From the Back Cover

Every proper villain has a tale. This is mine.
What? Do you heathens think I was born this way? Ha.
Follow the journey of Morgana Le Fay from her early beginnings through her rise to power and infamy.

Book one.
Morgana has spent years in an orphanage in Pons Aelius, but at 18, she must leave her temporary home and head for the convent where she plans to spend the rest of her days.

An old woman who lives in the attic chooses Morgana as her student and begins the task of teaching her to read every day at noon. One day, the old woman gives Morgana a new book and that book will change her life forever.

Suddenly finding herself on the run from the religious zealots, she takes her horse and travels across the great country in search of a place she only knows by name: Avalon.

Will Morgana find this mythical place, and will she finally find a home there?

Or will the darkness sleeping within her rise as she faces forces that threaten to end her very life?

My Review of Darkness Sleeping

As I have already reviewed two other books by Jen Pretty, I anticipated that this will be beautifully written, a real page-turner and hard to put down. I was not disappointed. I haven’t read any Arthurian fiction and I’m not familiar with Morgana le Fay’s story. So I won’t be comparing it to other books or legends.

Morgan has spent a good part of her childhood in an orphanage but once she’s old enough to be on her own, they inform her she must leave to work as a servant at a convent. Her only possession is her horse named Copper that she has raised since he was born.

At the convent, Morgana is often belittled and mistreated by the nuns, except for an old woman living in the attic who teaches her how to read and gives her a spellbook instructing her to go to Avalon and claim her birthright.

“Have you heard of Avalon, Morgan?”
Of course, I had heard whispers, but it sounded like stories, not truth.
“When I am gone, you will travel there. You will run and never look back. Until then, read.” She closed her eyes again, letting her foot rock out a rhythm that set a beat for my reading. I knew more words every day, as if my mind was practicing even when I slept or worked. But I didn’t understand just how dangerous it was to read that book, in that cramped bedroom on the third floor of the convent.
I could never regret meeting Margarette nor accepting the gift she gave me.

After a horrible incident that forces her to flee the convent, she heads to Avalon, a place she isn’t sure even exists. Her adventures are sprinkled with danger, but fortunately, she doesn’t have to struggle alone.

She meets Paxton, a man she doesn’t completely trust at first, but who is there for her when things get ugly. He rides a black horse named Midnight. He seems to know more about her but never reveals enough about himself. Paxton calls Morgan by the name Morgana le Fay and she uses it to introduce herself in Avalon.

“Is your owner trustworthy?” I asked the horse. I rarely trusted humans, but I trusted animals. They never lied.
The large horse stomped a foot and shook his head. I wasn’t sure if that was an answer or not, but in my experience a well-kept horse was a sign of a good horseman. But was a good horseman a good man?

Without any warning, things go from bad to worse and misery loves company. Morgana makes it to Avalon where nothing is what it seems. She does her best to fit in, but when Lauren, a mean spirited girl, and her friend constantly bully Morgana, chaos ensues. As if on cue, past transgressions catch up with Morgana on the island of Avalon and all hell breaks loose. Morgana is no longer the obedient little girl and her magic is not an illusion.

This is one of these stories where it’s easy to empathize with the villain.

More about Darkness Sleeping

This is book one in the series and is available here!

If you’re a fan of Arthurian fiction, please let us know what you think about this portrayal of Morgan.
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