Review: Darker Still, Leanna Renee Hieber

Darker StillIt was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas.

It was the most exquisite portrait I’d ever seen–everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable…utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike.

There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide. He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.

I’ve crossed over into his world within the painting, and I’ve seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too.

He and I are inextricably linked–bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. Unless I can free him soon, things will only get Darker Still.

I’ve decided to write a review about this wonderful book after reading its sequel, the also wonderful The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart. I met these characters back in 2011, when this books was still an ARC, and fell in love with the way Leanna Renee Hieber created a tale mixing Pride and Prejudice with Dorian Gray. You have to be blind if you don’t see the construction of both in this novel.

Natalie is a mute woman that just got back from the school for people with “special needs”. In her time, 1880, women like her didn’t have much of a social life, and she expresses herself through her diary, which the reader has access to.

When a new famous portrait comes to New York, it catches the attention of highly educated Natalie. Because of this picture, she gets involved with occultist and rich Evelyn Northe, and with her by her side starts to understand the ramifications of being enchanted by the beautiful and haunted picture of Lord Denbury.

Mixing a very strong narrative and a love that seems to be impossible, between a picture and a mute woman, the book travels through this facts and creates a beautiful tale full of figurative aspects. It’s a love story, and a beautiful one at that.

Natalie is a sweetheart, and her point of view is very rich and very well done. Lord Denbury puts a spell in the readers too, and it’s impossible not to fall in love with the way all characters were portrayed in this tale. Amazing and very well written, this book was, back then, a breathe of fresh air.

It’s a shame that it was forgotten by me for a long time, but when I got my hands on its sequel, I couldn’t help but reread this one, feeling everything I felt the first time again. I highly recommend this one.

Magic Most Foul

Author: Leanna Renee Hieber
Country: United States
Language: English
Genre(s): Fantasy, Romance
Age group: Young Adult
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication date: November 8th, 2011
Pages: 317
Rating: 4 and a half book

1 Comment

  1. Laila Campos says:

    hmmm…i think i like the premise of this story. i will take note of this. lately i have been reading a lot of YA dystopian, post apocalyptic, sci-fi series and after i finished this latest series by V. Rossi, i will take a break and start on some contemporary ones.
    it is good to hear from you again ladies :)


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