Welcome to my Dark Side – a review of The Cold is in Her Bones by Peternelle van Arsdale

Milla is kept in her home, forced to never venture into town, and she’s never met any young girls like her. That is until she meets Iris, betrothed to her brother Niklas. The two develop a deep connection close to sisterhood, but all too late. Demons are known to corrupt young girls, and Iris is the next target. She gets taken away before she becomes a danger to society. Milla goes out to rescue her, but as this goes on she seems to have her own problems. She may be turning into a demon herself…

This book’s strongest aspect is its atmosphere. This is key to any dark fantasy, and it certainly delivered. Setting up the dark things infesting this world, instilling fear into the citizens to force them to do good and avoid demonic possession, and yet it happens anyway. The demons are set up as ruthless and discriminatory no matter the rules the people think are put in place. Van Arsdelle worked wonders to make the townsfolk fear and the readers fear in turn.

The characters were very strong here too. I’m a fan of loyal characters, and Milla, Iris and Niklas tick that box in their many ways. They were too easy to root for and an exemplary, proactive trio who face their hardships throughout. And they did it for each other. Who doesn’t love that? It’s all brilliant, all what I’m here for.

So why am I not keeping this? Well, as much as I like dark fantasy, this I realise is not the kind of dark fantasy I like. I think the ending was one thing that didn’t make me like it as much. It felt too bright for a dark fantasy. I mean yeah, we often like happy endings, but the third act didn’t feel dark enough for a third act. I’m not an emotional masochist or anything, and I recognise the themes this book was trying to show, but I think it’s just my third act curse striking again.

Don’t let that bother you. Someone else is bound to like this, someone who likes a softer ending to a dark tale. I would still recommend it to someone with the right tastes, but this book is definitely not for me.

The Cold is In Her Bones gets a score of 4/5. The darker the weather, the better the book.

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