Give the Dark My Love by Beth Revis
Publication Date: September 25, 2018
Summary from NetGalley:
Seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy with only one goal in mind: master 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.
Until she meets 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 grow close, 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.
ARC provided by Penguin Young Readers Group via NetGalley for an honest review.
This is a very powerful book. It is about overwhelming grief, the loss of innocence and the slow descent into darkness. If you enjoy reading about anti-heroes and their descent into villainy then this is the book for you.
Nedra starts off as a very sweet, innocent young lady, off to school in the city. Having been raised in the country she is totally out of her league in the elite school that she has received a scholarship too. She wants to become a medical alchemist so that she can do good in the world. As she becomes more involved with caring for the people who have the plague, she becomes more aware of the politics surrounding her and the dying. She wants to make things right, not just help with the pain and the suffering but to find a cure. Her descent into necromancy is driven by grief and by the suffering that is all around her. I loved her relationship with her family and especially her twin sister, Ernestra. They were not in the book much, but when they were it was a light in an otherwise very dark book.
Greggori, Grey, is a very sweet character as well. I loved how he wanted to save Nedra from herself. Some chapters are narrated by Grey, but this book is not really about him and Nedra’s romance. His chapters told mostly the political side of things and about his not really understanding what was happening to Nedra. He was a wonderful counterpoint to her descent, as his mind was opened to what was really happening in his world. You could tell that their relationship was doomed from the beginning, but I was hopeful that some good would come out of it.
“If you do this, Nedra, if you choose necromancy… I cannot follow you into that darkness.”
“Oh, Grey,” I said, shifting my bag onto my shoulder. “What do you know of darkness?”
This book is not for the squeamish. There are scenes involving amputation that are pretty descriptive. The path to necromancy also requires some sacrifices on the part of Nedra that are not pleasant.
A beautifully dark book about grief and making choices that you can not come back from.