Book Review: The Deep & Dark Blue
I have a soft spot for well-written YA fiction. It can be surprisingly deep, and the storylines are often more engaging, more character-driven than adult fiction. So when my brother recommended The Deep & Dark Blue to me, I had to give it a read.
First of all, it's a graphic novel, so there's enchanting art to go along with the story. I love the bold pink-and-blue color scheme; it underlines one of the book's main themes (gender exploration).
At first the storyline appears to be pretty ordinary: In a vaguely historical-fantasy world, bad guys usurp power and kids have to save the day. But there's far more to the tale than just that.
The main characters are twins, one of whom turns out to be trans (the story is very affirming). There's magic involved, of a kind that I love: spinning/weaving Fate magic that's safeguarded by an ancient sisterhood. And the personal exploration that both of the twins go through to find not just their true selves but their inner strength and values is pretty hard-hitting.
There is some violence (the coup involves sword-based murder), and there's political intrigue. The kids have to learn to strictly control themselves to be safe, and they're in some amount of danger throughout most of the story. There's an appropriate amount of suspense, and the magic is woven throughout the story in a way that makes sense and supports the storyline.
Overall, I found it to be a very enjoyable, if somewhat emotional, read. Certainly appropriate for middle-grade kids, but maybe it should be on adult bookshelves, too.