Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul
Written by Leanna Renee Hieber
Published by Sourcebooks, Inc
Released on November 8, 2011
YA Paranormal Romance
I was obsessed.
It 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. And unless I can free him soon things will get Darker Still.
Ms. Hieber has written a wonderful, gothic tale of "magic most foul." It is dark and romantic with a splash of suspense. Darker Still is just the beginning of, hopefully, many adventures of Natalie Stewart.
Natalie is a heroine who is trapped inside herself. Mute since she was a child, she has difficulty communicating in the world. She is incredibly intelligent and frustrated by how people treat her. However, she hasn't found the stength to find her voice until she comes face to face with the portrait of Lord Denbury. Their connection is immediate. Ms. Hieber was written a lovely character in Natalie. She has strength and intelligence that grow throughout the book. I really enjoyed Natalie's self discovery of who is she and who she wants to be.
Usually I do not enjoy immediate lovestruck heroine and hero. However, it does work in this story. I believe Natalie and Lord Denbury will start facing real challenges in future books. As I was reading, I'm convinced that he may have a little darkness in him which we may see later on. Darker Still didn't really delve into Lord Denbury's character in great detail. Ms. Hieber gave us a glimpse. He should prove to be very interesting in future stories.
New York City is another major character. I loved how she was used throughout the book. Central Park is Natalie's refuge and safe haven. I can just picture it during the Victorian period; men and women promenading up and down the paths wanting to be seen. New York is a wonderful backdrop for a dark, gothic tale such as this. You can picture in your mind the dark, misty streets of the New York City and Natalie running to try to save her love. So romantic!
Darker Still is a wonderful beginning to the Magic Most Foul series. I'm so curious on how Natalie and Lord Denbury will evolve and how they will continue to fight Magic Most Foul.