Gothikana by RuNyx
Published: March 16th 2023 by Solaris
Rating: ★★★½ (3.5)
Genre: New Adult // Gothic, Dark Romance, Fantasy
Quick Thoughts: It had dark academia sewn into it’s core, and I loved how it could transport you to the setting with just a sentence.
About The Book:
An unusual girl. An enigmatic man. An ancient castle. What could go wrong?
An outcast her entire life, Corvina Clemm is left adrift after losing her mother. When she receives the admission letter from the mysterious University of Verenmore, she accepts it as a sign from the universe. The last thing she expects though is an olden, secluded castle on top of a mountain riddled with secrets, deceit, and death.
An enigma his entire life, Vad Deverell likes being a closed book but knowing exactly everything that happens in the university. A part-time professor working on his thesis, Vad has been around long enough to know the dangers the castle possesses.
And he knows the moment his paths cross with Corvina, she’s dangerous to everything that he is.
They shouldn’t have caught each other’s eye. They cannot be. But a chill-inducing century-old mystery forces them to collide. People have disappeared every five years for over a hundred years, and Corvina is getting clues to unraveling it all, and Vad needs to keep an eye on her.
And so begins a tale of the mystique, the morbid, the macabre, and a deep love that blossoms in the unlikeliest of places.
When I first started my blog, back almost eleven years ago, gothic romances were the books I reached for the most. In fact, the first book I ever reviewed was part of a series that started my love of fantasy novels. But over the last few years, my tastes have changed, and I’ve grown apart from fantasy novels and reach for more contemporary novels. But when I had the opportunity to read Gothikana after seeing many raved reviews from readers on TikTok, I thought this might be the book to reignite my love of the genre.
Corvina Clemm has grown up away from normality, schooled at home by her mother, learning tarot and “witchy” things her entire life. When she’s just in her early twenties, she gets an admission letter from a University called Verenmore, a secluded and mysterious castle in the mountains that even her taxi driver warns her about when dropping her off—because, of course, she accepts the invitation, seeking it out as a sort of sign from the universe that this is the path she’s meant to take right now.
But once there, Corvina is dealt cards that are heavier than she anticipated. Death and secrets are the main source of knowledge at Verenmore, and no one knows that better than the illusive Vad Deverell. He’s closed himself off from everything and everyone, except for knowing what goes on at the University, as a part-time professor, who’s also a semi-student, as he’s working on a thesis. But when he meets new student Corvina, he knows danger isn’t far. They shouldn’t be in one another’s company—not with the fact that people disappear at Verenmore every five years—but something keeps them tethered. And even though Corvina is close to finding out the mystery for herself, Vad can’t help but feel himself reeled into it all once again.
Overall, Gothikana was as darkly gothic as promised. The mystery intrigued me at the start, however not all the loose strings were finished off properly so I did find myself wanting pieces of closure that I didn’t get by the ending, which I also felt wasn’t true to that intriguing part of the beginning half of the novel that was leading up to something utterly fascinating. Corvina and Vad were written richly and had some great character development, but I did find their romantic connection a bit sudden, which I also would’ve loved to have explored more. However, the book had dark academia sewn into it’s core, and I loved how it could transport you to the setting with just a sentence. I’d absolutely recommend this to anyone that’s a fan of dark romances and folklore!
About The Author
USA TODAY and international bestselling author, RuNyx enjoys creating universes and setting them on fire. She loves to travel, wants to adopt a dog before 30, and learn different languages. When she’s not writing, she’s reading, traveling, meditating, daydreaming, and most of all, procrastinating.
Even though she’s intensely private, she shares a strong bond with her readers. Her favorite part about writing is knowing that it has somehow changed somebody’s day in some corner of the world for the better.
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