Riveting Read: Give the Dark My Love

Riveting Read: Give the Dark My Love

A dark and twisted tale of an anti-hero

Perfect for fans of Leigh Bardugo and Cinda Williams Chima

Her current read is ‘Give the Dark My Love’ by Beth Revis

This instalment of Riveting Reads come to you from Assistant Youth Librarian Kerrie Gamble.

When seventeen-year-old Nedra leaves her rural home to attend the prestigious Yugen Academy, she has only one goal in mind: learn the trade of medicinal alchemy. As a scholarship student Nedra doesn't quite fit in with the other kids at Yugen, who all look down on her.
All, except for Grey. 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

Beth Revis has created complex and compelling characters that keep you invested in their story. Revis’ two main characters are opposites in many ways including their upbringing, Nedra comes from a hard working poor family while Grey comes from a wealthy political family. Through these contrasts of characters you experience both viewpoints about the plague. Nedra is by far the more interesting and compelling character as she is the one who drives the plot forward. Nedra’s choices throughout the novel may be fraught but her risk taking is thrilling. Nedra is driven by ambition and love, she is fierce but her passions tend to lead her astray. Her compassion for the world and those who surround her leads her on a hard journey filled with pain, violence and grit. Nedra does a lot of questionable things but still you can’t help but root for her. She is a compelling anti-hero who is the perfect example of doing the wrong thing for the right reasons. The overall question that plays in your mind is how far will Nedra and by extension ourselves venture into darkness for the ones we love?

A compelling and haunting fantasy with an emotion packed plot that will keep readers turning the page. This dark fantasy employs excellent character, thoughtful world building and an intelligent plot. Revis uses these devices to advocate for community service and accessible healthcare but not in a way that detracts from the plot. ‘Give the Dark My Love’ is a complex and atmospheric mix of family, fantasy, secrets and political intrigue. There is a great discussion around privilege throughout this novel. The tool used to do this is the different socioeconomic status of the two main characters and the conversations they have throughout the novel. Revis has the belief that the privileged are able to manipulate powerhouses and government to work in their favour against what is best for everyone which is prevalent throughout this novel. Nedra and Grey are examples of how privilege shapes people and the decisions they make and it’s not until you face someone different from you do you realise your misconceptions. Overall this is a dark, dangerous and utterly captivating beginning to a series.

A twisted tale about a heroine’s descent into villainy

You can find this book in Young Adult Fiction under REV

Kerrie Gamble