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One Dark Window - Review

One Dark Window ♦ Rachel Gillig | Review

One Dark Window — A Mesmerizing Dive into the Enigmatic World of Blunder

Rachel Gillig’s One Dark Window, the inaugural installment of The Shepherd King dilogy, is a spellbinding journey through a realm where magic and mystery intertwine with every turn of the page. This dark fantasy masterwork expertly weaves together a tapestry of magical elements firmly embedded in the plot, transporting readers to a realm where shadows whisper secrets and danger lurks around every turn.

One Dark WindowOne Dark Window by Rachel Gillig
Series: The Shepherd King #1
Published: 27. September 2022
Publisher: Orbit
Pages: 392
Genre: Dark Fantasy, Gothic, Horror, Magic, Romance
Audience: Adult
Shelve: Read 2024
Link to Goodreads

Elspeth Spindle needs more than luck to stay safe in the eerie, mist-locked kingdom of Blunder—she needs a monster. She calls him the Nightmare, an ancient, mercurial spirit trapped in her head. He protects her. He keeps her secrets.

But nothing comes for free, especially magic.

When Elspeth meets a mysterious highwayman on the forest road, her life takes a drastic turn. Thrust into a world of shadow and deception, she joins a dangerous quest to cure Blunder from the dark magic infecting it. And the highwayman? He just so happens to be the King’s nephew, Captain of the most dangerous men in Blunder…and guilty of high treason.

Together they must gather twelve Providence Cards—the keys to the cure. But as the stakes heighten and their undeniable attraction intensifies, Elspeth is forced to face her darkest secret yet: the Nightmare is slowly taking over her mind. And she might not be able to stop him.

Buy the Book: Amazon*

One Dark Window ♦ Rachel Gillig

A Review


Gillig immediately immerses readers in a gothic horror scenario, gripping the imagination with hauntingly evocative prose reminiscent of Poe’s macabre poetry. Through the eyes of the enigmatic protagonist, Elspeth Spindle, readers are drawn into a world where she must conceal herself from the King’s Destriers, having survived a mysterious magical infection in her childhood.

The story progresses gradually, presenting individuals in a captivating mix of darkness and complexity. Elspeth’s encounter with Ravyn Yew, who was initially positioned as her antagonist, develops into a compelling alliance powered by a mystical connection that transcends their roles. While romance simmers beneath the surface, the complicated plot and rich character development really steal the show. (Note: This is NOT a simple Romance-Fantasy book!!!!)

Gillig’s keen eye for detail displays itself in the extensive background of the Kingdom of Blunder and its residents, which is smoothly woven into the fabric of the plot. Each revelation adds layers of intricacy, deepening the narrative and giving it depth that keeps readers interested.

The story unfolds with heart-pounding action sequences, interrupted by scenes of brutal violence and bloodshed that carry the plot ahead with surprising twists and turns. Despite the mayhem, Gillig expertly strikes a careful balance between suspense and revelation, keeping readers on the edge of their seats until the very end.

As the novel approaches its crescendo, the strange and menacing atmosphere intensifies, leaving readers breathless with suspense. Gillig’s skill at creating tension and suspense guarantees that every page crackles with powerful intensity that lasts long after the final chapter.



Last but not least, One Dark Window is an excellent creation of dark fantasy, demonstrating Rachel Gillig’s unique ability to create a universe that is both hauntingly beautiful and horrifying. This story, with its compelling blend of magic, mystery, and horror, is a must-read for genre lovers. Five stars hardly do credit to the enthralling experience that lies within its pages.

The Shepherd King


One Dark Window (#1)Two Twisted Crowns (#2)

About Rachel Gillig

Rachel Gillig

Rachel Gillig is the New York Times bestselling author of The Shepherd King series. If she is not ensconced in blankets dreaming up her next novel, Rachel is out walking in beautiful central California with her husband, son, and their dignified poodle, Wally.

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