Where the Dark Stands Still

Where the Dark Stands Still


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Darci's Review

Ania Poranek has created such a cosy gothic fantasy in her debut novel. Where the Dark Stands Still is a beautiful depiction of Polish folklore entwined with the history of the church’s war on paganism in early European times.

Liska, the main character in the novel, was born a witch at a time when the Christian church was the dominant force in the culture; one which emphasised the sinfulness of magic and fantasy. But many of Liska’s stories, passed on to her by her Tata, are scattered with pagan traditions, filling her head with tales of demons, dragons, and witches. If people spoke of such stories outside the confines of their home, they were accused of demonism, and often exiled. After a terrible accident with her magic, Liska embarks on a dangerous journey through the Driada to find a magic flower from one of her Tata’s stories: a bloom with the ability to grant its captor a wish. But to find this bloom, Liska needs to endure the horrors of the Driada, and grapple with the demons it was made to confine.

Where the Dark Stands Still uses old Polish folklore and paganism to tell the story of sacrifice and the need for balance, and the historical world it creates is enthralling. A definite must read for any fans of cosy fantasy with a dark twist.

Publisher's Review

A sweeping gothic fairytale romance for fans of Belladonna by Adalyn Grace and Gallant by V.E. Schwab.

Raised in a small village near the spirit-wood, Liska Radost knows that Magic is monstrous, and its practitioners, monsters.

After Liska unleashes her own powers with devastating consequences, she is caught by the demon warden of the wood - the Leszy - who offers her a bargain- one year of servitude in exchange for a wish.

Whisked away to his crumbling manor, Liska makes an unsettling discovery- she is not the first person to strike this bargain and all of her predecessors have mysteriously vanished. If Liska wants to survive the year and return home, she must unravel her host's spool of secrets and face the ghosts of his past.

Those who enter the wood do not always return . . .