Book Review: The Melody and the Master by Sarah M. Cradit

About the Book:

Title: The Melody and the Master

Author: Sarah M. Cradit

Series: The Book of All Things

Publication Date: Oct. 4, 2022

SynopsisHer song is death. His offer is life.

Disappear into this twisty tale of a ruthless heir and the sheltered, gifted orphan he chooses as both his wife and his greatest weapon against a growing list of enemies.

Siofra has lived her entire life in isolation, terrified her unrestrained dark magic will be the undoing of herself and others. She disappears inside books that promise a life she can never have.

Elsewhere in the kingdom, Desemir’s isolation is a matter of political expediency, as he holds court in the decadent estate that keeps a wall between himself and his enemies.

Desemir’s lack of heir ignites his rivals, but to marry within his peerage would invite the very coup he needs to avoid. Siofra cannot run from herself forever.

The unthinkable happens and Siofra is imprisoned, awaiting a predictable fate. Before the law can mete her punishment, she is rescued by Desemir and whisked away to his glamorous estate, like a princess in one of her stories.

Siofra and Desemir’s needs conveniently intersect, seemingly fixing their unsolvable problems.

If it all seems too good to be true, that’s because it is.

Because everyone knows darkness can only be soothed, not contained.


The Book of All Things is a series of standalone fantasy romance tales set in the vibrant, epic world first introduced by USA Today Bestselling Author Sarah M. Cradit in the Kingdom of the White Sea trilogy.

The Melody and the Master is a marriage of convenience dark fantasy romance tale set in the Kingdom of the White Sea universe, with hints of Beauty and the Beast, Hades and Persephone, and Jane Eyre. It is the first story in the Darkwood Cycle of The Book of All Things.

For content warnings, please visit

LINKS:   Goodreads   |    Universal Link

My Review:

The Melody and the Master is another exciting romantasy in The Book of All Things series. With well-developed characters, a wonderful found family, and a unique story with Beauty and the Beast and Jane Eyre vibes, it’s an immersive and entertaining read.

Desemir and Siofra are fascinating and complex protagonists. Both are so emotional and impulsive. They are passionate but often act and react without thinking things through. There are times when they give up on each other so quickly in the hopes of saving the other from pain and heartbreak, but they don’t realize doing this hurts more. It makes sense considering the way their relationship began and that they’ve only built a tentative trust with each other, and I so wanted them to be more forthcoming with their true feelings and for them to fully trust and confide in each other, especially considering their explosive chemistry and obvious love for each other.

The romance between Siofra and Desemir is riddled with obstacles, both internal and external. A marriage of convenience between strangers, there are a lot of secrets between them. However, their connection and chemistry are off the charts almost from the start. They are so drawn to each other, and amid betrayal, secrecy, lies, and threats from enemies, that connection only grows. This is the steamiest romance in the series so far!

“When I first saw you, I thought I was looking at a piece of the sun itself.”

I really love the Beauty and the Beast and Jane Eyre vibes throughout the story. From the mysterious and forbidden west wing to the haunting shrieks and secrets many hold, the story has a dark and Gothic feel. I think this is the darkest book in the series so far, especially as the characters face deadly threats from their enemies, brutal kidnappings, attempted assaults, and more.

The sibling relationships are also quite fascinating and layered, and I like how the book explored the complexities of these bonds. They stand in stark contrast to some of the other familial relationships in the story, and they show that, though these siblings don’t always see eye to eye, their love for each other is unwavering. All relationships have their ups and downs, good times and regrets, and the sibling relationships in this story show that well, especially Fen and Si. I think Fen learns a lot about his sister, her strengths, her needs, and her desire for freedom and choice.

Something else I really love about this series is the extensive world-building. Cradit has such a talent for creating unique and immersive worlds, and the world is ever-expanding. It’s vivid and rich, and I’m enjoying the contrasts in the different kingdoms and landscapes. As expansive as it is, it never feels overwhelming or superfluous, and the settings definitely add to the ambiance, tone, and actions of the characters.

Special thanks to Sarah M. Cradit for providing me with an advanced copy of the book. All thoughts are my own.



Favorite Parts:

  • The romance.
  • The action.

Favorite Lines:

Distractions are good for a man. They keep his troubles away until he needs them again.

“You have been made the instrument of weak men your entire lives. That will not be the fate awaiting you.”

If experience has taught me anything, it’s that success is not limited to one path.

Woe betide the man who fucks with Shadowfen Hall.


I would definitely recommend checking out the content warnings before reading The Melody and the Master. It is the darkest of the books in the series, and some content could trigger readers. That being said, I highly recommend it to readers who enjoy dark fantasy or romantasy. Also, you don’t have to have read the first few books in The Book of All Things series to follow this one. Though they’re all in the same world, they are all standalone stories.

5 thoughts on “Book Review: The Melody and the Master by Sarah M. Cradit

    1. Thanks, Louise! Each book can be read as a standalone. They take place in the same world, but the characters are entirely different. So, you could any order that you want. 🙂

    1. It’s a good one! I’m loving the whole series. I’d definitely recommendit if you like dark fantasy. And I just got the art prints for the next book in the series – gorgeous!!!

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