Saturday, August 10, 2013

ARC Review: The Deepest Night by Shana Abe

The Deepest Night
Author: Shana Abe
Publication: Bantam (August 13, 2013)

Description: 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 near—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 at her side, 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.

My Thoughts: THE DEEPEST NIGHT was lush, atmospheric, adventurous and romantic. Lora and Armand must travel from England to Germany, during World War I, to rescue Armand's older brother who is a prisoner of war in Germany.

Lora is still grieving the loss of her love Jesse who became a star in the first book. She is also coming to terms with the idea that she is drakon. While she is getting better at turning to smoke, she is still often unsuccessful at assuming her dragon form. Armand, also drakon, is not yet able to shift into either form. Armand, the rich son of a duke who has been committed to a madhouse, has also fallen in love with Lora who is a nameless orphan and charity student at an exclusive girls' school. Their social classes couldn't be farther apart.

They spend time together because they are both drakon but Lora is not ready to fall in love with him. When he turns his home into a facility that provides care for wounded soldiers, Lora is invited to work as a nurse. Her only other option is to work at an orphanage in Scotland which is not acceptable to her. After much practice at turning into a dragon and much planning, Armand and Lora take off to rescue Armand's brother Aubrey. 

Along the way they face many dangerous situations. Things are even more complicated when Armand makes his first shift into smoke and is almost lost. Lora makes a deal with the stars to exchange her life for his. Armand survives but now Lora is waiting for her life to end. 

I enjoyed this well-written fantasy novel and look forward to the next book to see what happens next for the characters. Both this book and the first in the series - THE SWEETEST DARK - will appeal to fantasy lovers, romance lovers, and lovers of historical fiction. 

Favorite Quote:
"What josser was the first person to slit open a sturgeon and see a slimy blob of eggs and think, Right, I'm going to eat that?" I swiped again at my tongue. "I never thought there existed a food I wouldn't like, but you, my  lord, have proven me wrong."
I got this eARC from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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