Review: The Deepest Night (The Sweetest Dark #2) by Shana Abe

The Deets:
Audience: YA
Pages: 320
Genre: fantasy, historical fiction
Source: Library book

The Deepest Night (The Sweetest Dark, #2)A rich portrait of post-Victorian England, The Deepest Night seamlessly blends thrilling romance with riveting history and adventure—perfect for fans of Libba Bray and Lauren Kate.

It’s 1915, and sixteen-year-old Lora Jones is finishing up her first year as a charity student at Iverson, a prestigious, gothic boarding school on England’s southern coast. While she’s always felt different from everyone around her, now she finally knows why: She is a drákon, a rare, enchanted being with astonishing magical abilities.

As war hits Britain’s shores, and Lora reels from an unimaginable loss, she finds that her powers come with grave and dangerous responsibilities. At the request of Armand Louis, the darkly mysterious boy whose father owns Iverson, Lora will spend her summer at his lavish estate. To help the war effort—and to keep Lora by his side—Armand turns his home into a military hospital, where Lora will serve as a nurse. For Armand is inescapably drawn to her—bound to her by heart-deep secrets and a supernatural connection that runs thicker than blood.

Yet while Lora tries to sort out her own feelings toward Armand, fate offers an unexpected surprise. Lora discovers there is another drákon, a prisoner of war being held in Germany. And that only she, with her newly honed Gifts, will be able to rescue him.

With Armand, Lora will cross enemy lines on an incredible mission—one that could bond her to Armand forever, or irrevocably tear them apart.

Beautifully written, deeply romantic, and filled with daring adventure and magic, The Deepest Night is a mesmerizing novel of the enduring pull of destiny, and the eternal strength of love. 

This. series.  

I have to admit, I've never been a huge fan of dragons (or drakon as they are called in this series). Mermaids? Yes. Dragons? Not so much. In fact, I'm pretty sure The Sweetest Dark was the first book I have read featuring a dragon, aside from Talking to Dragons that I read in 6th grade (a million years ago). Add that to a setting that I adore, and you have my instant fandom.

I love this series.

Why? That's a more complicated answer than I probably have time for, but in it's simplest terms it's because of the beautiful, lyrical writing. There is a certain flow in the prose that borders between a fantasy novel and some eloquent, antiqued story. I love Victorian literature, and The Sweetest Dark and The Deepest Night blend those lines perfectly. However, I did not find The Deepest Night to have the same poetic feel as the first book. At times it was there, but it wasn't as abundant as the first time around.

I also found that some parts of the plot lingered too long this time around. It seemed like more of the story was focused on Ahmed than Lora. Now, don't get me wrong. I do enjoy Ahmed, but it made things a bit slow to tell both those stories at the same time.

Overall, I think The Deepest Night suffered from middle child syndrome. It wasn't as trail blazing as the first book and is lacking the finality that the next book will have. It's lost somewhere in the middle. Necessary to move the plot along, but lacking the pizazz in the elements of The Sweetest Dark that took my breath away. But I do still recommend this series. I read The Deepest Night in one sitting; I didn't want to put it down.


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