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Dark Fey Trilogy by Cynthia A. Morgan

Book 1: The Reviled

Cynthia A. Morgan’s Dark Fey Trilogy has found a permanent home on my bookshelves. That says a lot about my feelings toward this first book, The Reviled. Because stories have so many elements to them, I feel it’s only fair to break down my review into four categories: Plot, Prose, Character Development, and Originality. Overall, The Reviled has earned a solid 4 out of 5 stars.


  • Plot 4/5

First off, this plot is fast moving. It starts out very mysteriously, with Ayla having the sense that someone is watching her. He is an unfamiliar, dark presence. Almost like a shadow, for she can never make out his shape in the treeline of the forest. She’s guardian to the childfey. It’s her job to protect them, but she often finds herself distracted by this recently detected “dark presence.”


As Ayla discovers the awkwardness and joys of “first love,” with Mardan, the dark presence continues to press in, getting braver and braver. He eventually reveals himself to Ayla. And he’s nothing like what she had imagined. Just when he discloses what he wants from Ayla, the Reviled find their way to Ayla’s home. They mean to frighten her into giving over what they came for.


I was on the edge of my seat, for the last half of this book. Truly, it was a joy to both listen to and read. Yes! I listened to the audiobook and read the paperback. It was that good. :)


  • Prose/Style & Grammar 4/5

Morgan did such a great job with the names she used, such as the character names, cities, and clips of their spoken language. There is a distinct difference between Celebrae and Dlalth. It really helped me feel immersed in the world of the Fey.


Her style reminds me of classical writing. Very reminiscent to Jane Austen, but in the genre of Fantasy. She wonderfully describes characters’ emotions in the classical way, where it gets to the point, but is written with the intent to stream together effortlessly like music.


Though there are typos in the paperback (that were hardly distracting), these typos do not exist in the audiobook version. Yay! Oh, and to warn you, it might take some time for the narrator’s voice to grow on you, but it should after a few chapters or so. I began to love how crisp and controlled the narrator’s voice is. I was able to take in more of the book than I had anticipated, because her voice isn’t as fast as others I’ve heard.


  • Character Development 4/5

The main character, Ayla, is perhaps a favorite of mine, out of the many books I’ve read over the years. She comes off as shy, at first, but then guarded. Once her abilities are shown later on in the story, it becomes clearer why she behaves the way she does. Though the character cast is short, in this first book of the trilogy, I didn’t mind. Morgan did very well, fleshing her characters out. Each one acted in a realistic way. I never got the feeling that the characters were rushing ahead of the story, acting in ways that were stinted or forced. Their progression was satisfactory.


  • Originality 5/5

I love the originality of The Reviled. There are enough familiar themes to be reminded of mainstream stories, but it is certainly different enough to stand on its own merit. It’s apparent that Cynthia A. Morgan has worked hard to build the world Ayla lives in. And what a beautiful, mysterious, and, at times, dark world it is. I’m left with a craving to hear the continuation on audiobook.


Thanks for reading to the end. I urge you, if you don’t have the time to read these days, try out the audiobook version of The Reviled.


Book 2: Standing in Shadows


Cynthia A. Morgan’s Dark Fey Trilogy is breathtaking! I’ve listened to all three books and have read The Reviled and Standing in Shadows. This review is for Standing in Shadows. It is a shining continuation of Ayla and Gairynzvl’s story. I can’t wait for you to see how they grow in this second book. Morgan has added to her cast of characters and I couldn’t be happier. Evondair, one of the Healers, Ilys, and Rehstaed are my favorite additions to the world Morgan has created. Rehstaed is sarcastic, kind when it counts, and an overall deep character. Ilys adds spice to the cast with her abrasive outspokenness. And Evondair is that character who brings the group together. Wisdom amongst chaos best describes him.

Characters aside, the story is captivating; at times, a tear-jerker, especially the last two pages. The group prepares for the journey, eventually setting out for Uunglarda to rescue the kidnapped childfey. Interestingly enough, I didn’t feel the same emotions listening to the book when compared to reading it for myself. This series is best read alone, in the dark, with only lamplight nearby. The immersiveness is greatly amplified in this type of setting.

If you love the style and romance of Jane Austen’s books, as well as the epic fantasy story undertones of Tolkien, you MUST read this trilogy. Morgan’s style continues to have that classic ambiance. Sure, there are typos in the physical books. But they don’t matter. The tale is far too wonderful to even be bothered by the irritation that can come with spotting typos. I get it! I hate finding typos. With these books, however, I don’t care. I love the story. If you suffer from past trauma, this series just might patch up a piece of your broken heart by the end of book 3 – Breaking into the Light. Read it, fall in love with it, then share it with those you know will be captured by the tale as well. It’s a beautiful story of light versus dark, good versus evil. This story hasn’t been done before, though. And that is why I plan on reading it again and again. This book gets a 5 out of 5 stars.


Best wishes,



I joined Reedsy Discovery, sometime late last year. In a roundabout way, this is how I discovered the Dark Fey Trilogy. Consider joining, to get access to some real gems. Fyi, if you join with the link on this page, I will get  some compensation if/when you publish your first review on there. 

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