Story: A Touch of Night
Author: Sarah Hoyt & Sofie Skapski
Story URL: Story Link 1
Alternate URL: Story Link 2
Published Version (w/ add’l scenes): Naked Reader, Amazon or Barnes & Noble (see author’s comment below for details)
Word count: 73,500
Summary: A world in which neither Bennets nor Darcys are quite what they seem to be. Secrets long hidden cast long shadows.
I love it when stories Wow me as this one did! As you’ll see by the recent posts, lately I’ve been going through the fantasy genre in the JA fandom. This fic came as a surprise, as I couldn’t imagine anything new under the sun after reading numerous other creative JA fantasy fics. But, whoa mama, what a treat!
Just as soon as I thought I had figured out all the secrets in this story, along with who had secrets to hide, the authors pulled the rug out from under me with a major surprise. Then the same thing would happen again. And again. Either I’m not that perceptive of a reader (quite probable) or they’re very good at subtly weaving hidden plot threads throughout the story, then tripping up my theories by revealing them in the most brilliant spots.
Another thing I liked about this story is the way the authors handled what Elizabeth mistakenly thinks is going on with Mr. Darcy. Her assumption was understandable and her reaction to that assumption was very much in keeping with the time period. I appreciated that the authors kept the story true to its time period in that regard. For her to have reacted any other way would’ve thrown me out of the story by seeming untrue to either her character (had she reacted more harshly) or the era in which she was raised (by behaving less so).
There were things about the atmosphere and descriptions of society in this story which reminded me of Naomi Novik’s book, His Majesty’s Dragon. (Excellent series, by the way. I strongly endorse it!) I’m struggling to explain that similarity in tangible terms without spoiling this fic, as it is certainly not that there is any similarity in the creatures. I’ll just say that if you’ve read that book, you will be quite likely to enjoy this fanfic.
Finally, there are reasons in this story to absolutely love Lydia, Mr. Bennet, and Mr. Collins. Each of them had me in stitches at times, and I can’t decide which character I love best!
My Only Critique:
The biggest problem with this story is that I was so caught up in the tale, I couldn’t stand to read it at a normal pace, and found myself whizzing through it, desperate to reach the resolutions of each situation. So I blame the authors for my inability to offer any critique, as I was devouring the fic too voraciously to take notes. Oh! But I will whine about this: Given the discussion that Darcy and Col. Fitzwilliam have in Chapter Twenty, I really wish we had the chance to see how Mr. Darcy’s fears were subdued. Obviously everything worked out okay, but still; inquiring minds want to know. 😉