One Dark Window Readalong: Day 5!

Stunning photo by @rebireads!

Hey fairy friends!

It’s the final section, are you ready to find out how One Dark Window ends? I am SO scared!

Today we’re reading from Chapter 28 to the end of the book.

Grab a snack, get comfy and let’s read!

Please be warned, the following section will include spoilers for One Dark Window by Rachel Gillig, from chapter 28 to the end of the book. Please only read on if you’ve finished One Dark Window!


Elspeth catches Emory and asks him to touch her and tell her what he sees. He tells her she doesn’t have long until he takes her over. 

Hauth tricks them all into sitting down with him for a round of truth telling with him and his Chalice card. It starts off with Hauth being asked if he’s jealous of Ravyn – yes. Has he been with another woman since his betrothal to Ione – yes. They each take turns. When it’s Ravyn’s, Elspeth asks if he’s still pretending – he never was. Then, Elspeth’s turn. Ione asks if she’s in love – yes. Hauth asks what happened to her arm. Then just when it seems things can’t get worse, Ravyn uses the Nightmare card on her. His aim is to help her, but he doesn’t realise what he’ll see. Elspeth falls to the floor, coughing up blood. So they know her secret now. 

Somehow, their luck just improved. Elspeth’s father just… hands the Well card over to her? He was given it by Elspeth’s mother and now he’s passing it onto her.

Her uncle’s next to visit her but he’s acting awfully sketchy… he takes her to visit her aunt, but it isn’t her aunt at all. It’s Hauth. What’s worse is that he didn’t even use the Scythe card on her uncle, he’s handing her over willingly.

There’s no one here to help her. Hauth knows she’s infected and he wants to use her to catch Ravyn and the others out. She asks for the Nightmare’s help once more, knowing what it will cost her.

Ravyn is trying to get to her but she tells him through the connection in their minds not to come. Even the Nightmare tells him not to come. Elspeth is slowly growing weaker, the Nightmare telling her to get up, asking her to let him help her. 

When Ravyn finally reaches her, she’s strange. She’s killed Orithe, injured Hauth and she’s oddly calm. Oddly calm about the fact she’s killed Orithe knowing it was his blood they intended to sacrifice in Emory’s place. When Ravyn goes to hold her, she snarls at him and it’s then he notices her eyes, completely yellow. The Nightmare seems to have a plan though?The Nightmare aims to trade his life for Emory’s? He knows where the Twin Alders card is and he will help the King find it…

  1. What do you think has happened to Elspeth? Ravyn can’t hear her at all if he uses the Nightmare card. Do you think she’s still in there somewhere?
  2. What would you rate One Dark Window out of 5?
  3. What was your favourite bit?
  4. Any book two predictions? ?

Well, that was a very, VERY wild ride and I did not expect that kind of ending… I need all of your thoughts, fairies!

Thank you so much, as always, for joining me for this readalong and I’ll see you again very soon for our next FairyLoot readalong!


14 thoughts on “One Dark Window Readalong: Day 5!

  1. 1. I think she has gone in some sort of coma. Having been injured to much and the toll to high, she went into a sort of coma to heal and come back stronger. I still think she is in there, but just a bit farther away and harder to reach.

    2. 4.5/5!

    3. I really love the unique world, but the parts I enjoyed most was the interaction between all the characters. Especially Elm’s sarcasm or reactions when Elspeth and Ravyn were together haha. The ending was quite shocking and unexpected and I really liked that as well!

    4. Having read chapter one of book 2, I immediately get a sense that there is much more to the story than we know right now. The Shepard king having a family and how they’ll fit in, his plans, what really happened to him, the Twin Alders card (and what it does), the Spirit of the Woods… so much is yet to be explored and I can’t wait to find it all out!
    I also strongly believe in a happy ever after, so Elspeth will come back, they will collect the whole deck, they will save all those infected and live happily ever after hahaha. Of course, not without bumps in the road to get there.

  2. 1. I think she’s been forced deep down inside of herself. Dormant, like a tree in Winter? That’s what I think of. I think (HOPE) she’s still in there.
    2. 5/5 loved it
    3. I love the relationship with the nightmare. Even though it’s dangerous and wrong I’ve never read a book about someone befriending their magic like this. I mean, I guess she doesn’t really have a choice and the nightmare is very manipulative. I just think it’s really interesting.
    3. The nightmare/Shepherd King will use part of its/Elspeth’s blood to save Emory and I hope the entire transaction will awaken Elspeth and the nightmare will let go, having done what he aimed to do – find and reunite all the cards and rid the world of the mist. Elspeth better come back, and as herself!

  3. 1. I think or better hope she is still there as I am currently total heartbroken. I am rooting for this couple so she better be somewhere fighting her way back!
    2. 5/5 this was one of my favorite picks this year. Loved the world building. Loved the characters.
    3. The slow burn romance!!!! They are so great together. And the idea with the cards… sooo cool.
    4. I think elm and iona might become a thing? Also elspeth hopefully fights her way back, this can’t be her end!!! And that evil uncle hopefully has it coming!!!!

  4. 1) He did say she was “resting”, and I hope that means her consciousness is sleeping somewhere deep in her head, not the permanent rest of death.

    2) I absolutely hate when book 1 of a series is a cliffhanger. I want the author to prove to me that they can stick the landing before I buy into a whole series of books by them. That said…I really did love this and will definitely be looking for book 2.

    3) I loved Elspeth, Ravyn and Elm. I hope Elspeth isn’t truly gone and I would love to see Elm become king instead of Hauth!

  5. Ahhhh that was so good!!! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ My first FairyLoot and one of my favorites of the year. Need book 2 ASAP ???

  6. Now, Ravyn knows. Elm knows enough, but he’s still fighting against the old stories (histories) that paint his family/ancestors as the murderers of the Shepherd King & the suppressors of the kingdom. At least, since he already is “family” to the Yews, he’ll still be considered royalty, right? Her dad gave her the Well Card! I love it. What?! “The last words I’d say to him aloud”?? No. I mean, I knew this was going to have a sequel (or a few), but this cliffhanger!
    Daily Q&A:
    1.) What do you think has happened to Elspeth? Ravyn can’t hear her at all if he uses the Nightmare card. Do you think she’s still in there somewhere?
    2.) What would you rate One Dark Window out of 5?
    3.) What was your favourite bit?
    4.) Any book two predictions? ?
    1.) I guess I thought of her as “asleep” in the back of her (now, the Nightmare’s) mind. Unharmed but unable to be present.
    2.) 4, maybe 4.5, stars. I find that I change my rating a bit up or down after reading sequels, especially cliffhangers (how much foreshadowing, how well everything ties in, etc).
    3.) My favorite part was when Elspeth & Ravyn finally broke the tension & confessed to each other.
    4.) While unsure how many books are supposed to be in this series, I’m hoping to unravel the Ione mystery in the next book. I’m really looking forward to how the Nightmare is going to uphold his end of these bargains. He would never willingly help King Rowan, so I’m curious to see what tricks he has up his sleeve to dupe him. I’d like Elm & the Nightmare (& Elspeth) to clear the air. If this is a duology, I’d like to predict a miraculous HEA.

  7. 1. Elspeth is absolutely still in there and I believe Ravyn’s going to find some way to save her! Maybe by collecting all the cards she’ll be brought back.

    2. Definitely 5 out 5. Absolutely loved this wild ride and innovative magic system.

    3. Okay, her father gifting her the Well was not at all what I expected and beyond the sweetest thing I’ve read in this book so far. I really enjoyed that moment of tenderness and grief.

    4. Ravyn’s gonna save her! And I think her father might join the cause and help start tracking down cards. Maybe that’s why he just gave her the Well. I’m excited to see how Ione fights against the Maiden card and help from the inside.

  8. 1. I think Elspeth is still in there however they will have to work together through book 2 to beat the king and get her in control of her body once again.

    2. I would say a 3.5. There are parts that I love and parts that lagged a bit. I did enjoy it and would recommend it.

    3. I loved getting to see Elspeth together with Ravyn even if it was only for a short bit. He handled the secrets super well they definitely have to communicate better but it’s getting there.

    4. I think book 2 will be a lot of deception. I don’t know if the Monster is going to help or hurt. I know we have to trust them but I’m not fully sure I do. However., he did take protecting Elspeth seriously.

  9. 1. I think she’s trapped in her own mind. I wonder if she’s aware of everything that’s happening??
    2. 5/5 this was amazing.

    3. I really love the whole world, the plot, the magic system, the characters. Everything!

    4. I have a theory that Ravyn is a descendant of the Shepherd King and that’s gonna play a part. Idk. I’m so excited for the sequel! What’s gonna happen to the magic in the world once the cards are joined?

    Tbh the Nightmare seems keen and a lil bit sus so I feel like there’s a double cross comin somewhere…

  10. 1. I definitely think Elspeth is still in there but hidden and asleep and hard to reach

    2. 4 stars!

    3. I loved the setting and the concept of the magic and Elm and Emory were my favourites!

    4. Well they still have to find the twin alders card and take down the veil so I’m expecting that be apart of it but also I’m thinking a lot of the Shepherd Kings history will plan a part and we’ll learn more about what actually happened and maybe get rid of the Rowans as royalty??

  11. 1- I mean, she has to be in there somewhere, right? It feels a bit early to kill off a protagonist.

    2- I gave it 4/5 stars.

    3- definitely the magic system and world building. It was super intriguing and I love how it tied in neatly with the history and surroundings.

    4- I’m guessing we’ll learn more about The Shepard King and the final card, the Twin Alders.

  12. 1. I think Elspeth is still there (she has to be!), but has relinquished all the control to the Nightmare as that was the final payment for his help. She sacrificed herself to keep the others safe and ensure they’ll continue the mission and eventually find all the cards.

    2. I liked it a lot! I give it a 4.5/5 only because it ended in a cliffhanger and I don’t know yet how the whole story will pan out.

    3. I liked all the different character interactions, the slow burn romance between Ravyn and Elspeth, and the unique magic system.

    4. I’m looking forward to finding out what the Twin Alders card does, and more about the Shepherd King’s story, his deal with the Spirit of the Woods and the betrayal by the Rowan that took the throne for himself. I also want a happy ending for Elspeth and Ravyn. Also, I want to find out what’s the long game Ione is playing as I think there’s is more to her than meets the eye.

  13. 1. I think Elspeth is buried deep within her own mind. She’s there but not really conscious.

    2. 5/5

    3. Just Elspeth and Ravyn’s whole relationship. I love them together.

    4. I think Elspeth will be okay and she and Ravyn will get to be together in the end. I’m not sure who will be sacrificed though if it’s not her. I also think we will learn more about the nightmare and who he once was.

  14. I’m sure Elspeth is still in there and will come back.

    4 stars

    Really wish we had book two immediately

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