When seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn the trade of medicinal alchemy. A scholarship student matriculating with the children of Lunar Island’s wealthiest and most powerful families, Nedra doesn’t quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen, who all look down on her.
All, except for Greggori “Grey” Astor. Grey is immediately taken by the brilliant and stubborn Nedra, who he notices is especially invested in her studies. And that’s for a good reason: a deadly plague has been sweeping through the North, and it’s making its way toward the cities. With her family’s life–and the lives of all of Lunar Island’s citizens–on the line, Nedra is determined to find a cure for the plague.
Grey and Nedra continue to grow closer, but as the sickness spreads and the body count rises, Nedra becomes desperate to find a cure. Soon, she finds herself diving into alchemy’s most dangerous corners–and when she turns to the most forbidden practice of all, necromancy, even Grey might not be able to pull her from the darkness.
It was dark and twisted and exactly what an antihero story should be.
Before I dived into the Give the Dark My Love (does anyone else think the title is gorgeous!) I read some reviews and I was seduced by the notion of an antiheroine. It is not so often when books show us full descent of leading character into the darkness. But Give the Dark My Love does it unapologetically and with a brazen flare.
I shuddered every time I had to read about the monstrosities the heroine had to endure. The world she is living in is dark and somehow hope is such a corporeal and illusional thing. And by the end of the book, it is shuttered and stomped into the dirt without looking back or having any regrets. Evil is not born, it’s made, plays inside my brain after I finish the last page. But is giving into the Darkness makes one a full-born villain? I don’t think so; things are so much more complex.
Give the Dark My Love might pose as your average young adult fantasy we have read so many times before, but it’s for sure have a subtext that is visible almost from the start: you still don’t know but you can feel that it’s not going to be easy and fluffy read. And I believe it’s the first book I’ve read that introduces triple twists in one chapter. Don’t get we wrong, the plot is quite predictable but the path you need to follow through that plot is a hell of a ride, and even, though, things are predictable, you don’t feel less shocked at the realization that ‘she actually did it’.
Oh my, do I need book 2 in my hands right now? I sure do. Necromancy is quite addictive, it turns out.
“If you do this, Nedra, if you choose necromancy . . . I will not follow you into that darkness.”
“Oh, Grey, what do you know of darkness?”