ARC Book Review: Dark and Deepest Red

Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore
Dark and Deepest Red by Anna-Marie McLemore

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Retelling, Historical Fiction

Release Date: January 14, 2020



In the Summer of 1518, a strange dancing plague is released over the land and Lavinia is accused of witchcraft.  

Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes seal to Rosella Oliva’s feet, making her dance uncontrollably. Emil recognizes the signs because it was his family that was accused in 1518.  As Emil tries to save Rosella he finds out the truth about what happened in 1518.

This post contains affiliate links. You can read more on my disclosures page.

Thank you to Feiwel & Friends for providing me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. 


Dark and Deepest Red was one of those books that I really had to digest before being able to write a review.  I knew I enjoyed it, but there was also a lot going on in this book. The book is set in two different time periods one in 1518 and the other in present day.  The present-day narrative was then told in two different POVs. It wasn’t confusing but as I said it was a lot going on. Of the two time periods, I actually preferred the historical one.  The story was a bit more cohesive and I was a lot more invested in those characters

One thing that I loved was this book shining a light on the fact that the LGBTQ+ community did not just start recently.  I loved that this book pointed it out and highlighted the struggles that they faced long ago. That may be one of the reasons I enjoyed the historical period more.  

The present period dealt more with Emil and his struggle to come to terms with his ancestry.  I did feel like this storyline could have been a bit more fleshed out and it was certainly secondary to the 1518 storyline.  The two stories did a good job of weaving in and out of each other, if this book had just been set in 1518, that would have been fine by me. 

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