One Dark Window Readalong: Day 2!

Beautiful photo by @jesonemorepage!

Hi Fairy Friends!

Welcome back to day 2 of our readalong of One Dark Window. I hope you’re all loving the book so far!

Today we’re reading from chapter 8 to the end of chapter 14. Let’s go!

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig, from chapters 8 to 14. Please only read on if you’ve finished this section!


Ravyn, Elm, Filick and Jespyr are subjecting Elspeth to a test to see if she can actually see Providence cards. Even blindfolded, she can see them.

I’m sensing a little bit of flirting between Ravyn and Elspeth at dinner and honestly, I’m here for it.

Things go south, or further south, when Hauth announces Tyrn Hawthorn has been knighted and not only that, but Ione Hawthorn, who has now definitely used the Maiden card, will be his wife.

It’s time for Elspeth to be tested to see if she’s trustworthy enough to join the inner circle Ravyn is part of. Luckily, she has the Nightmare to help her through it. Although, he can’t help her when Elm asks if she thinks Ravyn is handsome and she’s forced to admit she does…

They want the cards for the same reason the King does, to get rid of the infection and the mist, the difference is the King intends to sacrifice Emory to do it. Alas, Elspeth agrees to help.

They need Elspeth close if they’re to pull this off, and so they come up with a plan to invite Elspeth to Castle Yew under the pretence that Ravyn would like to court her. He’s not happy with the idea, although he does admit that she’s beautiful. Maybe he’s more worried about his ability to make it convincing? From what we’ve seen so far I don’t think that’ll be a huge problem!

Emory doesn’t have long to live. Magic comes at a cost and it’s taken a lot from him, he degenerates more every solstice. When they find him, he’s not far off starting a fight, and Ravyn is the one to intercept and put himself in harm’s way. In the middle of a conversation about how Emory told Elm about her black eyes and dark magic, Elm lets slip that Ravyn is also infected. Interesting.

So Ravyn can’t use specific Providence cards, nor can they be used against him. They lose their magic when they touch his skin.

As they dance and continue their ruse, Emory spots Elspeth and calls her the Nightmare, quoting from The Old Book of Alders. So now we know, when Emory touched Elspeth, he saw what’s inside her head. He knows the Nightmare lives in her mind.

  1. Why do you think Ravyn kept his infection/magic from Elspeth? Do you think it’s relevant to why he’s so reluctant to court her?
  2. What are your theories on why Ravyn wants to stay away from Elspeth?
  3. There seems to be a lot more infected people around than Elspeth initially thought. Do you have any theories on who else is infected? Or who the infected person Ravyn and his team intend to sacrifice in Emory’s stead?
  4. What do you think will happen if/when they all find out what Elspeth’s real power is?

Things are getting very, very interesting!

Can’t wait to read another section with you all tomorrow. ?


16 thoughts on “One Dark Window Readalong: Day 2!

  1. 1. He has to know he can trust her.
    2. I wonder what the consequences are for 2 infected people. I think he is used to keeping people at arm’s length. 3. I think he’s reluctant to court her because it’ll be so painfully obvious that he’s falling for her.
    4. I’m curious if the King or more royals are. I am very curious to know who they plan to sacrifice.
    5. They will think she’s dangerous. I don’t know what they’ll do but I hope they understand and try to help vs. reveal her.

    1. For sure I think that she’ll be thought dangerous by the others– it’s a really intense power and the idea of something loving inside of her already giving her power is clearly so intimidating she hasn’t shared that with anyone

  2. I loved that we got detailed explanations of all the cards and what they do. Love that Ravyn has such a cool, useful magic that’s pretty complementary to Elspeth’s. Most of all, I am so here for the fake dating! Would not have expected it, but I’m very excited to see how it progresses.

    Still waiting on more info on those creepy Physicians, that ominous Prince Hauth, and what the Nightmare is doing inside her head.

  3. I think the Nightnare is the Shepard King- just saying ?

    So here for the fake dating, but have no idea why Ravyn seems so reluctant or cagey around her ?

  4. I’m so glad we got know more about all the different cards, I love the concept of it all!

    I’m intrigued who they’re planning on sacrificing… they said some thing about it being someone who’s done awful things… maybe the prince hauth since he seems highly questionable and considering two other royals are infected, it could be a possibility!

    And I’m so here for the fake dating and very amused at how horrified Ravyn was about the idea ? can’t wait to see where is goes next!

  5. 1. I’m not sure why he kept that from her. I actually didn’t see that revelation coming. Either he is afraid of himself and doesn’t want to get close to Elspeth to avoid hurting her, or he doesn’t trust her enough yet to reveal that as he know she is also keeping secrets. I think he is reluctant to pretend courting her because he is attracted to her.
    2. He is keeping away from her because he knows he is infected and is used to keeping people at arms length.
    3. I don’t know who else is infected but I guess the person they want to use instead of Emory must be one working close to the king, as they said this person has done terrible things and deserves it.
    4. I’m not sure what their reaction will be, but hopefully by then they know Elspeth better and would be able to trust her and help her.

  6. 1. I think it’s just second nature for him to keep it a secret. And really, he doesn’t know her that we’ll yet so I think he’s valid in not telling her right away.

    2. I think he doesn’t want any distractions from the mission.

    3. I think there’s a lot more infected than we’re initially led to believe and I’m excited to see how they develop and are revealed. Maybe the King himself??

    4. I think it’s going to cause some tension within the group, definitely. Hopefully they can understand why she kept it a secret.

  7. 1. To a certain extent, I feel like he kept his infection from her due to not trusting her fully and likely some other reason that we aren’t aware of yet.

    2. I’m honestly not entirely sure for this one. I’m curious if there is more to his magic where he is concerned about hurting her in some way. Or he just might not be used to letting people in.

    3. No idea for this one but looking forward to finding out more!

    4. I’m sure they’ll be upset that she wasn’t entirely honest with them. I’m curious though if they will still trust her or if it will turn out that here true power is actually even more useful.

    Loving this book so far!

  8. I’m disappointed in Ione for using the card. Despite thinking she might, I hoped she’d hold out. As for Emory, both of my suspicions about him have been confirmed: he’s infected, & he knows more about Elspeth than anyone else now. I really hope Ravyn & Elspeth can work out this obvious budding romance between them. (I loved how his sister, Jespyr, made this call for him & his mom took the idea & ran with it.) Also, this whole “slow drip” of truth thing with the Nightmare is going to be the death of me. I need to know!
    1.) It might affect his willingness to court Elspeth if maybe he feels their magic is incompatible or maybe he’s reluctant to grow closer to her when they might both be doomed to degeneration?
    2.) I think Ravyn might want to protect her (instead of putting her further at risk), might not feel worthy of her (despite her also being infected), or he might be protecting himself (see answer 1). Or some combination therein.
    3.) At this point, anyone could be infected: the Prince(s), the King himself! As for the infected person they intend to take Emory’s place as sacrifice, it was said that this person was someone close to the King, someone who’d done great wrongs. I feel like this could be a number of people. Not only could it be people that we feel have done wrongs, but I also feel there’s a possibility that Ravyn might be referring to himself because there’s nothing he wouldn’t do for his brother (also another reason why he might want to distance himself from Elspeth).
    4.) I have this feeling that she’s supposed to touch all of the cards, absorb the whole deck, & be the sacrifice (or at the very least, a much bigger player in it). I’m sure Ravyn will be hurt that she lied & kept this from him, especially after she just tried to lay into him for keeping his infection a secret from her.

  9. This section was chefs kiss!
    1. I think Ravyn kept his secret from Elspeth because only a few he trusts knows. Maybe he’s also doing it to protect her? I don’t think he wants to “court her” because he is interested in her and knows that everything could go south really fast and the closer their ties the higher probability the backlash could affect her.

    2. I think he knows there is more to her than meets the eye. I also think he had the stoic Mr. Darcy thing going of if I stay away and act like I don’t like her I will be fine. Ha.

    3. Maybe they plan to sacrifice Elspeth. Wouldn’t that be a twist!!! But I think a lot of those close to the king have been infected but because they serve the king and are considered useful they are granted permission to continue living.

    4. Everything will hit the fan. I think any trust will be gone and that maybe it will be revealed with a betrayal or lead to a betrayal.

  10. Weirded out that I can’t even see these pages on my computer…here comes all the phone typing ughhh.

    1) I think he just doesn’t like giving up his secrets unless he has to.

    2) I don’t think he’s used to being close to anyone and he does seem to be attracted to her, which probably scares him.

    3) Ravyn might offer himself? He seems potentially noble enough for that.

    4) Nothing for it but to have her absorb all the cards. If they can’t figure out how to get them out of her, gotta get the rest of them into her to unite the deck.

  11. 1. I think it would have to do with why he’s reluctant, but it feels like there is more to it. His infection/magic might come at a high price that he doesn’t want anyone to know.

    2. I think he somehow fancies Elspeth, but maybe felt something (to do with his magic) when near/touching her. It might be for that reason that he wants to keep away. At the same time I keep wondering what it costs him. That might also be a reason for wanting to stay away, if the cost of his magic can come at the expanse of others.

    3. I think Ravyn would be someone who would sacrifice himself just to save his brother, although that would undermine their goal of saving Emery. I don’t think his parents would save one child over the other. It might be an important person, not yet shown, or even someone as Hauth that is also infected that they would want to sacrifice.

    4. Some repercussion will happen. She has not really lied, just not spoken the whole truth. Lying by omission is still lying though, as she accused Ravyn of that as well. While I think the trust that will be build will shatter, I do believe her magic is what will “save” them all in the end.

  12. 1.
    I think he doesn’t trust easily and that’s also why he’s not interested in courting her. He has bigger things to worry about like saving his brother and all the other infected.

    I think he is attracted to her but also doesn’t want to go down that path not only because of what I referenced in the first question but also because he may want to distance himself from her so she doesn’t get unwanted attention since she’s infected too.

    I have zero ideas as to anyone else being infected so I am also not sure about anyone else being infected. Maybe it’s the King.

    I think they won’t trust her and been betrayed. I think they will want to kick her out of the group and in the end realize it is an asset.

  13. Well, this book is certainly getting more and more interesting with each page turned. Quite refreshing, actually. I really enjoyed this segment of chapters, especially since I feel like it brought us closer to the characters. I’m really loving Emory, despite the fact we haven’t seen as much of him compared to the others.

    1- him not telling her makes sense to me. I mean she’s the daughter of a noble house and that’s a secret that could potentially be very dangerous, not just for him, but his entire family, if it fell into the wrong hands. Not sure how this ties into his reluctance to court her, though. I do have a sneaking suspicion he doesn’t want to get close to her, because he plans to sacrifice himself.

    2- not sure really, but I think it’s a mix of the two I mentioned in the question above. He doesn’t know if he can trust her and he doesn’t want to get too close, if my theory is correct and he indeed is the sacrifice.

    3- I don’t think there’s anymore infected around, since there’s already quite a few. Like I said, I think he’s going to sacrifice himself. The way he stated it just felt very vague, but in a “I’m talking about myself” kind of way.

    4- I can definitely see this having huge consequences for her, especially if she grows to be friends (and perhaps more) with them.

  14. I think that Ravyn kept his secret for the same reason that Elspeth is keeping hers– there needs to be fair more trust and it’s been such a short period of time.

    I love the sense of growing attraction but also trust between them but I’m sending that Elspeth not confiding her own powers could seriously backfire.

  15. 1 and 2. I definitely think Ravyn fancies her so it’s probably to do with the infection.

    3. Who ever the sacrifice is it will be someone who has an emotional effect on Elspeth…. her father? Several people are predicting that it will be Ravyn himself which would certainly explain his reluctance to get close to Elspeth

    4. I think the Nightmare is the Sheperd King… maybe bringing all the cards together will release him back to his original form?

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