Dark Artificer: Ember Holt *Review*

Cover image of Dark Artificer by Ember Holt is in the centre of an image of a navy background with gold sparkles. Added text: Can Alyse bring down a corrupted kingdom?

Genres: Dark Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, Fantasy | Release Date: 30 April 2024 | Series: The Princesses of Ruin | Series Book: #3 | Pages: 421 | Indie Author | Review

“Shield me in your darkness.”

Ember Holt


A huge thank you goes to Ember Holt for letting me read an e-ARC of Dark Artificer, book three in The Princesses of Ruin series! Truthfully this is actually my favourite read of the dark fantasy series so far, but I promise I’ll try really hard not to spoil anything in this review. And if you want to read my reviews for the previous books? Just click here. Now let’s give you an overview!

Princess Alyse has never had a problem discovering secrets, which helps her give back to those suffering under her mother’s rule. But her quiet yet determined resistance is soon smothered, when her fiancé from a neighbouring kingdom arrives… Desperate to get away from Ladron’s suffocating evil, Alyse forges a friendship with the scribe Kazimir, little knowing he’s hiding a dark secret of his own. As Alyse and Kazimir grow ever closer, is it possible their end goal is the same? Can either of them bring down this corrupt kingdom and those who revel in it? Or will Alyse meet her end in this darkening world?

Cover image of Dark Artificer by Ember Holt is to the bottom left of an image of a blue background with gold sparkles. Added text: The need for revenge has never burned brighter... Will Kazimir & Alyse succeed in their plans?
Yeeeeees give me more, please and thank you Ember!

Happiness Boost:

When I tell you Dark Artificer is a dark fantasy? I mean it is *dark*… As in, please check the trigger warnings for this one. But it still needs to be a happiness boost, because in Ember’s terribly vicious world? I know we’re eventually going to find the light! I love how this amazing author can take us to the very worst of places, yet still never lose sight of the flickering hope which is trying to become a bonfire. Was I disturbed by some events? I’m not going to lie, they weren’t pretty. But I was forewarned and seriously, Ember grabs your heart and doesn’t let go. How can that be anything but a good thing?!

Let’s talk heroines! As you’ll see in my reviews for the previous books, Ember’s heroines are never ones to back down from a fight. But Alyse? She’s my new favourite. This lady loves her stories (immediate likability right there), insists on fighting for the commoners in her mother’s kingdom, and she does *not* quit. When she starts to train with Kazimir? Alyse pushes herself beyond tired. And when the evil of Ladron tries to tear her apart? Glitterbugs. This woman is a phoenix.

Dark Artificer continues to give us an incredible magic system, as well as the overarching theme of fighting for survival (and a better realm) in The Princesses of Ruin. Am I ready for a happy ending for all of these princesses? Absolutely! But I love how Ember gives us a happy-for-now ending, even as things continue to unravel for this kingdom’s central power. This is *amazing*.


I really don’t have a downside for the third instalment in this dark fantasy series!

Final Thoughts:

Dark Artificer by indie author Ember Holt is a dark fantasy featuring secrets, revenge and a plot to raze a kingdom to the ground. Tell me that doesn’t intrigue you! Again, please check trigger warnings before you dive into this realm, but I’ve really enjoyed Alyse’s story. Love what you’ve heard from my review? Just click on the link below to order your copy! Happy reading, glitterbugs!

You can order Dark Artificer via this link: Amazon

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