**Spoilers ahead if you haven’t read The Beautiful, Book 1 of The Beautiful Quartet.**
The Damned begins a few hours after the final events of The Beautiful – in which Bastien becomes a vampire and Celine gives up her memories of him. Now that Bastien is a vampire, the reader gets to explore more of the world that the supernatural inhabit, and we are introduced to more creatures and characters. The Damned follows Bastien as he comes to terms with being a vampire and how he can be “unmade,” an experience that leads him into the fae realm of the Sylvan Vale and Wyld.
The worldbuilding is elaborated on more in this novel, yet it is not heavy-handed. The plot flows easily, and having Celine’s point of view interspersed throughout allows more insight from an outsider’s perspective. It also lets the reader get a glimpse of how she is handling having her memories removed. With Bastien entering the Sylvan Vale and Wyld, we are introduced to new creatures and characters without feeling overwhelmed.
The Damned introduces the reader to the mystical world of werewolves and vampires. We learn from Bastien the history and the ongoing feud between the Sylvan and Wyld Vales. While there is a lot of politics involved, it is easy to follow and understand the two sides. Toward the end of the novel, there is a clear divide between the two Vales, as the characters need to explore both sides to find the person who can “unmake” Bastien. The world that Adieh builds is lush and well planned out – it feels as if you have stepped through a mirror right into this world.
I would have enjoyed more time exploring the Sylvan Vale and the Wyld, which seemed very short compared to the rest of this novel since Bastien and Celine enter this realm in the latter half of the novel. I’m hoping that we can see more of the fae world in the next book, The Righteous. The twists at the end left me wanting more, and I can’t wait to jump into The Righteous. Overall, The Damned was an enjoyable, beautifully written book, and I can’t wait for the next installment.
The previous book in this quartet is The Beautiful.
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher, Penguin Random House, for review.