“I know it hurts,” she said. “So make it worth the pain.”
– V. E. Schwab, Our Dark Duet
What an appropriate quote that is! This book was definitely worth the pain.
I recently spent a Saturday binge-reading this book (a rare experience for me, I can tell you) and I loved it. Set 6 months after This Savage Song, this sequel really hits the ground running. Lots of new characters are introduced but the focus is still on Kate, who is as badass as ever, and my precious cinnamon roll August (who may be one of my favourite characters ever).
I just adore the whole concept of this duology. It’s dark and destructive, and highlights the fantastic issue of morality. I mean, nothing in these books is black and white. NOTHING. Every character has an amazing moral ‘greyness’ and nobody is all good or all bad. It’s refreshing.
Another thing that is refreshing is the lack of romance in this duology. I did get a little concerned at one point that Schwab was going to take things in a different direction but I think I worried unnecessarily. It’s so nice to be able to read a book (or in this case two books) where the protagonists can not only survive but excel without falling head-over-heels in love with each other; they don’t spend all of their time mooning over the flecks of gold in the other’s eyes, they actually GET STUFF DONE. Schwab keeps the focus squarely on the monsters and the violence and the super dark action. #priorities
The story was action-packed and never once slowed down, which is possibly why I was able to fly through it so quickly. It was a complete rollercoaster ride and left me feeling a little exhausted at the end (in a good way).
Schwab’s writing remains excellent and I am convinced that she is an evil genius. Her books (the ones I’ve read at least) are character-driven, and she writes great females who make no apologies for who they are. She also excels at including diversity, which is no easy feat within fantasy books, and this does not feel at all forced. I thought the inclusion of a gender-neutral character in this book was a fantastic choice.
I did notice a handful of minor errors scattered throughout that were obviously missed during editing, but I was so engrossed in the story that I couldn’t even force myself to care! It is testament to Schwab’s talent that I would class her as one of my favourite authors, even though I have only read two of her books. I definitely recommend this duology!
Who else is a Schwabling?! Have you read this duology yet? And how soon do I need to read the Shades of Magic series? Let’s fangirl!