One Dark Window Readalong: Day 4!

Gorgeous photo by @readwithacapricorn!

Hey fairies!

Welcome back to day 4 of our readalong of One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig! Things are getting tense, and with two sections to go I have a feeling these chapters will be full of drama!

Today we’re reading from Chapter 21 to the end of Chapter 27.

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig, from chapters 21 to 27. Please only read on if you’ve finished this section!


I know they say you shouldn’t fight fire with fire, but I’m mighty glad Ravyn fought Hauth and injured his hand in the process! Not so glad about the subsequent whispers from Elm to Ravyn about how Elspeth has abilities they don’t know about and Hauth looks like he was attacked by an animal, not a woman. Elm wants Ravyn to use the Nightmare card on her. Thankfully Ravyn objects to it.

Ravyn takes Elspeth to see the cards they’ve collected, he teaches her how to access them and how to lock them back away.

I knew it! I knew there was real romance between them!

When Elspeth sees the man from her dream, she runs from Ravyn. She soon realises it’s not the Nightmare inhabiting her mind at all, but the Shepherd King himself. Part of her degeneration is that whatever the entity she absorbed is, it’s slowly taking over her. When she asks for his help, he becomes stronger and she’s losing control. 

Market day comes around and a number of notable things happen, my favourite being Ravyn admitting he was reluctant about courting her because she was already on his mind too much and he worried it would distract him. My least favourite being Elm questioning Elspeth’s eyes, again, and Hauth ordering a public execution.

Elspeth takes the boy, with the help of the Nightmare, and successfully saves him. The price Elspeth pays is steep though, she let the Nightmare take control and he has attacked a Destrier. Luckily the second Destrier to find her is Ravyn. But he notices her yellow eyes.

Elspeth has a really lucky escape thanks to Ravyn covering her tracks, but it’s not the end of the drama, because Emory has run away from Stone. 

When they find him, he seems different. He doesn’t remember Elspeth. He seems a lot more coherent. 

Elspeth finally admits to Ravyn that she’s degenerating. She explains that’s why she attacked Linden and why Elm is losing trust in her.

  1. Do you think Hauth knows that it was Elspeth who attacked him?
  2. What do you think will happen to Elspeth if they don’t find the last two cards?
  3. Is Elm right not to trust her?

Drama drama DRAMA!!!!

I’m glad we got to see a more coherent side of Emory though because his vibe was off before. He actually seems very nice!

See you tomorrow for our final section!


13 thoughts on “One Dark Window Readalong: Day 4!

  1. Definitely think Hauth knows!! I think he’d have to be pretty daft to not.
    I worry that Elspeth is losing control and may not be able to regain it.

    I truly love Elm as a character and I don’t think it’s that he doesn’t trust Elspeth – I think he doesn’t trust who she is when The Nightmare takes over which I think is valid.

  2. 1. I don’t think he knows. I kinda believe Elm when he says his brother isn’t as clever. Ione certainly knows and might play that information in her favour with Hauth.

    2. She’ll succumb to the Nightmare in her head and will be a mere passenger in her own body. Kinda scary, but I think she and the Nightmare will swap places the more she uses his powers. She’ll become the voice in his head instead of the other way around.

    3. Yes and no. He is right not to trust her since she isn’t telling the whole truth. He isn’t right not to trust her since her motive is the same as them. She wants to find the other two cards so she can be cured. I don’t believe she will betray them or anything similar.

  3. It’s about time!! (Both, Elspeth confiding in Ravyn & them breaking the tension between them – poor, Thistle! Lol.) My theory was also confirmed that the Yews were tied to the Shepherd King. Emory, spot on, as usual VS Elm, wanting to believe the histories of his family being fed to the kingdom instead of believing himself descendent of the villains (despite his father & brother falling very easily into that portrayal). I feel for him because he has a hard pill to swallow in the coming future. Ione’s growing coldness, her obvious suspicion regarding Elspeth’s injury & Hauth’s story of his own, then sticking up for her (at what price?), all of which makes me wary of this new Maiden Card Ione. Plus, what’s up with the hate or disgust or whatever is between this betrothed pair?
    Daily Q&A:
    1.) Do you think Hauth knows that it was Elspeth who attacked him?
    2.) What do you think will happen to Elspeth if they don’t find the last two cards?
    3.) Is Elm right not to trust her?
    1.) I think he suspects, but his pride is clouding things.
    2.) The Nightmare (Shepherd King) will help her. He’s always protected her, & despite his Nightmare persona, he’s always tried to protect the “infected” & seems to want her to finish this. Why else help her see the Providence Cards? Why coax her into being honest with Ravyn?
    3.) I think Elm being cautious of her is helpful because it’s true, she wasn’t honest with them from the beginning, despite his Scythe Card tactics even. Also, it’s not always her running the show, & the Nightmare has his own ideas of what’s “helping” Elspeth (ex: how he dealt with Linden). Plus, the Nightmare doesn’t like the Rowans, so I think it’s wise for him to tread carefully with her.

  4. Ah, I can’t believe I guessed that the more the nightmare uses the more he takes her over!
    This book is so good and I can understand Elm’s hesitancy because he isn’t exactly wrong… so happy that Ravyn and Elspeth finally had their moment alone too!
    I have no idea how this one is going to end but I think Hauth will have a big part to play…

  5. 1. He totally knows however, he doesn’t have enough evidence.

    2. I think she will be lost and the king will take over.

    3. I think elm is right. He feels something is off and when and if the king takes over they are not going to be able to trust her.

  6. 1. I think he does and he’s keeping that info close. He probably has grand plans for its use. 🙁
    2. The monster will inevitably take over. I hope that Elspeth won’t be truly gone forever then, just subdued, in a corner of herself. She can’t die, right?
    3. I think Elm is right to be wary. She hasn’t told them everything and he has to protect this chosen family he’s fought so hard for.

  7. 1) I think he’s got a pretty strong suspicion yeah.

    2) The Nightmare takes over. I wonder if it would be like possessing her fully or…transforming her into himself, more than just her eyes?

    3) Only in that her degeneration could mean that she turns from ally to enemy, but it’s really the Nightmare that shouldn’t be trusted, not Elspeth herself.

  8. I changed my mind. I don’t want the Nightmare anymore ??

  9. Very gratified to learn that the Nightmare is the Shepard King.

    This section was fully of action, from the insane risk Elspeth took to save the infected child and his parents to the much steamier than expected action between Elspeth and Ravyn.

    It’s time to start thinking about how this is going to wind up since it’s the first in a series. Unfortunately I don’t think Emory will make it to the end. I think they’ll have time to get either the Well card or the Twin Alders, but not both. And poor spurned Alyx, will definitely be making another appearance, probably a vengeful one. Can’t wait to see how it ends!

  10. Just finished this segment and I’m super excited to move on to the last, as this was incredibly exciting!

    1- I think he does. He just lacks the evidence to prove it’s her. I think Ione knows too. But she probably won’t say anything, as I’m getting the feelings he’s mistreated her too, hence her enjoying him breaking a few bones.

    2- the Nightmare, or rather The Shepherd King, is definitely going to seize control of her body. I can FEEL it.

    3- I dare say he is, considering how she’s slowly losing control to the Nightmare. He doesn’t know that, of course, but it’s definitely starting to show. So I honestly don’t blame him, especially since the life of his cousin is on the line.

  11. 1. I think Hauth suspects it could be Elspeth as he would be suspicious to see she has an injury in the same arm as his the highwayman that attacked him.

    2. If they don’t find the last two cards Elspeth will continue to degenerate and eventually the Shepherd King will take over.

    3. Elm is right not to trust her if he thinks Elspeth is keeping secrets from them, but I hope when he gets to know her better and finds out the reason she kept those secrets he can be more understanding and eventually trusts her.

  12. 1. I think he questioned it once he noticed her wrist. I guessing he is going to dwell on it and the more he thinks about it he will be convinced it was her.

    2. I think the nightmare will completely take over her mind and body and she will be no more or she will be like a shadow in her own mind and body.

    3. From his perspective I totally understand why he does not trust her. He’s protective and wants to ensure his family’s safety and knows she’s hiding something. Since we know what she feels and thinks it’s easier for us to trust her.

  13. 1. Hauth definitely should suspect Elspeth but I’m not sure if his pride, misogyny and average intelligence will let him accept it.

    2. Maybe the Shepherd King will take the cards for himself? Maybe he will move to another body? But probably we will end up with a situation where Elspeth looses control to the Shepherd King.

    3. In a way Elm is right. Definitely can’t trust that Elspeth will maintain control of her mind and body.

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