The Toymaker's Son: A Dark Gay Fantasy by Ariana Nash

A dark fantasy tale, The Toymaker's Son is part of The Final Masquerade world, though is a complete standalone story.

From the blurb:

Patience, little puppet. The night is long, and we have just begun.

After the suspicious death of Jacapo, the well-loved toymaker, criminal investigator Valentine Anzio returns to his hometown of Minerva to help solve the suspected murder. He’d hoped never to go back. Perhaps things have changed and the nightmares won't plague him. Perhaps Devere, the toymaker’s son, won’t remember what Valentine did all those years ago, and perhaps Valentine will keep the pieces of his fractured mind intact…

But it soon becomes clear, little has changed in Minerva. The powerful lord who’s paying Valentine desires more than the truth, and the toymaker’s son isn’t as guilty as the whole town appears to believe.

If truth and justice are to prevail, Valentine must discover who killed Jacapo the toymaker, or the lonely, brilliant, and enchanting Devere, will hang.


From the author who brought you the hauntingly beautiful and acclaimed The Final Masquerade, comes a dark and twisted fae fantasy. Dare you descend into madness, where the fae reign?

For content warnings, please see the author's website.

Janet's Review:

The Toymaker's Son had an atmospheric vibe of Pinocchio, Poe style, with a fae twist thrown in.

Devere’s father has been killed and Valentine is brought back to town to investigate the murder. Devere and Valentine have a history going back to their childhood. 

The story is full of twists and turns, a mental mind twist! 

Overall, a fantastic story that kept me flipping the pages. 

Rating: 5 Stars

Jacquie's Review:

Dark, dreamlike, dangerous. The Toymaker’s Son is a unique story of the fae and a sort of Pinocchio retelling.

I think my brain hurts a little from all the twists and turns. It was just so good! If you enjoyed The Final Masquerade, you will love this. Here, there is more magic and action. The scene for the entire book is the little town, giving an almost claustrophobic feel. The reader is as trapped as Devere is.

The book is told through dual pov and I really appreciated getting to learn more about the mysterious boy in the shop. He was just so lonely! 

Like Valentine, I couldn't help but love Devere even while wishing for something better for Val. Poor, sweet Val. Both main characters were easy to feel sympathetic towards as they fought to stay together.

Though dark, there's a satisfying sort of bittersweet HEA for the couple that was well earned.

Rating: 5 Stars

SNik's Review:

Standalone historical fantasy. Former childhood friends to lovers. Slow burn. Dual POV. Heed content warnings. 

Valentine returns to his hometown as he has been hired to determine who murdered the local toymaker, but everything is not what it seems. Val had once loved the toymaker’s son, betrayed him and had left his old life behind, but finds that his life is full of lies and doesn’t know whether he can trust the feelings he still has for Devere. 

This story has so many twists and turns, constantly bringing Devere and Val together and tearing them apart. Full of emotional turmoil, this book was dark, hopeful, heartbreaking, obsessive, vengeful, and romantic. 

Never boring, the writing was lush and powerful, driving a tumultuous story and willing the reader to grasp at any happiness and love Devere and Val can have together to get their HEA. 

The story made me gasp, made me angry, and made me cry, and was a horrible and yet fascinating world build. If only we could make our dreams reality.

Rating: 5 Stars

Zakiyya's Review:

Valentine and Devere were a pleasure to get to know. Their story was exciting and kept me intrigued throughout. 
I loved the tension – it made every interaction between them all the more enjoyable.

The ending was such a surprise and I absolutely LOVED that it caught me off-guard like that. I mean, come on, nobody wants boring and predictable... 🙈
A very stimulating read – if you’re into dark fantasy, then you most certainly won’t want to miss this one… 💙🥰💙

Rating: 5 Stars

The Toymaker's Son is available to buy as an ebook, paperback, or to read with Kindle Unlimited subscription.