The Sweetest Dark was one of those books that I am not sure what is going to be like and then once I began reading it completely suprised me in the best way! It was such a beautiful read, Shana Abe's writing was so lyrical and beautiful I fell in love with every chapter that I read. I was intrigued with our main character Eleanore Jones, I really felt like I was in her head, I got to know her completely which made me attached to her character and her journey.
Lora Jones was found wandering the streets of London as a young girl, sent to live in an orphanange she haunted by music and songs coming from the rocks and metals all over the world around her, not mention she has a voice that comes from inside of her that talks to her. After mentioning these things to her c haretakers, she is sent to live at Blisshaven, which a home for the mentally unstable. Growing up thinking she is crazy and being subjected to different type of treatments to cure her. Eventually her time at Blisshaven comes to an end and she becomes lucky enough to become a charity student at a rich boarding school called Iverson. Iverson is the beginning of everything for Lora, she will meet the two boys that will change her life forever, Jesse the simple groundskeeper, and Armand the dashing and proper son of the Duke.
I don't always like love triangles in young adult books because as we all know there is an overabundance of them and they can be seen in almost every book, but I actually really enjoyed the one between Lora, Jesse, and Armand. The book was not completely focused around it and it was not overbearing and obvious, they each had something different to offer her and they both helped Lora find herself and become who she was meant to be.
The fantasy aspect of this book was amazing! It was something I had not read about before and it really grabbed my attention, I was interested in finding out the lore and the history of it and learning all I could about Lora's abilities ( I know I am being vague but, I don't want to ruin it for you guys!) It intertwined with the lives of Armand and Jesse perfectly each of them playing a different part in her abilities.
I loved Lora's character so much, I was disappointed when, I saw it was just a stand alone, there is so much more about this story I would love to know. Being a poor girl and having to go to a rich boarding school in London in the 1900's as you can imagine was so hard for her, she did not fit in with the rest of her classmates and it seemed that everyone looked down upon her. She had her own room alone at the top of a tower that was separate from the other girl's dorms and not nearly as nice, yet it was so fitting for her character and definitely reminded me of a princess living up at the top of a tower waiting for prince to come.
Overall, this book was an amazing read. With history and fantasy mixed together seamlessly Shana Abe has created a tale for anyone young or old to enjoy. I really believe that this story will appeal to younger and older readers alike, it didn't feel so much young adult like some of the other books do. If you enjoy historical fiction and fantasy, this one is definitely for you!