance for love or the freedom of light? 

Title: The Dark Wood
Author: Sydney Mann
Pages: 396
Publication Date: September 17th, 2018
Publisher: Flight + Fancy
Source: Author

*Disclaimer* I was financially compensated for this review. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own and not influenced by the author and/or its affiliates in any way.


A story that keeps the reader hooked to it until they finish. With a few unexpected twist, this is a book that made me smile and cry.

Before I get into the review, I am still trying with different styles so I apologize to everyone who dislikes the inconsistency. This time I am trying to be a bit more personal with the review because I feel like the reviews before seems detached and I did not really like that.


A YA fantasy book, The Dark Wood was written by Sydney Mann, tells the tale of a young woman who is trapped in a world where it is trapped in eternal darkness. Stella lives in Noctum, where the land is doomed to live in the night, never knowing the meaning of a sun. The people in Noctum live in constant fear of the creatures called Shade and one had recently killed Stella’s brother. It was until a stranger named Luc that appear, where Stella believes that there might be hope to ending this life of terror after hearing of his mission to kill Draven, the immortal king who is ruthless. Meeting Luc allowed her and a few others to learn more about the land they live in and the truth about it. But after learning how to kill Draven, it leaves Stella with an impossible choice.

First off, I would like to bring up that Sydney Mann created a plot that keeps the reader wanting to know more after every chapter and paragraph. Noctum is a land that is cursed to live in eternal darkness and to never see the sun while there is a land far from anyone’s reach from Noctum where there is a disc in the sky known as the sun. Then a man named Luc have come from such a place to lift the curse by killing Draven, Noctum’s ruthless king. This is mentioned in the summary on Goodreads and just this alone is enough to make me want to know the reason for the curse. When I first read the summary, it already sounded like something that sounded intriguing because of the unknown curse.

Without revealing too much, although the plot was interesting, it might have made it even more so, if some ideas used were not seen as much in other books. However, this does not affect the story mainly because this only comes up later on in the book. There were also many other things that contributed to the plot to make it interesting from the beginning.

The story follows a strong female lead and being a reader who enjoys a strong female character, this was an instant hook for me. Stella is a strong, stubborn and courageous character that does not back down for anything unless it benefits her.  Despite all the hardships and dangers she had faced, she still stands to fight for freedom by helping Luc in any way that is possible. She is a character that stays true to her morals and does not waver to any man unless she truly likes them.

There is a love triangle that forms a quarter into the book. Usually, I dislike love triangles but in this case; I enjoyed it because it did not become the sole focus of the story. Though there were personal emotions at play, the characters were still reasonable and realistic to their characters. When emotions play a role, it is minimal, and it adds more to the enjoyment rather than take away from it. In many parts of the book, I wished to see more of the romance because I enjoyed all the relationships that were developing. They were subtle and not sappy or cringe like many books or movies. From personal experiences, it had ruined the whole show for me when that happened.

Reason for my fondness of the relationships is also a contribution of the character’s personality. All the characters are in ways brave and protective of those they care for. Even though no one is always selfless, the characters most of the time think of others before themselves. This makes it easier to connect with the character because people know what it is like to like or care for someone or something. It is easy to sympathize with the characters because we know what they are going through.

Personally, I will recommend this book to anyone that enjoys reading fantasy, young adult and supernatural books. For those who like reading books that include subtle hints of romance, this will also be the book for you. For reference, I finished reading this book in less than a week and I read at an average speed with being a full-time high school student.

If you really are interested in seeing the rating to the books I have read, then go to my Goodreads account. This review felt more personal and I liked it more so I am probably going to be more personal with my reviews rather than making it a formal one.

Thanks for reading, I always appreciate you reading the things I write (in this case, type) about. Love you all ღ.

Signing out,


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