The Sweetest Dark by Shana Abe

For fans of Lauren Kate and Libba Bray, The Sweetest Dark is filled with thrilling romance, exciting adventure, and ancient magic. Shana Abé brilliantly captures the drama of post-Victorian England, while unfolding a passionate love story that defies time.
“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.

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 Rating and Review


This book is artwork. It is beautiful and breathtaking. The world, we are thrown into, is created effortlessly and is so spellbinding that you just can't put it down once you start. 

The setting takes place in the England during WWI. The world painting is so wonderful. You can't feel the darkness and uncertainty that surrounds the world with the war and never does it have to be stated. 

The main character is Lora. I loved her. Her life has been hell from the time she was found wandering the streets of London as a young child. She hears songs from her surroundings and an inner voice in her heart. She is raised in an orphanage, always alone and always separated for being different. She is scent to an asylum  and quickly learns to hide her secrets from the world or else. This character is not perfect. She is strong, but this comes from how her life has been so far. She has always had to be strong. Her growth throughout the book is smooth and heartfelt. It's not forced and it flows naturally. 

She is sent to a school for England's Upper Crust girls as a charity case when the orphanage has to dispand because of the war. 

Here we meet the two young men in the story. 

First, there's Jessie, the groundkeeper, who everyone thinks is a mute. He helps Lora learn who and what she is. They have a connection that goes beyond the world we know. 

Then there is Armand.  He is the Duke's son. He is instantly captivated by this strange girl of "lesser blood."  Little does he and Lora know, but they are also connected in more ways then one. 

This book was a breath of fresh air to me. It was such a beautiful piece of YA fiction. It had the same romantic quality to it that I feel with Anne of Green Gables.  The book moves smoothly and flows so effortlessly that you feel every once of the story. 

I can not wait to read to the next one. 
 You should most certainly read this. It is one that should not be overlooked.    



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