THE SERPENT & THE WINGS OF NIGHT
BY CARISSA BROADBENT
Human or vampire, the rules of survival are the same: never trust, never yield, and always – always – guard your heart.
The adopted human daughter of the Nightborn vampire king, Oraya carved her place in a world designed to kill her. Her only chance to become something more than prey is entering the Kejari: a legendary tournament held by the goddess of death herself.
But winning won’t be easy amongst the most vicious warriors from all three vampire houses. To survive, Oraya is forced to make an alliance with a mysterious rival.
Everything about Raihn is dangerous. He is a ruthless vampire, an efficient killer, an enemy to her father’s crown… and her greatest competition. Yet, what terrifies Oraya most of all is that she finds herself oddly drawn to him.
But there’s no room for compassion in the Kejari. War for the House of Night brews, shattering everything that Oraya thought she knew about her home. And Raihn may understand her more than anyone – but their blossoming attraction could be her downfall, in a kingdom where nothing is more deadly than love.
The Serpent & The Wings of Night was a new and fresh vampire story with a great plot. The plot unfortunately wasn’t backed by good (or really any) world building though. It had the potential to be the next ACOTAR and instead it just ended up falling flat.
Oraya was a human living in the heart of a vampire world. Picked up with the vampire king as a child she learned how to hone her teeth and was determined to make a place for herself along with the other humans in this world. She was well trained but even that can only get an average human so far when placed against vampire opponents. That’s really all I could tell you about her. I don’t even know what she looks like beyond having black hair. What I can say is without Raihn’s compassion towards her she wouldn’t have survived the competition.
Raihn, our vampire love interest, really carried this book. He was loyal to his friends and people while also compassionate towards humans. While over 200 years old, he still managed to old onto his humanity and a human heart. I loved him and that our morally grey dark-haired love interest had red hair for once. All that being said, he kinda felt like a Rhysand dupe, except maybe kinder.
Romance-wise it’s a slow, tension filled build that delivers. They were two of a kind and complimented each other well. Both knowing just how it feels to not fit into the world and wanting to make it a better place. While not a spicy read, it does give us a couple amazing steamy scenes.
So now onto the downfall of this book; the worldbuilding. While I don’t need every question answered immediately, if something is going to be talked about, happening or mentioned the whole time it should probably be explained. I have no idea how the competition worked beyond that there were five trials. We weren’t told ANYTHING else about it and it just annoyed me.
The magic system wasn’t explained either. I have no idea what asteris was or a few other made up but they were used multiple times with no explanation. There were also 12 gods/goddesses but beyond Nyaxia we really weren’t told about them and even her story wasn’t explained well. We have 3 houses of vampires with The House of Night (the ruling house) having two kinds of peoples in it but we don’t know anything about them beyond that they can rule and basically are constantly at civil war. I couldn’t go on but I’m cutting myself off here.
The Serpent and the Wings of Night was a fast paced story that, while flawed, managed to keep me in entertained. The ending was so wild that made me want to pick up the next book. I’m hoping the second book will fill in the gaping holes of this world left by the first book. If you go into this book and don’t focus too much on the holes, the vibes and romance aren’t half bad.