Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

Book:  The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe            
Series: The Sweetest Dark #1
Genre: YA Fantasy, Historical Fiction
Acquired: Amazon
My Rating: ♥♥♥♥


"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 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. 

Filled with lush atmosphere, thrilling romance, and ancient magic, The Sweetest Dark brilliantly captures a rich historical era while unfolding an enchanting love story that defies time. 

My Thoughts:

This review was so hard for me to write. I loved the book, but sometimes it's really hard to put it into words. Shana Abe gave me historical fiction with an unique fantasy twist. Drakon was a term I had not heard of until this book. It was fantastic! Her writing is beautiful, and the characters are perfect. This is a book that you will pick up and be captivated by the first chapter. 

Eleanor "Lora" Jones came from an orphanage, but spent a major part of her life in a mental hospital because of the songs and voice she heard in her head. The orphanage is in London, right in the middle of  World War I. All children are being sent out of London and Lora has the good fortune of being sent to Iverson, an elite boarding school for girls, only it turns out not to be such a coincidence that she ended up there. 

In her time at Iverson she meets some interesting characters that play a big role in her life, Jesse-the groundskeeper, and Armand-the Duke of Idylling's son. While this first looks like the makings of a love triangle, it's far from it. Lora makes it very clear from the start who she wants to be with and how she feels. (I personally LOVE Armand.) These three all have a future and a past that is intertwined together by a events that only Jesse is aware of.

She also finds somewhat of a "friend" in an unexpected character, Lady Sophia. Sophia is one of my absolute favorite characters in this book. She turns out the be completely different than I initially thought she would be. I feel the need to mention the headmistress also, only because every time she was around it sent steam out of my ears. She's horrible! She pretty much seems to live her life to make Lora feel that she is not meant to be in their world.

Now why did I give this a 4 ♥ rating instead of a 5? Well the entire book is based in this WWI setting, yet it's not really made CRUCIAL through the entire book, just little stuff here and there. I felt like it was just a setting background, until the very end. BAM, it's right at Lora's doorstep. The way the ending plays out I feel like there should of been more of a build up to it. It got really intense towards the end, I just wanted to know what was happening. When I finally found the explanation to what happened, well I was kind of like "this is it?". I was border lined confused. I feel like it was kind of just placed in there. I also wanted a LOT more back story to the things Lora learns from Jesse. I wanted to know a lot more about the drakon world, and more about Jesse and who he was. You are just kind of told who they are, then that's about it. I'm really hoping for more in the other books.

**I did read the next one, and will have a review up for that soon. I will say after reading the second one it does help me understand the point of the ending from The Sweetest Dark, but I still feel there should have been more build of that story line in the book.  :)


  1. I haven't read that many Historical Fiction but this sounds good. Sad that the WWI setting wasn't prominent cos that would've been really cool. Also, I don't do well with love triangles- I always seem to like the underdog.

    Lovely review, dear! Thanks for sharing your insights about this book. :)

    1. The WWI factor didn't relevant the entire way through until then end. I will say after reading the second book I understand it a little better now. I just wish she would of made me more aware that it was important before the end. I've been really into historical fiction lately. I love the time era. The love story in this I was glad to see wasn't a typical love triangle. I don't really think it can be classified as one. She is never confused or torn over what to do. Just both guys care for her. But I hope you give it a chance because it is a really good read! Thanks for stopping by!


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