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Book Review: The Deepest Night by Shana Abe

Shana Abe’s The Deepest Night will make you love historical fiction/fantasy if you didn’t before (although I’m not sure why you wouldn’t already…).

Book Review: The Deepest Night by Shana Abe

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the deepest night shana abe

Title & Author: The Deepest Night by Shana Abe

Genre: YA – Historical Fiction, Dragons

Release Date: August 13, 2013

Series: #2 in The Sweetest Dark series

Publisher: Bantam

How I Got the Book: ARC via NetGalley


“It’s 1915, and sixteen-year-old Lora Jones is finishing up her first year as a charity student at Iverson, a prestigious, gothic boarding school on England’s southern coast. While she’s always felt different from everyone around her, now she finally knows why: She is a drákon, a rare, enchanted being with astonishing magical abilities.

As war hits Britain’s shores, and Lora reels from an unimaginable loss, she finds that her powers come with grave and dangerous responsibilities. At the request of Armand Louis, the darkly mysterious boy whose father owns Iverson, Lora will spend her summer at his lavish estate. To help the war effort—and to keep Lora by his side—Armand turns his home into a military hospital, where Lora will serve as a nurse. For Armand is inescapably drawn to her—bound to her by heart-deep secrets and a supernatural connection that runs thicker than blood.

Yet while Lora tries to sort out her own feelings toward Armand, fate offers an unexpected surprise. Lora discovers there is another drákon, a prisoner of war being held in Germany. And that only she, with her newly honed Gifts, will be able to rescue him.

With Armand, Lora will cross enemy lines on an incredible mission—one that could bond her to Armand forever, or irrevocably tear them apart.”

Historical Fiction & Dragons, A Winning Combo

The Deepest Night is a fantastic follow-up to The Sweetest Dark. It added a lot to the story and teased readers with new possibilities.

I’ve read my fair share of books with dragons (Seraphina, Firelight, Eragon, etc), but this one sits solidly on top of the rest. It offers more than just the novelty of dragons – especially because it’s more of a shape-shifting situation. It focuses on the characters and the war.

Plus, Lora is a delight. And by delight, I mean holy terror. She’s an interesting character because she’s not afraid of anything – despite being an orphan with no money, connections or power to speak of. Plus, she battles daily with Chloe and her other frenemies and doesn’t even break a sweat.

AND – Armand became WAY more likeable in The Deepest Night. In the first book, he was an annoyingly handsome rich boy, and in this book he was an annoyingly handsome rich boy…who was more endearing because of recent hardships. He does the spoiled and bored thing really well, but his feelings for Lora make him so much more likeable.

Powerful Sequel

I think I’ve mentioned this before, but I love a good physical journey in stories, where the characters are battling their surroundings, the bad guys and internal self-doubts. Instant entertainment.

Lora and Armand go on one such journey, and considering their mission, it’s a pretty big deal and pretty impossible. Oh, that’s another thing physical journeys need: impossible odds stacked against you.

How Shana Abe makes the journey even better is that she doesn’t patronize the readers by giving us a cookie-cutter perfect ending. Shizz goes down in epic journeys – especially when there is a world war involved and BOMBS. She takes us where we probably don’t want to go, but it results in a fantastic ending.


There’s not much I didn’t like about this second book in the Sweetest Dark series. It had emotion and drama and an epic journey. The Deepest Night is a fantastic sequel that combines whimsical fantasy with raw historical fiction.

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.