Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab
My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Oh, my heart. I can’t. I absolutely adore V.E. Schwab’s books and this series is no different. Her stories are more of a slow burn than constant, action-packed scenes but that style lends itself fantastically to her incredible world building. The first book took place solely in Verity, or V-City, a place overrun by monsters. We heard about the other cities in This Savage Song, but in Our Dark Duet, we were able to experience one of the other ones. People always said that there were no monsters in Prosperity, but they were wrong. The city just had a different type of monster.
One of those different monsters finds its way to Verity and forces Kate to return home. Both Kate and August are different, having been forced to confront or suppress their demons. August is still my favourite of the two main characters, despite his struggles. They both experience character development that makes you feel for them and only wish for their happiness.
I am glad that we got a little more development of some of the secondary characters. Schwab populated her books with such a variety of interesting and unique characters that you want to get to know them better. You want to discover their motivations, desires, fears, and secrets. The additional depth provided to Ilsa makes you love her and just want to protect her from harm. The other character that I loved the introduction of would be spoiler-y, so I’ll just say I enjoyed the unique perspective they gave to the story and the diversity they added.
This world was so richly populated and described that it easily blooms into existence within your mind. Although this is only a duology and the final book, I would love to see more books set within this world. Perhaps the story in Verity is done, but there are plenty more monsters and cities to explore.
The story takes readers along on a steady, but not slow, ride that culminates with a dramatic flourish that will leave you breathless, a little heartbroken, yet hopeful.
I would highly recommend this fantastic urban fantasy series to all young adult/teen readers who enjoy fantasy, immersive world building, character development and V.E. Schwab’s other books (like the Shades of Magic trilogy).
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