One Dark Window (The Shepherd King #1)
For fans of Uprooted and For the Wolf comes a dark, lushly gothic fantasy about a maiden who must unleash the monster within to save her kingdom—but the monster in her head isn't the only threat lurking.
Elspeth needs a monster. The monster might be her.
Elspeth Spindle needs more than luck to stay safe in the eerie, mist-locked kingdom she calls home—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 the kingdom of the dark magic infecting it. Except the highwayman just so happens to be the King’s own nephew, Captain of the Destriers…and guilty of high treason.
He and Elspeth have until Solstice to 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, darkly, taking over her mind. And she might not be able to stop him.
Praise for One Dark Window (The Shepherd King #1)
"One Dark Window is an evocative tale of romance, mystery and alluring monsters, told in beautifully lush prose. Rachel Gillig has created a story which left me entranced."—Lyndall Clipstone, author of Lakesedge
“[T]he steamy romance that emerges between Elspeth and Ravyn delights. Fans of Sarah J. Maas, Naomi Novak, and Hannah Whitten will want to check this out.”—Publishers Weekly
"An enchanting tale with sharp claws and teeth—Gillig’s prose will pull you in and won’t let you sleep. Pulse-pounding, darkly whimsical, and aglow with treacherous magic, One Dark Window is everything I love in fantasy and more"—Allison Saft, author of A Far Wilder Magic
"A beautifully dark fairy tale of blood, rage and bitter choice, that whisked me away to mist-wreathed woods ripe with romance and menace"—Davinia Evans, author of Notorious Sorcerer
"Elspeth’s slow-burn romance with a mysterious highwayman adds depth to the story ... A finely detailed magical system enriches Gillig’s debut; fantasy readers will enjoy."—Library Journal
"Readers will be enthralled with Elspeth’s—and Nightmare’s—riveting adventure."—Booklist
"Spooky, lush...Gillig executes familiar fantasy romance tropes with flair."—Paste Magazine
"One Dark Window is a page-turner. Gillig’s lush language is somewhat reminiscent of Alix E. Harrow’s excellent portal fantasy, The Ten Thousand Doors of January, as well as Robin McKinley’s redolent fairytale retellings such as Spindle’s End, Beauty, and Deerskin ... a richly detailed and decadent world that at once feels familiar, distinctive, and wistful to the reader."—Chicago Review of Books