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‘A Thousand Steps Into Night’ Is A Page-Turning YA Fantasy – Book Review

If you’re a fan of wonderfully written stories and realms that have collisions of gods, humans and monsters, then A Thousand Steps Into Night, is the perfect novel for you. 

The tale follows Miuko, the daughter of an innkeeper, who is living an ordinary existence in Awara. However, Miuko is unaware that what she considers a regular existence is about to take a turn she never expected when she’s cursed and begins to change into a demon with a fatal touch. Miuko must gather her strength and embark on a quest to reverse the curse and get back to normalcy. 

But of course, things are never that easy. With the help of other supernatural beings, Miuko must dodge demon hunters and the wrath of the gods if she is to return home as she left it. Miuko will have to make many difficult decisions along the way and ultimately decide whether or not the soul she once knew would be satisfied with her old life, or will this newfound power and freedom be the respite that she truly desires? Well, you’ll just have to read the book and find out. 

A Thousand Steps Into Night - Cover Art
Cover for A Thousand Steps Into Night, written by Traci Chee. (Courtesy of Clarion Books)

Written by Traci Chee, A Thousand Steps Into Night is a thrilling tale that expertly combines Japanese-influenced fantasy with adventure and intrigue that makes for quite the page-turner. There is much to praise in this book, but firstly, I’d like to mention the story’s heroine, Miuko. Chee’s Miuko is the perfect protagonist, one that many readers will love, thanks to Chee’s stroke of the pen. Chee created the kind of character that every reader is likely to see part of themselves in.  While Miuko may see herself as an ordinary (and sometimes clumsy) girl, there’s much within that she doesn’t give herself credit for. This is something we can all be guilty of, and seeing Miuko step into her own and her power, and demonstrate her resourcefulness and daring gave that nudge that we all can do what we put our minds to. 

Throughout the book, Miuko’s experiences were a joy to read. All of her trials and tribulations differed from one another, and watching Miuko take on every challenge was refreshing. Even in moments of doubt, she was able to come up with the best solutions for herself and showed varying facets of her character. Typically, this is something that is usually explored throughout multiple books, but in this case, it was perfect. Every person learns, adjusts, and makes choices at their own pace and this was movingly shown in A Thousand Steps Into Night

In addition to Miuko, the realm of Awara was enchanting. Chee created a world so vivid that in reading, I was able to fully escape into a completely new world. It is extremely immersive and to be honest, I could have read 100 more pages with all of the magic and darkness combined. Yet again, Awara shows off Chee’s exceptional writing and a flair for creating utterly unique things with a touch of anime and Studio Ghibli inspirations sprinkled throughout. As I said previously, I would love nothing more than to read more about Awara and all the people and fantastical entities that live within it. While all the storylines do tie up well in the end, I got a sense that there is an opening to explore further should Chee want to delve back into this world once more. I have my fingers crossed, but if not, I would gladly re-read A Thousand Steps Into Night again!

A Thousand Steps Into Night is now available wherever books are sold and also available in e-book format.

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