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Review: The Sweetest Dark (Shana Abe)

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 352
Publisher: April 2nd 2013 by Bantam
ISBN: 9780345531704
genre: fantasy
source: eARC from Netgalley

The Sweetest Dark (The Sweetest Dark, #1)“With every fiber of my being, I yearned to be normal. To glide through my days at Iverson without incident. But I’d have to face the fact that my life was about to unfold in a very, very different way than I’d ever envisioned. Normal would become forever out of reach.”

Lora Jones has always known that she’s different. On the outside, she appears to be an ordinary sixteen-year-old girl. Yet Lora’s been keeping a heartful of secrets: She hears songs that no one else can hear, dreams vividly of smoke and flight, and lives with a mysterious voice inside her that insists she’s far more than what she seems.

England, 1915. Raised in an orphanage in a rough corner of London, Lora quickly learns to hide her unique abilities and avoid attention. Then, much to her surprise, she is selected as the new charity student at Iverson, an elite boarding school on England’s southern coast. Iverson’s eerie, gothic castle is like nothing Lora has ever seen. And the two boys she meets there will open her eyes and forever change her destiny.

Jesse is the school’s groundskeeper—a beautiful boy who recognizes Lora for who and what she truly is. Armand is a darkly handsome and arrogant aristocrat who harbors a few closely guarded secrets of his own. Both hold the answers to her past. One is the key to her future. And both will aim to win her heart. As danger descends upon Iverson, Lora must harness the powers she’s only just begun to understand, or else lose everything she dearly loves.

The Sweetest Dark book was mesmerizing. I had no idea what to expect when I started it because I have never read a book about drakon/dragons (aside from Dealing with Dragon in 6th grade eons ago). I was hooked from the first chapter!

The writing is great. It is so vivid and descriptive... You can picture the setting perfectly from all the details, which I thought was great considering The Sweetest Dark takes place in a distant time. The author also chose to tell this story in alternating points of view, which is always a challenge. Three chararacters-- Jesse, Armand, and Lora-- tell their individual stories until they ultimately entwine into a heartbreaking final scene.

If you don't like love triangles, you may not be for you. While the triangle is not obvious, it's there and building. I am not sure how it will play out in the upcoming books because these characters are so unique, but I am curious. I'm having to stop myself from reading book 2 right now until I finish some others! So hard...

That's all I can tell you about this one without giving it away. It's so unique that discussing the plot or characters in detail would give away too much. Just know that it was wonderful! I have this feeling that this will become a new favorite series for me. I would have given this a solid 5, but there were a few questions I had while reading that were never answered.


  1. I'm not such a fan of love-triangles, but I can deal with some of them. This book sounds worth the try. I love descriptive writing-styles! :) Great review and I hope you can read book 2 soon!


  2. It really wasn't your standard love triangle. Promise. It was almost like a one sided love triangle, if that makes sense. I really enjoyed this!

  3. I'm not really a fan of love triangles. But I'll still try out a book that has them. Sometimes they work.

    I really haven't heard much about this book but your review has me intrigued.


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