Nocturna Readalong: Day 1

Stunner of a photo by @maddyandbooks

Hello hello, and welcome!

I really hope you have had a lovely weekend! Were you up to something exciting, relaxing, or adventurous?

Welcome to day 1 of our week long (woooo!) readalong of Nocturna! It’s going to be quite a ride!

I’m sure you are all keen to get on with it and chat what has happened in the book, we are reading the first 5 chapters today. Let’s get on it!

Please be warned, the following will include spoilers for chapters 1-5 of Nocturna by Maya Motayne. Read only if you’ve finished those chapters!


*accidentally matched the previous gif to the setting of the first chapter hehe*

We are on a ship! 

One of our main characters, Alfie the prince, seems to be heading home but very hesitantly. Running from your problems and responsibilities? Can’t relate 🙂

Also me:


Oooh elemental magic! Yes please. Which element do you think you’d wield best if you could?

We learn that Alfie was away while grieving his brother. Not only is he grieving him but it means he is now the crowned prince. Yeah, that would make one take a few weeks or months away. Suddenly my family dynamic seems less complicated.

So it seems like magic goes beyond elements, in fact it is even described as a sentient being, such as a skittish dog that needs to be approached and handled carefully. Interesting take on it, very excited to learn more about it. Have you read any books before where magic has a mind of its own? If so, what was the book? I think it’s an aspect I would love to explore in the future. 

We learn a bit more about the way his brother perished. Dez was sent into a magical vortex by a magical assassin. I truly believe there is nothing worse than not knowing for certain if your loved one has passed, this false thread of hope (or is it false? What do you think, could he still be alive?) is definition of torture. Add to the mix a dash of surviver’s guilt and it’s easy to understand the drinking problem Alfie seems to display. Not excuse it, not at all, but understand it – yes.

We meet our second main character in Chapter 2, Finn. I think her hatred of puppet shows clearly shows a high lever of dislike for authority; I’m sure this is not going to get her in trouble at… all… 

Does not bode well for Alfie ether down the line then, huh? 

She’s a thief that can change her appearance at will! What a cool power! It’s one I always say I would pick if I could. What would be your power?

She defends a little girl and also gives her the money she steals from the boy who was bullying her, even when it could have really helped her. So we see she has empathy, even though she’s presented to be quite an unapologetic characters otherwise. And I have to admit, I’m really liking her attitude! She steals this woman’s face to join the game but she’s not too cruel to her, considering similar scenes in other books I read before.  

Would love to flick that journal with all the faces she’s worn! 

They’re playing a dirty game of cambio. One boy already dies at the start! What the frick?? Um, I think I’d pass on that particular game, thank you very much.

I’ve always liked card games but I don’t remember last time it was so fun reading about one! Usually I kind of zone off during these type of scenes but I think him seeing the magic colours and there being magical cards involved, make it very engaging. 

I’m surprised she manages to steal the books after getting the drunken card! I could NOT run like that in that situation! It would honestly be a bit more like Pheobe’s running. If even that. 


Oh I just realised if anyone can find Finn no matter what she changes into, it’s Alfie because he sees her magic rather than her face! Hehe, I see what the author did there. 

When she’s changing but she’s drunk and gets stuck in the dress a bit haha I appreciate this simple humour, what can I say. Adds realness to the characters. 

It looked like Finn has won but then with a masterful move of using your own weapon against you (sending a card with the smoke) Alfie takes her out. He,  somewhat chivalrously hides her in an alley and puts his cloak on her before leaving. Thanks, I guess? 

I’d love to hear your thoughts on how do you think these two will meet again?? Will she pursue him and try to get the books? Will she find something of his identity on the cloak? Will he try to find her for some reason or something else entirely?

Let me know your thoughts down below, and as always, don’t forget to chat with one another!

Until tomorrow, friends!


46 thoughts on “Nocturna Readalong: Day 1

  1. Really interesting start to a book, dove strait into the magic and action sooner than I expected, definitely got me interested !! I think the two main character are gonna make for a great read when together. Can’t wait to read the next few chapters and see what bring these two back together, not to mention what Alfie finds in those books ?

    1. Oh yes, the books too!

  2. So excited for this book! First off the whole world drew me in. I am Puerto Rican and, as I have said multuple times, this book feels like home. I know spanish so I know everything they say or mean and it makes the reading much more enjoyable and I can relate to the characters more. If anyone wants help with spanish message my bookstagram lol

    I like Finn a lot. I feel she is more complex than what we can see firsthand. Her magic is extremely convenient and I kinda want it. In regards to Dez, he is someone I can sympathize with. Makes me curious to see how they wilk develeop as the story goes along. They are total opposites!!

    Again thank you for choosing this book Fairyloot. The latinx community appreciates it.

    1. Fin is one of those characters that is really really easy to love due to her sass! And I live for it

  3. I’m absolutely loving this adventure. The card game, so drew me in too. I would definitely read a side book about Finn’s journal of many faces, just to learn all about her many adventures.

    1. Right? If it wasn’t a deadly game I would like a go too haha

  4. This was one of my favourite first few chapters of a book simply because of the early introduction of the action! I can’t wait to continue!

  5. I am loving this book so far ? characters are awesome, I adore both of them, soft, bookish precious prince and badass thief, it’s ideal combination! And the magic system is great, I was thinking about it hard and long and I would probably choose water magic if I could, so many cool things to do with water ?

    1. Water magic would be amazing!

  6. I really like this book already! The magic system is so cool and complicated! Finn is so cool and Alfie is so sweet, but also ruff. The card game they played was very interesting and fun and I would love to try it in real life! I really like that Alfie can see the different colours of each persons magic! I don’t quite get why Finn would have different shades of red, but I’m guessing it’s because she can be different people…? (I guess we’ll figure it out). So ready for the next chaptersssss!!! ????

  7. Such a great start! I really love this world and magic system this far and i’m very excited to learn more about it. The thing I loved most in these chapters were the dynamic between Alfie and drunk Finn. I read about their fight with a big smile on my lips. I really thought Finn would win but then Alfie turned it around. Awesome. I can’t wait to see what will happen!

  8. So far, so good, right? ?
    Let’s see. I really like Alfie. He’s adorable. I think it says a lot about how much he loves his family that he’s not willing to give up on his brother just yet. And from the evidence we’ve learned so far, there’s a good chance Dez will still be alive somewhere. I think they’ll probably manage to find him at some point. I totally understand why he’s reluctant to try and fill his shoes as the crown prince, though.

    Alfie’s magic is awesome. It’s like a complete cheat sheet to everyone else’s. I just adore the way that shadows seem to move around depending on people’s magic, too. How cool is that?
    The elemental magic is a really interesting idea. I think I’d like to work with water elements best, but I’d probably end up with something like Finn’s stone magic.
    I also really like the ringed city. It simple to remember and effective for storytelling. I can imagine wanting to explore this place so much!

    The card game was cool! I had no idea things would escalate so quickly into dangerous territory. That poor Monkey lad! Putting those little hexes on the cards was interesting, though. I wonder what else this magic can do. Obviously, it can be super dangerous when people want it to be. ?

    I thought it was really funny when drunk Finn propositioned Alfie for bed! I’m so used to reading that the other way around that it was completely fresh and unexpected. It certainly gave Alfie a bit of a pause! You go, Finn! ?

    And lastly, is anyone else loving the chapter titles? It seems like forever since I’ve seen proper titles. Normally it’s all numbers or POV titles.

    1. Hahaha I just love Finn so much!

  9. OMG I want Alfies magic. THat thing with the doorknob is amazing.
    I think I would like to have either water or air magic, that would be so amazing.

    I’m curious about Finn and about the color of her magic. So cool that Alfie can see the color of magic and adapt to it. So far I’m not feeling their characters that much yet (yes I like her sass) but it’s still extremely early and I’m pretty sure I’ll love them very very soon. We just haven’t learned that much about them, so a tiny bit more time is needed.
    The card game and their fight was so much fun to read though. Really want to read more about that world and the magic and want to get to know the characters more

  10. Loved these first chapters. Soooo frustrated I have to wait till tomorrow to read the next chapters !
    But it’s a great start. I agree with everyone above, the way the magic is represented is beautiful and origins. I love Alfie and Finn propios!
    Especially Alfies’s character promise deepness can’t wait to see how it evolves. And I hope these books are useful at the end!

    I think Finn will not stand the humiliation and will want to get her revenge BUT I think they will meet each other on a coincidence as she has no clue about his identity at all.
    They seems to be connected by their original magic so their paths must cross again.

    We will see 🙂

  11. Very cool magic sytem. So far I am more into reading about Finn than Alfie, but we are early in the story so all could change.
    Very nice how we dove right into the action, i really like that.

    Hope everyone enjoys the next chapters ?

  12. Anyone else loving the shadows?

    1. Yes! I’m loving those xD

  13. Love the system of magic in this book. Also from the first 5 chapters I really liked the characters and their personalities.

  14. What a great start to this book! First off, introduced to Alfie, the “prince without a future”, who clearly has strong family values, and cares for his brother deeply. Then comes Finn, with her wavering red magic and face changing ability. I absolutely love that, and it’s not something I’d have thought of if asked what I’d like my “superpower” to be – but it’s definitely my favourite now 🙂

    I loved the puppet show, Finn really showed a softer side to herself there, helping the little girl and giving her the money that she could have done with herself. The shadows are really intriguing to me – I think they’re really going to give us an insight into the inner feelings of our 2 MCs as we get going through the rest of the book.

    The card game was intense! Who knew playing cards could be so dangerous? Finn does a runner with the books, Alfie gives chase, cue dramatic fight scene! Finn would definitely have kicked Alfie’s butt if she hadn’t been drunk from the effects of the cards! I love that Alfie, always the gentleman, covers Finn with his cloak before abandoning her in the alleyway! Oooooh, and I do love that doorknob of his – very handy!

    Looking forward to tomorrow’s chapters – fingers crossed those books will help Alfie x

  15. I like the book so far, both the world building and magic system are intresting and understandable without being info dumped. Really love Alfie so far, not sure if I love Finn’s character as much. Can’t wait to keep reading!

  16. So, after chaper 1 I was like ‘Great! Another prince who doesn’t want to be King’ ? But, then I got intresting really soon. The card game was my favorite part. It was so fun and twisted and oeeeh loved it!
    Alfie and Finn will meet again soon I think. And maybe use the books together. And then things will ofcourse go wrong and all shit will unleash! ?

  17. I enjoyed reading the first few chapters, but is anyone getting ADSOM vibes? Is Alfie not just like Kell with his magic being able to open doorways between places and Finn is a thief who steals from Alfie, just like Lila? Annnnnd the elemental magic. As a Mexican American I really really want to love this series but I’m having trouble. The writing is really great but the plot just feels so familiar. Hopefully I’m wrong!

    1. I love Victoria but I didn’t really see it…? I guess the magic system felt too different to me… I hope you can detach the two soon! 🙂

    2. Oh I heard that before as well, but I think there’s so many books and universes with the similar aspects like elemental magic and magical traveling that I don’t really connect the two exclusively!

    3. I got those vibes too and have read the entire book. I found that those vibes didn’t go away. As I read on the similarities grew more and more

      1. Ugh that’s what I’m thinking. I just finished the third day reading section and I feel like I spent half of the time telling myself to NOT think of similarities but I couldn’t help it. I really wanted to love this.

  18. Really excited about this book. I was very intrigued by the first chapters. So far, I’m definitely rooting for Finn above Alfie, but we’ll see how it’ll turn out! Can’t wait for tomorrow!

  19. I’m really liking it so far, at first I was like ehh but now I’m into it. Spanish is my first language so I understand all the spanish words =D I feel like next time they meet Alfie will be doing some prince stuff? So Finn will find out who he really is …. ? 😉

  20. First can we all appreciate how beautiful the cover of this book is. It is one of my favorite fairyloot covers so far.

    The book got me interested from page one so that was a great start. I love the magic system in this book. The writing style makes the book easy to read and makes the characters enjoyable. Besides maybe it will up my spanish (I had spanish lessons 9 weeks in the first year of high school, but a lot has faded away). Right now I knew every spanish word but we will see.

  21. It seems I’m the only one not loving this ?
    I don’t speak Spanish so the change between them really throws me, I’ve noticed myself skipping over dialogue and scenes where the word propio is mentioned.
    I like the characters but the writing style is not for me.

  22. I really like Finn, she seems super sassy. And I look forward to her and Alfie interacting more later on in the book.

    The spanish is throwing me a bit as I either have to just skip over it or make a note and look it up when the word meaning isn’t explained. It’s not a bad thing just means it takes longer to read, a little note at the bottom of the page with the meaning would have been handy 🙂

  23. The readalong has just started and I’m already one day behind ooops ??
    I really enjoyed these first chapters though! I think my favourite scene so far was the Cambio Game! And I absolutely love the magic in this book! It kind of seems like Avatar mixed with Harry Potter! ?❤️
    Can’t wait to read more!

  24. Dez: I hope he either is really dead (sorry Alfie!) or faked his own death.

    The magic system: I know some people don’t like it and find it too basic, but I love elemental magic.
    And I personally prefer Alfie’s prorio to Finn’s. I just hate to drive ?

    The duel : the scholar vs the street-fighter! Really liked how those two has their very own style of using magic!

  25. I loved how it jumped straight in, and we get a feel for their personalities right away. Since she’s staying for the festival maybe she’ll recognise his voice during a speech or he’ll spot her unique magic colour in a crowd and seek her out again.

    The shadows reflecting their moods is a nice touch.

    Looking forward to finding out what’s in those books and how their adventures will unfold from here.

  26. I Loved how one of the first setting we were put in in the book was the library! I’m an artist and love color so I love how
    Alvie’s power associates magic with color! And how each of their powers are so unique and awesome and fit their personalities so well. I love learning about the culture and history of the kingdom. Both the card game and the fight were totally epic! I was hooked on this book by the first couple pages! Great choice Fairyloot! One I don’t know if I would have picked out for myself. I can’t wait to see them both interact with each other once they know the other identity like how will Finn react to the prince?!

  27. This story is definitely engaging! Sometimes stories with their own magic system can be a bit tedious and hard to follow, but this world seems so natural. I like Finn, I have a feeling she’s going to be quite the character, as I’m pretty sure Alfie and her will be teaming up to find his lost
    or dead brother.

  28. I don’t know if it was that everytime I started reading during the first 25 pages i was tired or if i am just not fully meshing with the writing style but i feel like it took me much longer than usually to read today’s chapters..

    That being said I do feel it was picking up by the end. The fact that there has already been so much action is definerly getting me excited to continue on! I also really love both Finn and Alfie’s magic, like magic travel and disguise? Can you even ask for better?

    I really like the dynamic between the 2 characters as well, I think I will have a really good time reading scenes of them together! I can’t wait to see how to find each other again.

  29. I’m really behind but I’m going to post anyway. Like a lot of others have mentioned, I really enjoy how this book jumps right into the action. I’m really into Alfie’s character, but I’m getting more curious about Fin as I read too. I really love the magic system the author has created, and am enjoying the Spanish words interspersed throughout the book too – it feels very authentic. It does help that I’m reading on my Kindle and so I’m able to highlight a word and translate it – I imagine I’d be reading much more slowly if I had to figure it out on my own.

    For the next chapters I’m wondering if maybe Alfie will find a reason to seek Fin out for her unique magic? I’m curious to learn more about why hers is so special.

  30. I already love the characters, especially Alfie cause who won’t love a sailor prince? Also, he’s intelligent and not cringy, that’s great! Finn is intriguing and so funnt when drunk XD! Her powers are parfect her as a thief but maybe it just symbolizes her deep wounds.
    The powers seems really original and practical. The concept of proprio is interesting and I’m fond of the shadow’s thing.
    I can undestand the words in spanish so I’m really happy!

    I would love to have an affinity with water too like Alfie but if I have to choose a power precisely, I’ll go with controling life essence! Like that, Don’t need to move to defend myself or someone from an assassin XD
    I really hope Alfie’s brother isn’t dead because that will destroy Alfie for sure


  31. AH, the book is Alfie’s color xD sorry, still stuck on this
    I really love the appearance of spanish and portuguese words when I’m reading, it brings me such an easy smile. And I really love “azulejos”, so the book is aesthetic goals.
    Man, I hate running, I can’t even think about trying to run drunk. And stealing books from that group.

  32. I’m loving the magic and the setting for this book! I love the bits of Spanish in the book too, I took years of Spanish in school , so it definitely adds a fun flair to reading the story. I’m so intrigued by the fact that Alfie can see the colors of magic, and change his to match. I think if I had some elemental magic it would probably be water. I’ve always loved water being in and it and around.
    I am here for Finn’s sass, she is such a character! Definitely puts a smile on my face. I can’t wait to see where this story takes us!

  33. Late to start but I’m going to quickly catch up. I love the Spanish interspersed throughout the book, even though I don’t have a clue what most words are (I took french through high school and college). I have google up to use for Spanish to English translation and it’s always fun learning new words. It definitely adds to the feel of setting. I wish I could see the colors in real life as I doubt my imagination at this point in my life is doing it any justice.
    I like all sorts of magic but elemental is one of my favorites as it seems like a bond with nature which can be wondrous and/or destructive. And I’m a fire bug and would totally love to be able to control or interact with fire!

    Also did the shadows remind any one else of Peter Pan? The first mention of it made me think of him sitting down trying to sew his shadow back on. The interactions of the shadows are a unique element that I’m quite enjoying!

    Feliz lectura (Hope that’s right, correct me if it’s wrong)

  34. I’m hopeful about the characters because I love how Finn is confident yet doesn’t stray over to arrogance and Alfie is such a sweetie as he tries to find his brother. But what really caught my attention was the magic system. I absolutely loved the card game and the magic that is around is really intriguing, its definitely my favourite thing about the book so far.

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