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Allegra had tried compromise and all she had to show for her work was a crater in the side of a mountain. She had tried peace, and that just made the rebellion worse. She had seen a demon with her very eyes, and that hadn’t been enough to move the cardinals into action. But despite all this, never had she thought they would try to murder her. When General Bonacieux shows up Allegra had tried compromise and all she had to show for her work was a crater in the side of a mountain. She had tried peace, and that just made the rebellion worse. She had seen a demon with her very eyes, and that hadn’t been enough to move the cardinals into action. But despite all this, never had she thought they would try to murder her. When General Bonacieux shows up at the Cathedral to demand she be turned over for public execution, the cardinals waver. Instead of submitting, Allegra declares her own war: freedom for all mages. As new demon marks open on Orsini soil, Allegra takes a stand against the very people who gave her power. For as Captain Stanton Rainier said, they would only get her over his dead body. So much for peace.


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Allegra had tried compromise and all she had to show for her work was a crater in the side of a mountain. She had tried peace, and that just made the rebellion worse. She had seen a demon with her very eyes, and that hadn’t been enough to move the cardinals into action. But despite all this, never had she thought they would try to murder her. When General Bonacieux shows up Allegra had tried compromise and all she had to show for her work was a crater in the side of a mountain. She had tried peace, and that just made the rebellion worse. She had seen a demon with her very eyes, and that hadn’t been enough to move the cardinals into action. But despite all this, never had she thought they would try to murder her. When General Bonacieux shows up at the Cathedral to demand she be turned over for public execution, the cardinals waver. Instead of submitting, Allegra declares her own war: freedom for all mages. As new demon marks open on Orsini soil, Allegra takes a stand against the very people who gave her power. For as Captain Stanton Rainier said, they would only get her over his dead body. So much for peace.

30 review for The Nightmare We Know

  1. 4 out of 5

    Jack

    The Nightmare We Know is the second instalment of Krista D. Ball's The Dark Abyss of Our Sins series. The series is a tight knit work, centring around Allegra, a countess, and more importantly, the Arbiter of Justice. The series itself centres around themes of repression, revolt, equality and humanity. Oh, and a little bit of feel good romance thrown in here and there. It can't be all doom and gloom. At the end of the first novel, Allegra's abbey had just been burnt down, crushing a summoned demo The Nightmare We Know is the second instalment of Krista D. Ball's The Dark Abyss of Our Sins series. The series is a tight knit work, centring around Allegra, a countess, and more importantly, the Arbiter of Justice. The series itself centres around themes of repression, revolt, equality and humanity. Oh, and a little bit of feel good romance thrown in here and there. It can't be all doom and gloom. At the end of the first novel, Allegra's abbey had just been burnt down, crushing a summoned demon at the same time. The protagonists are in full retreat, not knowing if their friends are alive or not, and are fleeing a hostile army. Thus opens the second book. The novel is primarily set in the papal (papal-like?) city state of Orsini, focusing on the religious power brokers as they come to terms of the news that both Staton, a Captain, and romantic interest of our protag, and then later Allegra. The news that General Bonacieux murdered a queen, that demons are real, and that he's on his way here and he'll probably kill them all. Fun times. And as these things tend to go, they disbelieve and argue. God, what a group of pretentious pricks. More demon marks appear, tension filled conversations are abound. relationships are made and broken. Oh, and the bureaucracy. So much paperwork. But I kinda liked that? So, what I liked most, I think, about the novel was the characters, and how well fleshed out they appeared. Most of the time, there's some sort of barrier between you and them, mainly the fantastical nature of everything that occurs. But not so here. Here it feels like any one of them could be taken from the story and placed into another work, and they'd still be real. They have conversations I could imagine happening. Everything just works. The writing, as usual (usual being my reading of Spirit Caller, not Traitor), is light and fun, and even when topics get serious it never descends into that horror that is grim-dark. There's always some brightness to be found. There was a moment at the start, where I thought something horrible was about to happen, but was so so pleasantly surprised for when it didn't. And I don't even read that many grim books. Due to the length of the story, there's only so much that can happen, so there are plot points that never get resolved, and there are storylines I wished were more fleshed out. That said, it doesn't feel like they're forgotten, simply laid aside to be completed in book three. Which I would never much like now. Hint hint, nudge nudge. Overall, it's a fitting second book to the series. There's no slump in my opinion, only a story getting better and better. If I had to complain, it would be that it wasn't long enough. The series as a whole is probably the best traditional place for readers to get a feel of Krista's writing. Trad fantasy, although with a bit more modern spin on things.

  2. 5 out of 5

    wishforagiraffe

    Plot moves quick, covers a lot of ground, and definitely had some unexpected twists. The characters are all just as great as in the first book, with some fun dialogue and some delicious, well deserved rage as well. The one thing I really wish for is a map or even a glossary, because I have trouble wrapping my head around exactly what nations are doing what and who's involved where. But it's doable to get along without. Definitely a good read, looking forward to book 3! Plot moves quick, covers a lot of ground, and definitely had some unexpected twists. The characters are all just as great as in the first book, with some fun dialogue and some delicious, well deserved rage as well. The one thing I really wish for is a map or even a glossary, because I have trouble wrapping my head around exactly what nations are doing what and who's involved where. But it's doable to get along without. Definitely a good read, looking forward to book 3!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Eric Dicarlo

    I've read the first book in this series, The Demons We See, twice: once at its release and then again this week in preparation for this release. Both times, finishing the book came with a strong need to play Dragon Age. Makes sense, right? The author has stated multiple times that this series is, at least in part, a love letter to those games. I just finished The Nightmare We Know a little bit ago, and instead of needing Dragon Age, I simply need MORE OF THIS SERIES. As someone who struggles to r I've read the first book in this series, The Demons We See, twice: once at its release and then again this week in preparation for this release. Both times, finishing the book came with a strong need to play Dragon Age. Makes sense, right? The author has stated multiple times that this series is, at least in part, a love letter to those games. I just finished The Nightmare We Know a little bit ago, and instead of needing Dragon Age, I simply need MORE OF THIS SERIES. As someone who struggles to read book after book of the same series (even those I love!), I'm left trying to figure out exactly what caused this feeling for me. I could blame it on the character drama, my usual drug of choice, being evolved beyond what we saw in Demons to deepen a wider range of characters in a wider range of contexts. There's also a super fun mystery element in trying to figure out who opened the demon portal from the previous book (and also trying to figure something else out, but yeah spoilers). And sure yeah, on a technical level this is also just a very well-paced, well-written story. I think what really hooks me though is that I hate politics in like 90% of fantasy. I do. It's the worst. It's always about things that I guess could matter conceptually to the reader but are so outside of their book's scope that it just feels dry. That or it's a situation where there's a very clear "the good guys want to do what's necessary and the bad guys are cowards" set-up and you're just left waiting around until the hero can make the good guys win the argument. You could argue that there's a little bit of both of these elements to the political drama of Nightmare, but it succeeds by being built on top of everything else of this story. Characters matter, their histories and concerns as revealed throughout the series matter, the uncertainty they all share regarding each other and mages matters too! And all of the story, all of this context, is directed at one question: How do they handle the demands of the army sitting right outside their walls? The Nightmare We Know is a fantastic book and I seriously can't wait for the sequel next year! P.S. This is yet another review I've written mostly as a need to vent about my experience with it. Apologies for any incoherence!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Sibil

    I have to say that I was a tad scared to start this one, because the first book was good, and I enjoyed it so much, but the main point of my enjoyment was the novelty of it all: I mean, for once we have an amazing MC, a noblewoman, whose best quality is that she manages to be amazing being exactly what she is supposed to be (and I know, it sounds a bit confusing, but maybe my review of the first book would help clear the air a bit). She is a kickass heroine, she was in the first book, and she is I have to say that I was a tad scared to start this one, because the first book was good, and I enjoyed it so much, but the main point of my enjoyment was the novelty of it all: I mean, for once we have an amazing MC, a noblewoman, whose best quality is that she manages to be amazing being exactly what she is supposed to be (and I know, it sounds a bit confusing, but maybe my review of the first book would help clear the air a bit). She is a kickass heroine, she was in the first book, and she is in this one. But she is kickass as a noblewoman, so she is good to be a political being (even if she has a temper, that’s for sure! But I won’t fault her for that, those suckers deserved it all, and more!), she is good at management, she knows who is who, and she knows how to use all the power that she gets. But she is not a swordswoman, she is not a warrior (if we think about the classic warrior), she is physically good, but she is not fit to live a soldier’s life, for example. She feels the strain of life, she is used to some commodities, for example, and even if she is not a brat or a pampered princess, she is a noblewoman and we really see that. And I loved it so much! And I am so so glad to see all of that in this sequel, too. But this is not the only good thing. Obviously. We have so many amazing characters in there! Lex and Dodd were as amazing as I remembered them, and I am so looking forward to the next book because it seems like we would see so much more of them around. And I cannot way! And then we have the Pope. He is such an original character! I have to say that I appreciated him more in the first book, but he is a coherent character, and even if I was sort of disappointed in him in this one, I was expecting something like that. And ok, I was hoping for more from him, because come on! How can you??? We are speaking about Allegra here! And your husband! And the Captain! And the Consorts!! Oh, come on! (And yes, I know that you don’t know what I am speaking about, but there is a simple solution… go and read this series!!! Now!). But it was all so well done that it is just natural. And even if I was disappointed, I wasn’t so much, because nothing here is out of character. The author has done an amazing job with all her characters. We get to meet them, and we become attached to most of them, because they all feel so real. And most of them are amazing people. I’d love to meet them for real! And yes, I am talking about the Captain, about Imogen (I hope I wrote it right!), about Father Michael, and many others. Even if I think that the best feature of this book is the characters, it is not the only good thing in there. We have an intriguing plot, with action, mystery, politics, and relationship. And we have an interesting development on all the fronts. Also, I cannot way to read the sequel, because I need the mystery solved (yes, I am so so curious!), and I need to meet them all again. I loved this book, and I don’t know if I managed to make it justice, but I really hope to at least have made you a little curious about this series, because it is good. And original. And compelling. And just so amazing! And fun. And moving. And much much more!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Kevin

    3.5 stars, a solid sequel to a fun book Arbiter of Justice, Contessa Allegra is reeling from the assassination of a queen by her fanatic general once he learned that she is a mage. Allegra and her retinue of body guards retreat along with the original mage rebellion to a nearby abbey where they hope to withstand the vicious onslaught of General Bonacieux. This book didn't go in quite the direction I expected it to. After the serious shit gets real twist of the last book upended a major country's 3.5 stars, a solid sequel to a fun book Arbiter of Justice, Contessa Allegra is reeling from the assassination of a queen by her fanatic general once he learned that she is a mage. Allegra and her retinue of body guards retreat along with the original mage rebellion to a nearby abbey where they hope to withstand the vicious onslaught of General Bonacieux. This book didn't go in quite the direction I expected it to. After the serious shit gets real twist of the last book upended a major country's political structure, I was expecting this book to deal with the aftermath pretty immediately but the book spends its first half dealing with interpersonal drama between friends and romantic pairs. It's well done so I can't complain but it did take a bit longer than I expected to get back to the political struggle for the freedom of the mages. Once we were back in the thick of that plot though, I found the book picked up quite a bit and I enjoyed it nearly as much as the first one.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Ashe Armstrong

    Everything that made the first book great is back and then some. I honestly think this one is better. But that could be due to the events of this one taking place in such a way that the pacing was a little brisker. Which is impressive because Krista's pacing is pretty brisk all around. The book picks up shortly after the end of the first book and goes on to deal with the aftermath of that ending and the consequences thereof. All the characters get something new to chew on. Allegra's job as Arbite Everything that made the first book great is back and then some. I honestly think this one is better. But that could be due to the events of this one taking place in such a way that the pacing was a little brisker. Which is impressive because Krista's pacing is pretty brisk all around. The book picks up shortly after the end of the first book and goes on to deal with the aftermath of that ending and the consequences thereof. All the characters get something new to chew on. Allegra's job as Arbiter takes an unexpected turn when faced with the whiny ass cardinals. Rainer starts dealing with his new view of the world and it's effects on being back in Orsini. Lex is dealing with a nearly fatal injury and the feelings recovery is causing. Dodd is dealing with...Lex. And there's plenty more with several other characters. There's a lot for everyone to do without feeling crowded or overwhelming and, like the first, it's all very fun and everyone is sassy as hell and I cannot help but picture Rupert/Francois as Ryan Gage's Louis in The Musketeers, except Pope instead of King. Really, it amounts to the same anyways. If you enjoyed the first book, you will most definitely enjoy this one. Put it in your face.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    The Nightmare We Know is the second book of The Dark Abyss of Our Sins trilogy, a sort of high fantasy story revolving around politics and magic, with a good dash of romantic subplot. I’m a huge fan of Krista’s and I’ve read several of her books now, both fiction and non-fiction and I really do think every book published is just a tad better than the previous one. I’m not sure how that’s possible, but it really does feel that way. The first book in the series ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, so ne The Nightmare We Know is the second book of The Dark Abyss of Our Sins trilogy, a sort of high fantasy story revolving around politics and magic, with a good dash of romantic subplot. I’m a huge fan of Krista’s and I’ve read several of her books now, both fiction and non-fiction and I really do think every book published is just a tad better than the previous one. I’m not sure how that’s possible, but it really does feel that way. The first book in the series ended on a bit of a cliffhanger, so needless to say I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while. We pick up where we left off with our characters separated into two groups, neither knowing if the others survived the events of the first book. But they’re not given time to grieve as they still have an army on their tails, bent on their destruction. They’re beaten down, injured, exhausted, and exposed to the elements, but they have to keep moving forward to safety. The first part of the book is a bit of a slow speed chase but I loved the way the tension was kept up throughout. Even once we get past that immediate danger there is a good bit of tension as our characters try to convince the city officials of the danger on the way. The end featured some great action sequences with an epic battle. Overall I really enjoyed the pacing of this one! There are also a lot of politics in this book. Not intrigue, but bureaucracy. You really get a sense of how dysfunctional governments can be when bureaucracy is involved. So much red tape involved in even getting the simplest action set into motion. It’s frustrating for our characters and it’s frustrating to read about because I see the echos from our own government reflected here. There’s also a bit about those that are refugees from the first book that had to flee their home after it was attacked seeking a safe haven and how the different classes of people are treated differently. There’s plenty of food for thought, seeing things that could apply to our own world reflected here. That being said, this book never gets tedious and it’s a fun read because of the characters. The dialogue is great and I love to watch the back and forth between various characters, especially when they’re joking with one another. Characters are really Krista’s strength. You can’t help but love our heroes and want to root for them and feel frustrated along with them when things aren’t going well. I also love the relationships between the characters, whether it’s friendship or romantic in nature (I could squee about the romances in this forever, btw). It was tough when they were separated, wondering if they would ever be reunited. And watching how the relationships evolved throughout, some growing stronger and others failing under the stress of the situation. In this book you start to learn what’s most important to them, what they’re willing to fight for. There were some surprises here for me. There is a little bit of darker stuff in this one. The characters have been through hell and they haven’t come out of the other side unscathed. Some of them are dealing with physical ailments while others are dealing with trauma. And yet the story never feels too heavy. The dialogue and interactions between the characters help to keep things light. Overall, I loved The Nightmare We Know and I can’t wait for the final book in the trilogy. If you like books about people fighting for what they believe in, friendship and a dash of romance, you should probably check this series out. 5/5 stars.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tyrel

    Another fantastic read I accidentally discovered Krista D. Ball on Twitter and from there stumbled into her books. I've now read quite a lot of her worksxm, but this is my favorite series so far. I love the characterization and the world building. Another fantastic read I accidentally discovered Krista D. Ball on Twitter and from there stumbled into her books. I've now read quite a lot of her worksxm, but this is my favorite series so far. I love the characterization and the world building.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Rachel

    A good read - waiting for next part!

  10. 4 out of 5

    Dianthaa

    Book 2 delivers all the great stuff from book 1, and I felt like it had much less chill. A thing has already happened, and the story hits the ground running and barely slows down till the end. There are a few breather moments and sweet scenes between characters, but they’re few, and sometimes abruptly interrupted. The tension is always there. The action to politics ratio is more balanced, especially as there is one big looming threat throughout most of the story. There’s still a considerable amo Book 2 delivers all the great stuff from book 1, and I felt like it had much less chill. A thing has already happened, and the story hits the ground running and barely slows down till the end. There are a few breather moments and sweet scenes between characters, but they’re few, and sometimes abruptly interrupted. The tension is always there. The action to politics ratio is more balanced, especially as there is one big looming threat throughout most of the story. There’s still a considerable amount of bureaucracy, but it’s all under pressure. The characters are again the main attraction. Allegra delivers a bunch of scathing speeches that are brilliant. There’s a lot of growth for many of the main cast. I liked how some relationships grow and others struggle under strain. The events of the previous books have real consequences in the way people relate to the world, and how they change their minds, which is something I don’t see that often. Usually it’s at the end of the last book in a series that people start to change. If not for stupid work Monday morning I would’ve read this in one sitting, and I regret putting it away at bedtime cause all night and day I couldn’t focus on anything else. visit my blog www.dianthaa.com for more of my reviews

  11. 5 out of 5

    Timothy D. Vaughn

  12. 5 out of 5

    KP

  13. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

  14. 5 out of 5

    Jacob, A Bog Dweller

  15. 4 out of 5

    Sara G.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Peggy S Moore

  17. 5 out of 5

    Clara

  18. 5 out of 5

    Ferlin-Sutton Léo

  19. 5 out of 5

    Marleigh

  20. 5 out of 5

    Amelia

  21. 4 out of 5

    Richard Holmes

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mohammed Nawar

  23. 5 out of 5

    Helen

  24. 4 out of 5

    Philip Heathman

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jay Peterson

  26. 5 out of 5

    Annie

  27. 5 out of 5

    Carol Fletcher

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bree

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mike

  30. 5 out of 5

    Katie

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