Cover Image: The Keeper of Night

The Keeper of Night

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Gorgeously creepy, with lovely prose and intricate brushes with mythology. A compelling journey from start to finish.
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**I received this book in exchange of an honest review.

Ren Scarborough is a half British Reaper and half Japanese Shinigami who just wants to avoid being targeted by the fellow Reapers in London. Having never known her mother, Ren lives in London under the care of her father. When she is cornered, she accidentally uses her Shinigami power and flees before she can be punished. While fleeing, Ren's brother Neven joins her. Ren's goal is to make it to Japan and find her mother. In order to do that, she will have to prove herself to the Goddess of Death and her fellow Shinigami.

The story follows Ren as she tries to discover her true self. Many times, Ren is seen as less than because she is both Japanese and British. Because she isn't truly "one" thing, she herself sees herself as something unlikeable. Neven's character is almost instantly likable. He struggles with himself as a Reaper because he doesn't want to take life. He's seen as young and weak, but throughout the book is forced to prove himself along with Ren.

The pacing in the book starts off as slow, but engages readers as it progressively increases in speed of action. While the first 50 or so pages make it difficult to be immersed in the story, the Japanese folklore is deeply rooted in the book making you feel like you're discovering something brand new for the first time. This book is a lush fantasy that is hard to put down once you get far enough into the story.

I recommend this book for fans of fantasy, folklore, and character driven stories.
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this was a great well done book, it had great characters that were interesting. The plot itself is really well done and I enjoyed going on this series.
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I was intrigued by the concept behind the story: a girl from two worlds who doesn't truly feel like she belongs in either one, much less be able to combine the two. Unfortunately I found that the execution wasn't quite to my liking. The reader is given an awful lot of information and no way to make sense of it; the first 200 pages dragged on and I kept having to go back and re-read sections. It did get more interesting towards the end, but the pacing threw me off. Ren was more likeable than I thought she would be.
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Thank you to HCC Frenzy for sending me an ARC for an honest review.
4/5 stars
I enjoyed reading this one! I thought the world and the mythology were very intriguing, and the characters felt fleshed out, complex, and realistic.
The story follows Ren, who is a half British Reaper and a half Japanese Shinigami, and she doesn’t feel like she fits in anywhere. Her centuries living in Britain have seen her belittled, beaten, and denied her Reaper heritage. When an incident forces Ren to flee Britain, she knows it’s time to finally make her way to Japan to explore the other side of her heritage. With her half brother Neven as a companion, Ren sets off to become a Shinigami.
I both liked and disliked Ren while reading the book, and I appreciated the complexity that the author gave to her character. On the one hand I wanted to root for Ren during her journey to find her place, but on the other hand she was incredibly selfish and often rude. I got so frustrated with how she was treating Neven, and I was really rooting for their connection and relationship.
Neven was a neat character, but as Ren’s journey progressed he fell into the background. I liked how this showed how Ren was changing as a character, but I wanted more moments with Neven.
Hiro was also an interesting and complex character, but I found him unsettling. I couldn’t root for him throughout the book because something about the character felt off, so the author did a good job of portraying Ren and Neven’s anxieties about Hiro.
The plot itself was quite interesting, and I found that it picked up in pace towards the second half. The pacing in the beginning felt a little off to me, but I know that was because we needed to be introduced to the characters, the world, and how the fantasy elements work.
The world of Reapers and Shinigami was very fun to read about, and I liked learning the stories about the Yokai. I also liked the inclusion of different beliefs about Death.
Overall, I thought it was a really good fantasy read that shows how desire can be corrupted, or that what we desire isn’t always what we truly want.
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I absolutely loved this book! A great start to the series. The scenery was so beautifully described, and I loved the darkness it portrayed. The plot and characters were well-written. Cannot wait to read the next one!
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I found this book to be full of beautiful descriptions that were vivid and rich, which was great cause the characters were lacking. I didn't like Ren. I found her annoying and thought she just kept making horrible decisions over and over again. Neven, was my favorite character and I felt bad for him. Hiro was obviously a bad guy and I really only enjoyed it when she killed him. I loved the death mythology of the two cultures. I just wish that I enjoyed the characters more.
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Listen, I don't think this book is bad. I am just not in the mood for it, despite it being a book about reapers and shinigami and it's currently October. I've read the third chapter 4 times as I wasn't able to focus on it. While I made it past the third, I find myself easily loosing focus on the following chapters as well. I'm lost again in the 5th chapter.

I think this book will hit the mark for many readers. Some have commented on the heavy info-dumping in the first few chapters of the book, which I think is what is mostly causing a struggle for me. I can't get over this hurdle right now, and for those who get through it will find a refreshing and original YA fantasy. The blend of British reapers and Japanese Shinigami with a focus on Japanese folklore in Japan sounds wonderful. But I need to set this book aside. I hope one day to return to it, but for now I need to move on.
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The Keeper of Night is about Ren, half Reaper and half Shinigami. Born as half breed made she have to search across the world to find so called home. 🌍
I start reading this book with low expectation and voilà I fell in love at the end. It is such a captivating story with amazing world building. Ren's story set in 18th century which isn't my favorite time setting but overall it still fascinating. The writing style makes me can't put down the book.
Talk about the characters, if you like a story with morally grey MC and anti-hero characters, you should try this Japanese folklore retelling novel. We can find so many Japanese mythical creatures and its history behind it. Also, I love the family bonding between Ren and her brother.
Out of all so many things I love about this book, I found something that I can't accept. I think the end battle is so fast and easy. ✌🏻😁 Definitely I can't wait to read the second book. I'm happy this book will be a duology. Hope it doesn't change. 🤣
Overall, this book perfect for Grim Reaper story fans. If you're looking forward for slow burn romance, fantasy mystery and action-packed story, you can try to read 𝙏𝙝𝙚 𝙆𝙚𝙚𝙥𝙚𝙧 𝙤𝙛 𝙉𝙞𝙜𝙝𝙩.
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I have a lot of thoughts about The Keeper of Night, and honestly, I’m not sure where to begin my thoughts. Taking inspiration from Japanese mythology and folklore, Kylie Lee Baker’s debut novel captivated me from the first sentence as Ren Scarborough tries to find her place in the world.

The Keeper of Night started out strong, but quickly fell into flatline.
There’s a lot of books that capture my attention from the very beginning, and Baker’s novel is no exception, pulling me into Ren’s world as a Reaper collecting departing human souls and sending them onto their next destination. There’s a lot of detail and information in the world-building, and while I loved learning about the Reapers and ultimately the Shinigami, the beginning is especially heavy on the information dumping. There’s a lot to absorb in the moment, and while I was fascinated, it ultimately drew my attention away from the story.

Identity is a huge part of this novel.
Growing up in 1800s London, Ren has always been told she doesn’t fit in with the Reapers because of the way she looks. She’s bullied throughout her life from her peers and her father doesn’t really care what happens to her; the only person who seemed to truly care about is her brother, Neven, who unfortunately gets similar treatment thanks to his relationship with her (and how he essentially refuses to treat her like dirt).

As much as she tries to keep her head down and hide her Shinigami powers, this doesn’t always succeed, and eventually it gets to a point where she has to flee London after her powers go out of control and is revealed. She’s unexpectedly granted her desire to finally leave for Japan in the hopes to find her mother. The Keeper of Night is Ren’s journey to find where she truly fits - constantly being told she doesn’t belong because of her Japanese heritage (despite being half British), she’s hoping Japan will accept her for who she is.

But instead, when she gets to Japan, she finds herself in the same place as she was in England: she has to prove herself to earn her place among the Shinigami, and to do this, she’s sent to kill three Yokai (demons).

Ren’s sibling relationship with Neven plays another huge role.
Outside of hardcore relating to Ren’s constant battle with her identity and desire to find her place in the world, Ren’s and Neven’s relationship was another favorite part of the story. I loved seeing them support and stick by each other, but I also loved the growing tension between the two as Ren gets closer to reaching her goal. There’s a growing distance in their relationship as Neven watches the darker side of her (though she pretty much falls under morally grey) unleash over the course of the story. It'll be interesting to see just how their relationship will ultimately play out.

Neven is such a cinnamon roll and a precious gem honestly. I just love him so much? But I also love Ren and Hiro’s constant mystery that he carries about him throughout when he joins the two on Ren’s task.

The Keeper of Night is a solid debut and first novel in a duology with Japanese mythology and folklore, and an angry protagonist who simply wants to find her place and discover who she is. While the information overload at times didn’t work for me, I can’t help but be at least a little excited and interested in what’s next for Ren.
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Thank you to the publisher, Inkyard Press, and NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Ren Scarborough is half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, and while she has been raised in London, she has never felt like she belonged, often looked down upon for her mixed heritage. When one night, Ren loses control over her Shinigami powers and injures three High Reapers, she knows that her only chance of survival is to flee England. With her brother in tow, Ren heads for Japan, hoping to find acceptance and a place serving the Goddess of Death, and also seek out the mother who abandoned her. The Goddess however, sets her a task to complete in order to prove her worth, to destroy three deadly Yokai demons who are threatening the balance. With her brother and a new ally, Hiro, by her side, this dangerous journey will test the limits to which Ren is willing to go to become a Shinigami and what she is willing to sacrifice for it.

This was such a good read! The world building alone makes it a rich and immersive read, and it incorporates a lot of Japanese folklore, much of which was new to me, so I found that aspect of the book especially interesting. Ren’s journey from London into the Japanese underworld was a fascinating one to follow and I’m hoping to see more of this amazing world building in the next book. The writing was wonderful, and the narration style made for such a riveting read that the pages just seemed to fly by.

Ren was my favorite character in this book. As the story is narrated entirely from her perspective, it makes it easy to really understand her state of mind as she struggles to define herself and find a place where she feels like she truly belongs. Despite the magical setting of this book, I think this aspect is something that anyone can relate to on some level. Her arc was very well done, and her zeal to belong often clashes with her morals, leading her to make some highly questionable decisions, but it all fit perfectly with her character. Her brother Neven, on the other hand, was basically the voice of reason that was ignored throughout, but his loyalty to his sister was admirable.

The only thing I want to mention is that this does get kind of dark and creepy at times, but that does make it a great choice for this month. That ending was definitely not something I saw coming. It was just one jaw dropping twist after another and I can’t wait to see how what happens next in the sequel! Highly recommended!
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this book was everything I wanted it to be and more. It is such a good Young adult book and I think everyone will love it
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Disclaimer: I received this e-arc and arc from the publisher. Thanks! All opinions are my own.

Book: Keeper of the Night

Author: Kylie Lee Baker

Book Series: Keeper of the Night Book 1

Diversity: Japanese MC and side characters

Rating: 5/5

Recommended For...: young adult readers, fantasy, Japanese mythology and legend

Genre: YA Fantasy

Publication Date: October 12, 2021

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Pages: 394

Recommended Age: 15+ (Death, Violence, Gore, Racism, Language, Animal Gore, Animal violence)

Explanation of CWs: Racism is throughout the book. Gore and violence is frequent. There is one scene with animal gore and violence. There is also slight language.

Synopsis: Death is her destiny.

Half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, Ren Scarborough has been collecting souls in the London streets for centuries. Expected to obey the harsh hierarchy of the Reapers who despise her, Ren conceals her emotions and avoids her tormentors as best she can.

When her failure to control her Shinigami abilities drives Ren out of London, she flees to Japan to seek the acceptance she’s never gotten from her fellow Reapers. Accompanied by her younger brother, the only being on earth to care for her, Ren enters the Japanese underworld to serve the Goddess of Death… only to learn that here, too, she must prove herself worthy. Determined to earn respect, Ren accepts an impossible task—find and eliminate three dangerous Yokai demons—and learns how far she’ll go to claim her place at Death’s side.

Review: Overall I really liked this read! It was a fun and fast paced. The book had a lot of action sequences and a lot of interesting and informative Japanese mythology. I loved the character development and world building. I also thought the writing was well done overall and the book was well plotted.

The only issue I had is that the book slowed down it's pacing in a few places, but other than that it was a fun read.

Verdict: I loved it! Highly recommend.
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The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker may be filled with darkness, but it’s another great read to ignite your spooky season. This story is unique and at the helm is a main character archetype I rarely experience but thoroughly enjoy. Baker immerses her reader in the world of Reapers and Shinigami where death is guaranteed and kindness is unexpected. It was such an interesting read and I’m so excited the story will spread its shadows to encompass a second book. 

The Reapers of London are a cruel and selfish group. They venture out into the streets to collect souls and follow the strict rules set in place by the High Council. Ren Scarborough is half Reaper and half Shinigami and has spent centuries in disgrace, receiving not even the smallest of comforts from her powerful Reaper father and stepmother. The only light in her life is her half-brother Neven, who has stayed by her side despite his parents’ wishes. The High Reapers make Ren’s life a living hell, and one day she accidentally retaliates by using the Shinigami light powers she’s hidden away. Ren escapes with Neven in the chaos to Japan to find her mother and embrace her Shinigami heritage. Upon arrival, Ren finds that she doesn’t fit in with the Shinigami either but is desperate to join their ranks. Ren agrees to help the death goddess Izanami with three difficult tasks to earn her place among her court and sets out across Japan with a god of fishermen and Neven as her companions. 

Ren is as cold as the London crypt she calls home. Keeper opens with Ren collecting a man’s soul, going out of her way to scare the poor guy and destroy any great expectations about the afterlife. Baker served me up a hardcore main character with little to no moral compass and I was thrilled. I think of how easily this book could have been about Ren’s struggle with her role as a soul collector, but I am glad Baker had a different story in mind. Instead, we get a Reaper/Shinigami who leans into her role, doesn’t hesitate to get violent, adds a dash of cruelty, and tops it off with some satisfaction. Ren’s morality is fascinating in a world where death is her duty, and Baker asks us to draw the line on what is not right in this world of darkness. 

Among the fantastical and supernatural elements, Baker tells a heartbreaking story of a biracial girl looking for a home with people who accept her. As half Reaper and half Shinigami, Ren is unable to find a place among both groups because they only see the part of her that doesn’t fit. This otherness shrouds Ren like a cloak, influencing her actions and creating conflict with the people around her. Ren is offset by Neven who was basically born into Reaper royalty. Neven has always cared for her and had become somewhat of an outcast himself for befriending his half Shinigami sister. I enjoyed the sibling dynamic that dominated this story, especially as Ren’s drive to be accepted pushes the limit. She starts to reject the part of herself that is a Reaper, but in doing so she dismisses the brother who has never left her side. 

The world in Keeper is as odd, terrifying, and violent as I imagined a Reaper/Shinigami plane of existence would be. Baker has built two fascinating worlds, and both are uniquely structured. The Reapers and Shinigami each have their own death god, method of operation, and possess different powers to aid in their soul collection. London Reapers have the ability to stop time which enables them to collect souls without difficulty, but every moment spent in suspended space is taken off their long life span by Ankou, the Father of Death and King of the Reapers. In Japan, the Shinigami serve the goddess Izanami who lives in an underworld of impenetrable darkness. The Shinigami have the ability to weaponize light and will lead souls to Izanami’s realm to enact a horrifying heart extraction that rivals Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. Both worlds are extremely interesting and Baker did a fantastic job setting the scene and pulling the reader into each realm to experience all its horrors. 

When you pick up The Keeper of Night, you’re not just getting an awesome horror fantasy, but a story that is emotionally compelling. Within the darkness, there are intense moments of self-doubt as we see Ren attempt to come to terms with all the jagged parts of herself. There’s a lot to love in this story, but I would tell you to pick up Keeper just to see the world Baker created. Ren set her sights on me and lured me in, so I’m officially in limbo until book two. 

Rating: The Keeper of Night - 8.5/10
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The Keeper Night, by author Kylie Lee Baker, is the first installment in a planned duology. Ren Scarborough is a half English Reaper and half Japanese Shinigami in 1890's England. Her father doesn't recognize her, her step mother hates her, her bio mom is nowhere to be seen. Ren has been collecting souls in London for centuries, never accepted and perpetually tormented by the British Reapers for her otherness. One day after being taunted and teased and bullied, she severely wounds a High Reapers using her Shinigami powers setting off a life or death run to escape before she is caught and terminated

With her half brother Neven as her only ally, Ren flees London for Japan in hopes she can convince the Goddess of Death, Izanami, to allow her to join the Goddess’s ranks. Thankfully, Ren and Neven don't just show up days later. Their journey is fitful, Ren loses all her belongings, Neven is saddened at having found out his true worth, and by the time they reach Japan months later, Ren is road weary and in essence, questioning her sanity as to why she traveled so far to meet a woman, her mother, that she hasn't seen in centuries.

Upon arriving in Yokohama 9 months after leaving London, she and Neven encounter a Japanese Urban Legend, once of thousands of spirits that wrecked havoc on humans. They include Jorogamo, a yôkai with the form of a spider, that can change its appearance into that of a seductive woman when it wants to eat a human. Even when it is in its human form though, its reflection will show a giant spider. Upon meeting Izanami, the creator of all the Japanese Islands, she is ordered to hunt and kill three Japanese Yokai. 

Yuki-Onna is a snow woman ghost described as inhumanly beautiful, whose eyes can strike terror into mortals that get lost traveling in the snowy mountains. She floats across the snow, leaving no footprints. Iso Onna, the Sea Vampire, and Tamano No Mae. Tamano is one of the most famous kitsune in Japanese mythology. A nine-tailed magical fox, she is also one of the most powerful yōkai that has ever lived. A nine-tailed magical fox, she is also one of the most powerful yōkai that has ever lived. With a little bit of help from Hiro, a Shinigami who has been banished, and her constant arguments with Neven, things have a tendency to get bogged down. 

Hiro, like Neven, are unique characters who have their own choices to make. Ren’s story goes beyond just killing for the sake of becoming a Shinigami. It’s about being uprooted from the only home she's ever known and feeling untethered — a native to no land. She's considered to be a foreigner in Japan even though she is of Japanese heritage. She discovers things about herself that will keep you wanting to read more. In fact, the ending is the most thrilling part of this entire story thus leaving from for the final installment.
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Have you heard of The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker? From the moment I saw that cover, I knew it was a book I needed to make time for. Spoiler – it's worth it!

Ren Scarborough is half Japanese Shinigami and half British Reaper. Yes, it is exactly as complicated as it sounds, if not more so. It's her job to wander the streets of London and collect the souls of the dead.

Unfortunately, Ren is despised by her fellow Reapers. Perhaps this is the reason why she was so willing to take a risk, as Ren is about to enter the underworld and serve the Goddess of Death.

"The world will fall silent and the Reaper will knock three times on your bedroom door."

Oh my goodness! The Keeper of Night is every bit the striking and intense read I had hoped it would be. Ren's journey is a powerful one, with plenty of highs and lows to keep readers interested. Okay, her very nature is enough to keep readers interested – everything else is just icing on the cake as far as I'm concerned.

Also, the vibes of The Keeper of Night are pretty brilliant, if I may say so. Kylie Lee Baker's world and writing immediately pull the reader in, and it quickly becomes impossible not to root for Ren. No matter where you look, the odds are stacked against her. And yet, she keeps going. Gotta love it.

It's probably worth mentioning that there are some more graphic elements to this tale – but I'm sure many people expect that. We're talking about death in multiple forms, not to mention the inclusion of yōkai. It's enough to keep most readers up at night!

I still can't get over how much I love the core concept of this novel: a woman with mixed heritage, with both sides of her family dealing with death. It's fascinating, and I already am counting down days for the sequel.
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With the mention of a Reaper who collects souls and the Japanese underworld, my interest was immediately piqued. I had no idea what I was in for with this book – I totally underestimated it.

As a half British Reaper and half Japanese Shinigami, Ren has never been accepted by her British peers, who bully her on a regular basis. Her own father and stepmother offer the basics of food and shelter – love and concern don’t figure into the equation. Neven, her half brother and also a Reaper, is the only person who cares for her. Your heart immediately goes out to Ren. After losing control of her abilities, she and Neven quickly depart to Japan, where Ren has two goals: one, serve the Goddess of Death as a Shinigami and finally gain acceptance, and two, find her mother.

I’ve always been a fan of morally gray characters, so it was a wicked kind of delight to see Ren gradually cross the boundaries of what she’d previously considered acceptable. The author puts her into situations requiring impossible choices. The relationship between Ren and Neven is an interesting one. Reapers aren’t supposed to be capable of feeling love, but these two are loyal to each other. Neven even chooses to abandon his parents and country to go with Ren so she won’t be alone. Early on it’s clear Ren is thicker-skinned and actually enjoys her job, whereas Neven takes in stray cats and dreads reaping souls. Character development is a strong point.

The Japanese underworld isn’t a place you’d want to vacation. It’s dark (literally) and full of dangerous creatures, so Ren and Neven are fortunate to come across Hiro. He assists in navigating the underworld, and then travels with them to help complete the tasks assigned by the Goddess of Death. Hiro is persona non grata with the goddess and hopes his assistance will get him back into her good graces. I’m not a fan of insta-love, but the spark between Ren and Hiro ignites almost immediately. Then their relationship goes to places I never saw coming and becomes a key plot point.

If you’re a fan of dark fantasy, morally gray characters, and Japanese folklore, jump on this one. After that jaw-dropping cliffhanger, I’ll be one of the first in line for the sequel.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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I received an e-arc of The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker from HCC Frenzy in exchange for an honest review.

I actually preordered The Keeper of Night even prior to receiving the arc - and I definitely have no regrets in doing so. The Keeper of Night was such an adventure of a story that dived into the world of death - or rather, worlds of death as Britain and Japan have their own beliefs and stories about who rules over the dead. In this story, we find Ren living a rather miserable existence in Britain where she has never been accepted because of her half British and half Japanese heritage. She is denied her place among the Reapers and when an unfortunate event sends her running with her half brother, she heads in the direction of Japan - a place she has always been curious about. But she finds that not all her problems are solved as she is still seen as a foreigner to those in Japan. Ren is put to the test to find her place in Japan as a Shinigami but it may take both her skills as a Reaper and as a Shinigami to survive all that Japan and Yomi has in store for her.

The Keeper of Night is a wild and dark adventure that is sure to thrill and entrance readers. This reader right here is now eagerly awaiting book two of this duology.
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“How could I possibly feel so close to the precipice of unraveling, so powerful yet so untethered?”

Kylie Lee Baker’s first work The Keeper of Night is a dark historical fantasy YA novel inspired by Japanese folklore and mythology. Half British Reaper and half Japanese Shinigami soul collector, Ren Scarborough has never felt like she belonged. However, one fateful night, in 1800s London, Ren’s Shinigami powers manifest and, as she loses control of them, she injures some High Reapers. Knowing she would be severely punished, she decides to flee to Japan, along with her half-brother, Neven. There she hopes to find her true identity and to be accepted by other Shinigami. This quest for belonging and respect, and desire to serve the Goddess of  Death will certainly take Ren to places she didn’t expect when she embarked on this journey.

Baker’s worldbuilding is magnificent. Through the main character, the author effortlessly eases readers through a world so vibrant and intricate with introductions to underworld creatures such as Shinigami (death spirits), Yokai (supernatural spirits), and the nine-tailed fox. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know anything about Japanese mythology because it’s explained in a simple and easy to understand way. The visuals and imagery are extremely vivid and entrancingly beautiful whilst also being gruesome and dark at the same time. All of this is accompanied by a plot that’s extremely fast paced and coupled with compelling writing, so you will be glued to its pages at all times. That being said, there are some flaws and issues but they were mostly resolved by the end or proven to be intentional. The climax of the book is definitely unexpected and exciting as well, so readers, like myself, will be desperately waiting for the sequel!

The characters themselves are another strong point of the book. Morally grey characters are always fun and interesting to read, and those are definitely within the pages here. Ren is a great main character and even though she does questionable things, her motivations are interesting and what makes her feel real and therefore one can’t help but root for her. She’s tough and resilient but she also feels sorry for herself a lot and questions her own morals. The book is deeply rooted in Ren’s struggles with being biracial and her quest for validation. She’s constantly caught between two cultures and trying to figure out where she belongs since there are no examples that show her that she can embrace both. It will certainly strike a cord with biracial or diaspora readers.

On the other hand, her brother Neven sometimes seems to be the only voice of reason and one can’t help but feel for him. The relationship and dynamics between these two siblings is painful to read at times but it’s clearly evident that they care so much for each other. The other main character who will accompany the siblings on their journey is Hiro. His character has so much depth, certainly a character that keeps surprising the reader. Maybe the only critique here would be the insta-love relationship between him and Ren, it’s frustrating even though it does take the reader to unexpected places.

Overall, with themes of belonging, identity, family, and love The Keeper of Night is a wickedly delightful read that perfectly blends a rich historical setting with magic and mystery. With morally grey characters, unexpected turns, and a ton of dark folklore and fantasy elements, The Keeper of Night is definitely one novel you’ll want to have by your side this season.

Lastly, I must also congratulate and praise the illustrator of the cover Jessica Coppet for their extremely beautiful work! The style, the colours, and all the little details are wonderful.
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The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker is a dark historical fantasy YA novel-inspired by Japanese mythology and folklore. It tells the story of Ren Scarborough, a half-Shinigami and half British reaper, who escapes London after one fateful night of losing control over her Shinigami powers, injuring some High Reapers. Knowing she will be punished, she flees to Japan with her half-brother, Neven, hoping to find her true identity and be accepted by other Shinigami. To prove herself worthy, Ren accepts an impossible task from the Goddess of Death and embarks on a journey with Neven and an intriguing new ally.

Baker effortlessly introduces us to a world that’s vibrant with intricate introductions of Japanese mythological creatures, folklore, and culture -- all seamlessly weaved with magic into the storyline. The imagery is vivid with an entrancing prose that will have you glued to its pages. Coupled with a perfectly-paced storyline, Baker establishes morally-grey main characters with intriguing personalities and depth. 

Among the many themes that this book presented itself with, I love how Baker emphasized Ren’s struggles with being biracial and how she’s constantly caught between two cultures while figuring out where she belongs, with no one to show her that she can embrace both. With that said, the book also touches on racism, ableism, self-acceptance, and self-identity. 

All in all, The Keeper of Night is a highly immersive world with descriptive writing that will surely engross the readers for its prose, morally-grey characters, captivating world, and unexpected twists and turns. The climax is something that you should look out for, and readers like me will surely look forward to the sequel!

All thanks to TBR and Beyond Tours and Inkyard Press for the complimentary print and e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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