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The Keeper of Night by Kylie Lee Baker
Young adult

The Keeper of Night

Debut

We love supporting debut authors. Congrats, Kylie Lee Baker, on your first book!

by Kylie Lee Baker

Excellent choice

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Quick take

Ren Scarborough is on a journey to impress the Goddess of Death in this riveting story of monsters, magic, and Reapers.

Good to know

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_400

    400+ pages

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_International

    International

  • Illustrated icon, Icon_Magical

    Magical

  • Illustrated icon, Icons_Underdog

    Underdog

Synopsis

Death is her destiny.

Half British Reaper, half Japanese Shinigami, Ren Scarborough has been collecting souls in the London streets for centuries. Expected to obey the harsh hierarchy of the Reapers who despise her, Ren conceals her emotions and avoids her tormentors as best she can.

When her failure to control her Shinigami abilities drives Ren out of London, she flees to Japan to seek the acceptance she’s never gotten from her fellow Reapers. Accompanied by her younger brother, the only being on earth to care for her, Ren enters the Japanese underworld to serve the Goddess of Death… only to learn that here, too, she must prove herself worthy. Determined to earn respect, Ren accepts an impossible task—find and eliminate three dangerous Yokai demons—and learns how far she’ll go to claim her place at Death’s side.

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Free sample

Get an early look from the first pages of The Keeper of Night.
The Keeper of Night

CHAPTER 01

Late 1800s - London, England

The legend they tell about me goes something like this:

First, you’ll see a streak of silver across the sky, like a comet burning through the fog.

Then, the clock hands will still halfway between this second and the next.

The world will fall silent, and the Reaper will knock three times on your bedroom door. Whether you answer or not, Death will enter through the light in the keyhole. She will reach down your throat and pull your soul out from deep, deep inside you, like an endless length of rope, and you will die in a world entirely your own. There will be no one but you, and the Reaper, and her unblinking green eyes.

But, of course, urban legends are rarely ever true.

On one particular collection night, the man was already awake when I opened his bedroom window and came in to take his soul. Humans, especially the very sick ones, always sensed when one of us was coming for them.

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Why I love it

Young adult fantasy has always had a special place in my heart. When I was younger it was the first genre that truly captured my attention and made me fall in love with reading. Even now as an adult, I make space on my bookshelf for young adult fantasy writers that stand out. The Keeper of Night has certainly earned a spot on my shelf. Equal parts magical and terrifying, Kylie Lee Baker has created a world that I never want to leave.

Half-British Reaper and half-Japanese Shinigami, Ren has been collecting the souls of the dead for centuries in London, until one day, when she is forced to leave. With nowhere else to go, Ren flees to Japan with the help of her brother to become a Shinigami and serve the Goddess of Death in the Japanese underworld. Ren is not welcomed immediately, though. The Goddess presents her with an impossible task: Kill three Yokai demons. If Ren is successful, she can stay and finally become a true Shinigami. If she fails, it could mean leaving Japan forever—or worse, death.

The Keeper of Night is wonderfully written and I couldn’t stop turning the pages, eager to discover Ren’s fate. I loved exploring the Japanese underworld with Ren as she encountered demons, each scarier than the last. But this story is more than just a magical quest—it’s also about trying to find your place in the world and discovering how far you’re willing to go in order to fit in. With rich world-building and thoughtful characters, The Keeper of Night will stay with you long after you’ve finished reading it.

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Member ratings (11,103)

  • Melinda C.

    Scottsville, VA

    Very cool book. Aside from the overuse of “glass” and “shattering,” ❤️ the vivid writing style. Unique story and heroine. Loved the fantasy and use of trad. folklore. Can’t wait for the next one.

  • Camrey A.

    Tulsa, OK

    Omg….I never thought the story about death and a semi spooky book would be so good! I can’t believe the ending! I could literally picture the scenes as I was reading! Also an easy and quick read! ????????

  • Daniela B.

    Deltona, FL

    5/5 star rating if I could!⭐️ It’s hard to believe this was a debut novel but it had me hooked from the first few pages and I was done in 2 days! This author already has my money for the 2nd book!????

  • Shaina S.

    Winter Garden , FL

    I don’t know why but I didn’t expect to love this YA fantasy as much as I did! I loved the Japanese legends told in this story and the world building was incredible! I’ll definitely be picking up #2!

  • Cassandra G.

    Purcellville, VA

    Wow. I don’t know where to begin. This book sweeps you away with the intense personality of the main character, Ren. The ending took me by complete shock. I couldn’t help but put myself in Ren’s shoes

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