Amber & Dusk: A Magical Tale of Courtly Intrigue (+Giveaway!)

Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Amber & Dusk!

If you’re looking for a fantasy novel filled with magic and courts and royalty, then you’ll definitely want to check this one out!

It centers around Sylvie who is heading towards her birthright. Out in the permanent twilight of the Dusklands, her guardians called her power to create illusions a curse. But it gives her a place in Coeur d’Or, the palais of the Amber Empress and her highborn legacies.

But her hope for a better life is quickly dimmed. The court is wicked and full of games, and Sylvie must navigate secretive social circles and deadly intrigue in order to claim her spot. Sylvie will eventually have to reconsider what price she’s willing to pay for the life her blood was meant to have.


3.5 stars

Unlike the last 3.5 I gave out, this I would round up to 4 stars on a whole number scale! Which is all the more important when we’re looking at my crazy rating subtleties.

I guess the first thing I should admit is that I did not have very high expectations for this. Which is kind of terrible, because I’m on the blog tour and I do think it looks cool, but historically fantasies like these have been huge let downs.

But Amber & Dusk, despite it still being similar to those fantasies, wasn’t as drab and dull and cliché. Sure, it relied on some of the same clichés–newfound royalty, political intrigue, girl uneducated in the courtly ways makes her way through court–but it actually captured my attention, which deserves a lot of credit.

wanted to keep reading and I wanted to turn the page, and that’s ultimately why I ended up giving this a positive rating. Because even though the heroine fell onto the “be nice to your maids once & you’re a nice person” trope, and she just couldn’t hold her tongue for the life of her, I was still interested in what came next.

For a debut, that’s already a pretty solid endorsement from me. It really did have the entertainment value, and it also had the interesting premise that makes a book like this appealing to readers.

Although I have no idea what scientific merit should be given to a world with a sun that never sets, I do think it’s really quite cool (and it is fantasy, so) and has a lot of roots in the magic. Plus, I really do enjoy the newfound royal trope and watching people blunder with royalty.

I do have to note that I was a tad frustrated with the main character–not only because I wasn’t big on remembering her name (it’s Sylvie–huh. Thanks, summary), but also because she felt like one of the more flat characters in the novel.

Which is weird because she’s the MC, but I feel like we’ve all read dozens of Sylvies before (although, new to YA readers haven’t) and that she’s the quintessential “ascended from poverty” girl who tries to be friendly with maids as she social climbs.

The other characters felt a lot more complex–Sunder and Lullaby and even the Empress. They were all much more unique and dimensional in the way that they didn’t rely as much on the tropes.

But, given my expectations, in the end Amber & Dusk turned out far better than I expected and was an engaging read that I didn’t want to put down! I’d recommend to anyone maybe looking for a lower YA read to introduce them to some of the darker YA novels, or anyone who wants to find something a little tropey and a little cliché, but still ultimately entertaining!

More About the Book

37825423Amber & Dusk by Lyra Selene
Publisher: Scholastic Press
Release Date: November 27, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy

Sylvie has always known she deserves more. Out in the permanent twilight of the Dusklands, her guardians called her power to create illusions a curse. But Sylvie knows it gives her a place in Coeur d’Or, the palais of the Amber Empress and her highborn legacies.

So Sylvie sets off toward the Amber City, a glittering jewel under a sun that never sets, to take what is hers.

But her hope for a better life is quickly dimmed. The empress invites her in only as part of a wicked wager among her powerful courtiers. Sylvie must assume a new name, Mirage, and begin to navigate secretive social circles and deadly games of intrigue in order to claim her spot. Soon it becomes apparent that nothing is as it appears and no one, including her cruel yet captivating sponsor, Sunder, will answer her questions. As Mirage strives to assume what should be her rightful place, she’ll have to consider whether it is worth the price she must pay.

Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes and Noble | iBooks | Book Depository | Kobo

More About the Author

Lyra Selene was born under a full moon and has never quite managed to wipe the moonlight out of her eyes. When she isn’t dreaming up fantastical cities and brooding landscapes, Lyra enjoys hiking, rainstorms, autumn, and pretending she’s any good at painting.

She lives in New England with her husband, in an antique farmhouse that’s probably not haunted. AMBER & DUSK is her debut novel.

Website | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram


Want to try your luck at winning a copy of Amber & Dusk? Check out the Rafflecopter button below for a giveaway where one lucky winner will receive a copy of Amber & Dusk! (US only) Or, you can guarantee yourself a copy by using one of the buy links in the ‘More About the Book’ section!


Thank you so much to Scholastic and The Fantastic Flying Book Club for providing me with an advance reader’s copy in exchange for an honest review! Don’t forget to check out the rest of the stops below!


November 12th

Pink Polka Dot Books– Welcome Post
Vicky Who Reads– Review

November 13th

Kat’s Books– Review & Favorite Quotes
book briefs– Review
A Backwards Story– Guest Post

November 14th

Book Slaying– Review
Utopia State of Mind– Guest Post
Book-Keeping– Review

November 15th

KookBookery– Spotlight

November 16th

808bookdr– Review & Favorite Quotes
My Lovely Secret– Book Aesthetic
Jrsbookreviews– Review
much love, vicky

Are you excited to read Amber & Dusk? What fantasy debuts have you loved?

3 thoughts on “Amber & Dusk: A Magical Tale of Courtly Intrigue (+Giveaway!)

  1. Lovely review, Vicky! ❤ I'm glad to hear you still overall found positive things about the story, despite the fact that this main character felt a bit flat for you. It's so frustrating when that happens, main characters need to be the most three dimensional ever and carry the story, too, and if I can forgive a bit "flatter" secondary characters sometimes, a main character like that is just sad 😦 Anyway, still, I'm happy you enjoyed some elements of this book and yay for more dimension to some secondary characters, too! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person


      definitely a little wild I liked the secondary more than the main, but it was definitely better than I expected, which was shocking in a good way!

      Liked by 1 person

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