Give The Dark My Love by Beth Revis
When seventeen-year-old Nedra Brysstain leaves her home in the rural, northern territories of Lunar Island to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn 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, who all look down on her.
All, except for 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 continue to grow closer, 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.
I can’t remember why I preordered this book (and I preordered it twice somehow, so past me, must have really wanted to read it, thanks past me), but it wasn’t a super hyped one, or one I have seen many people reviewing and that is a huge shame.
Give the Dark My Love was a punch in the gut and the brain in a very good way. (Weird way to seel this right? give me a chance). We meet Nedra when she is about to leave, and we also meet Nessie. She is her twin and you can see that even though they aren’t rich, this is a family full of love, that cares, and it is a good family (plus the parents aren’t absent exactly, and they are in a way a huge part of the story, but explaining this would be adding a spoiler and I shall leave it at that). Actually, we technically meet her in the prologue which is actually something that happens afterwards in the main story, but never mind. It is a powerful prologue and worth the read.
Then she comes to the main Academy, because she has been granted a sponsorship to help her study there. Potentially from the Emperor. And we get the usual “school/academy” intro. We also get to meet Grey, who is the other point of view for the story, and will give us his side from someone that is rich and is trying to break away from politics (because that is what his father does, and his grandfather, you get the idea).
Oh, and there is a plague happening and it starts at first quietly but it becomes worse and worse drastically, and Nedra starts toeing the line for necromancy because she can’t seem to find any other way to solve this (nor can anyone else, and her Master/senior, Master Ostrum is also trying very hard, and they both agree things just don’t seem to work).
It is very well built as a world, the alchemy part is amazing and evne the necromancy sides are very interesting. So this book kept me hooked.
But one of the things I loved the most was that it shows grief raw, and in different forms. And it was interesting to ask the question of “what are you willing to do or not do when you’re grieving and have lost so much?”. Another wonderful thing is that not everything is blakc and white, plus there are some good twists there (I guessed some, not all, and I liked seeing the twists and the reasons behind them).
In summary, this is a dark fantasy that touches closely on death (and “zombies/necromancy) but also on the human side of grief and on what the response of people can be to plague and other issues.
Dropping everything, and giving the dark some love with this book. I can’t wait for the sequel and I am very impressed with it. Other books recently reviewed dealing with grief would be: Only Love Can Break Your Heart and Letters to the Lost.