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Darker Still by Leanna Renee Hieber

It’s New York City in the 1880s, and seventeen-year-old Natalie Stewart is a little bit of an odd girl. No one really knows how to deal with her because of her selective muteness, and as a result, Natalie is left mostly to herself. But when a mysterious painting of the British Lord Denbury arrives and is set to be displayed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Natalie’s life takes a turn for the more interesting. There’s something so striking, so alluring about this portrait that seems to draw Natalie in. But it’s not just the attractive features of Denbury that have Natalie captivated, but the way his eyes seems to follow her about the room and the way details of the painting keep changing. Could it be that there’s something else at work here, something like dark magic? In any case, from the moment Natalie sets her eyes on Lord Denbury, she knows her life will never be the same—and she’s right.

Hieber has created a truly fantastic historical and paranormal tale in Darker Still. The story opens as many other young adult historical novels do, with a young woman concerned with her future prospects. Natalie is a well-to-do young lady who would be a willing participant in society if not for her muteness. Her worries for the sorry state of her future are quickly overshadowed when Lord Denbury appears in her life—because he seems to be trapped in a painting and Natalie is determined to free him. Readers will be swept along into Natalie’s world with each magical or otherwise sinister twist of the plot. In addition to a lovely and captivating story, I have to say that I really enjoyed Hieber’s writing and descriptions. Her tendency for the dramatic and theatrical really helps set the scene and makes the story, along with all of Natalie’s many issues, come to life. In all, I was quite enamored with Darker Still and eagerly await the next installment in the Magic Most Foul series.

Darker Still appeals to fans of Bewitching Season by Marissa Doyle, A Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray, and The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen.

Rating: 4.5

Review copy from NetGalley

1 munch(es) :

Kelsey said...

I have been wanting to read this one for awhile- great review!

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