DARK BREAKS THE DAWN Review + Enter to Win a Signed and Personalized Copy!

Dark Breaks the Dawn is a beautifully imagined Swan Lake origin story full of passion, political intrigue, and dazzling magic. I simply cannot wait for book two in this stunning new duology.

Wine Pairing

I paired  Dark Breaks the Dawn with this beautiful Black Swan Cabernet Sauvignon. It’s rich, berry flavors reflect the vibrant world-building throughout this story. And the deep, chocolatey notes pair perfectly with the passionate romance that unfurls inside these pages.

*All wine recommendations are for strictly for those of legal drinking age only.*

About Dark Breaks the Dawn

29283751.jpgOn her eighteenth birthday, Princess Evelayn of Eadrolan, the Light Kingdom, can finally access the full range of her magical powers. The light looks brighter, the air is sharper, and the energy she can draw when fighting feels almost limitless.

But while her mother, the queen, remains busy at the war front, in the Dark Kingdom of Dorjhalon, the corrupt king is plotting. King Bain wants control of both kingdoms, and his plan will fling Evelayn onto the throne much sooner than she expected.

In order to defeat Bain and his sons, Evelayn will quickly have to come into her ability to shapeshift, and rely on the alluring Lord Tanvir. But not everyone is what they seem, and the balance between the Light and Dark comes at a steep price.


The Details

  • Title: Dark Breaks the Dawn
  • Author: Sara B. Larson
  • Publisher: Scholastic Press
  • Pub Date: May 30, 2017

My Review


I adore Swan Lake, so I immediately fell in love with the premise of this book when I first heard about it, but the fascinating story and beautiful romance that I discovered within the pages actually surpassed any expectations I had going in.

The book has a very classic fantasy plot line while still incorporating twists and turns that readers won’t expect. We get to see the political climates in both warring nations of Eadrolan and Dorjhalon and really get an understanding of what is truly at stake for each.  We also get to watch Evelayn struggle to gain control over her new power, both physical and political. And there are just no words to describe the ending that wouldn’t include spoilers. Suffice it to say, that it was brilliantly executed and something that I never saw coming.

The characters in this book were captivating. I fell in love with Evelayn. She was so relatable yet strong in every sense of the word. Watching her struggle with her own grief while having to put on a strong face and lead her nation was heartbreaking, and the lengths that she goes to in order to protect the Light Kingdom and all the people she loves within it was inspiring. I would also describe her as an underdog suddenly thrust into a position of leading her people in this great epic battle, which certainly had me rooting for her.

Sara switches POVs through various characters in this book in a way that makes you fall in love with some of them and keeps you guessing at the motivations of the others throughout, and when all those characters come together in the final scene of the book, the results are pure magic.

The romance in this book was oh so swoon-worthy, and Sara does a great job of sprinkling the lovely romantic scenes throughout the plot, so you get this great balance between the political drama, Evelayn’s struggle to gain control over her power, and then this heart-pounding romance.

There are also some fantastic villains in this story. I do love me some good villains! We get a bit of glimpse into their motivations in this book, and I’m guessing we’ll get to see a lot more of some of them in the next book, which I am really looking forward to.

I would definitely say that this story is a Swan Lake origin story, though I’ve heard a lot of people categorize it as a retelling. My guess is that we’ll see more of the classic Swan Lake  tale in book two, but we will just have to wait to see what Sara has in store for us! I personally can’t wait!

Enter the Giveaway!

I am giving away one SIGNED and PERSONALIZED copy of Dark Breaks the Dawn, which Sara will sign for the lucky winner during her launch event at The King’s English Bookshop on May 30th!

  • This contest will close to entries at 12:00 AM Mountain Time on Tuesday, May 23rd.
  • Available to U.S. shipping addresses only. I’m so sorry about that, but international shipping costs are expensive!


About Sara B. Larson

From Sara’s Website

SaraLarson2015-682x1024.jpgSARA B. LARSON is the author of the acclaimed young adult fantasy Defy trilogy: Defy, Ignite, and Endure. She can’t remember a time when she didn’t write books—although she now uses a computer instead of a Little Mermaid notebook. Sara lives in Utah with her husband and their children. She writes in brief snippets throughout the day (while mourning the loss of nap time) and the quiet hours when most people are sleeping. Her husband claims she should have a degree in “the art of multitasking.” When she’s not mothering or writing, you can often find her at the gym repenting of her sugar addiction

Find Sara Online:

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads

Are you as big of a Swan Lake fan as I am? Are you excited to read this book when it releases later this month? How AMAZING is that cover?!

33 Comments Add yours

  1. LairOfBooks says:

    Swan Lake you say?!??! even if it’s not a straight re-telling, I’m still so very interested. Who can resist shapeshifters?!?! not this little bookworm lol. Wonderful review Kyrsti, my curiosity has been piqued. I thre my hat in the ring for the giveaway & have my fingers/toes crossed. Thank you for offering up the opportunity, always appreciated 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That was my reaction exactly when I heard about this one! Thanks so much! Best of luck in the giveaway and thank you for entering! 🙂


  2. Sounds absolutely amazing! I am looking forward to reading it and thanks so much for the chance! ♥♥

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for entering! Best of luck!


  3. That cover! That premise! That review! Must have!😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is SUCH a great cover, right?! I really loved this one. Thanks, Kim!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. beckmank says:

    This book sounds great! And what a perfect wine pairing. yum!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! It was fun finding a wine to pair with that STUNNING cover!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I keep seeing this book everywhere! I had no idea it was based on Swan Lake (though I really should’ve, considering what the cover looks like). The story seems really intriguing, I’m glad to hear you liked it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do think it’s just such a great idea to create a YA fantasy novel based on Swan Lake. So much fun! Thanks so much! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  6. OMG!! That cover takes my breath away! Great review, and sounds like a great book. I’m adding it to my list of must reads. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Kristin! It is a FABULOUS book cover!


  7. TeacherofYA says:

    Super eager to read this one, and to get a signed one would be AWESOME!
    Great review!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Well best of luck with the giveaway then! Thanks so much, Stephanie!!!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. TeacherofYA says:

        Thank YOU, my dear! (Wish you were going to BookCon with me!)

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Me too! One of these days! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      3. TeacherofYA says:

        Maybe next year!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Fingers crossed!


  8. I didn’t know about this one! So glad you enjoyed it… swan lake! And thanks for the giveaway opportunity!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much for entering! Best of luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I love this review! I do not even mind that this is a romance heavier retelling ❤ You have me sold on the fact that it seem this is executed to so well. And the character building must be spot on. Sharing and entering. Thank you 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!!! I never mind a romance heavier retelling to be honest. LOL. So this one was perfect for me. 😄 Best of luck in the giveaway! Thanks for entering!

      Liked by 1 person

  10. ravenblake99 says:

    Great Review! I’m glad you loved this book! I’m looking forward to read it! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! I hope you get to read it soon! <3<3<3

      Liked by 1 person

  11. Oooooooooooh, Black Swan wine?? With an epic five star swan read??? Superrrrrrrrrrr sold!! ❤ To tell the truth, though, I'm kind of scared of swans. D: Wonderful review, though!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahahaha! I am TERRIFIED of swans. And of birds in general. Because I’m super brave like that. But this book is BEAUTIFUL! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Birds are insanely scary. o.o But lol, yes, very brave!

        Liked by 1 person

  12. ignitedmoth says:

    Wow, gorgeous pairing here! 🙂 This sounds really intriguing. And good villains you say? All the better!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! Yes, I ADORE a good villain. Every bit as much as I love a good MC really. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. ignitedmoth says:

        Yes! Same here, actually! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Valerie Hoffman says:

    This is my first visit to your blog. I love the concept! Looking forward to reading this book and exploring your blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Valerie! I appreciate you stopping by! I hope you enjoy the book as much as I did!


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