The Night’s Realm – Nick Ward

Stars: *****

I am a huge lover of Halloween, so this book was full of everything I love: witches, fear, an evil villain and a variety of monsters!

Billy is afraid of the dark. But, one day, he finds himself in his home and his town….but it is no longer his own. He has been transported to the Night’s Realm: a place of eternal darkness where the Magician rules and uses children’s fear to give him power.

There are some lovely illustrations throughout the book (including a different presentation of the Magician’s pages, which I loved!) which really helped you immerse yourself in the story.

I really enjoyed this book; it felt different to others I had read before. So, when I was lucky enough to have a Q&A with the author, Nick Ward, I wanted to know more about the ideas behind the story…

First up, as it is October (and nearly Halloween!) what is your favourite thing about autumn?

I live in the country and I love the change from late summer to autumn as the trees change colour, the nights draw in and there is the smell of wood smoke in the air. 

Where did you get the idea for a ’Night’s Realm’?
I had long wanted to write a story about children overcoming their fears, and a fear of the night is experienced in many cultures and throughout history. I did quite a lot of research into nightmares and dreams and it seems to me that fear of the night is where beliefs and legends can be formed that can affect the way we live our lives. Fear is such a debilitating emotion, whether it’s fear of failure, of looking stupid, of ridicule, spiders, snakes or the dark and I wanted to reassure readers that these fears can be overcome by facing them and refusing to let them win.
Other than Billy (the main character!) who would you say is your favourite in the book?
I like Lightning. She is brave, resourceful and understanding. 
If you walked into the ‘Bright Room’, what would you most want to see before you?
I wouldn’t mind having a go on the magic carousel, and afterwards find a table laden with all things chocolate. Apparently chocolate was one of the first words I ever uttered and I’ve been a fan ever since!
Did you picture the different presentation in the book – notably when the Magician is speaking – as you wrote it?
Yes, I knew as I was writing the story that the Magician sections would need to be presented slightly differently to the rest of the book. I had the idea of using the logo device, but the use of the stars came from Rosie, my editor, and Al, the designer.
Did you plan the ending before you began, or did it develop as you were writing? 
I knew the basics of how the story would be concluded, but found as I was writing towards the end, ideas presented themselves and made me adapt a lot of what I had planned. I like to keep things as fluid as possible, because new ideas occur all the time.
Happy Halloween! 💀🎃

* Review Copy 😊 *

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