Unfortunately, this was a DNF at page 63/300 so I can’t give it a real star rating. I usually don’t write separate blogs for the books I don’t finish but I had enough notes on “Dark and Deepest Red” to make one work.
Here’s my thoughts live while reading:
Rosella starts out the book for a couple pages in first person narrative, giving us a sense of her magical town and how her family is famous for making and selling red shoes to local women. I definitely need to keep going because it ended on a cliffhanger that the red shoes eventually hunt down Rosella. What could that possibly mean?!!!
The next chapter starts in Strasbourg in 1507 and switched to third person narrative about Lavinia (Lala for short.) I’m unsure at first if this jump is forward or backward in time compared to Rosella’s life.
I’m unsure Laila’s age or who Alifair is. Some of the prose are choppy and I keep needing to reread sentences to understand. The flow feels a bit off.
Yikes we’re on the third POV now which isn’t my favorite. I can’t sink into one characters story when the chapters are so short and staccato like this. Emil seems to be a friend of Rosella? Unsure which timeline though. Both of their families seem to have to hide their cultural traditions from the society they live in. There’s lots of vocabulary in unfamiliar with and eager to learn, like: vitsi, Manouche, Sinti, gadje, calaveras, Romanipen, and baxtale xajmata.
At page 17 I’m very confused. Why did Geruscha and Henne back away? What was the problem? What did they see that they weren’t supposed to? I don’t understand the rules of the world yet. Why did the people stop coming?
Is Alifair a male or female or transgender or are they referring to something else? That part wasn’t clear.
I like Rosella’s POV best so far. My intrigue with the red shoes is strong.
At page 43 I still have a very minimal concept of what to is book is about. Obviously the red shoes of Rosella’s family are magical. But why? And how does it contribute to anything. Then on the other side of the story, we know Lala and Emil aren’t accepted in their society. But how does this push momentum towards the climax? I don’t know any of their objectives. What are they driving towards? What is the point? I’m quite confused.
I’ve also noticed that random side characters are brought up as if they’ve already been introduced but they haven’t. Who is Adrian? Who is Luke? Who is Piper and Graham? Why do they matter? What is the focus of the novel? If feels a bit disorganized so far.
After 50 pages, things haven’t moved forward. Yes, there’s the glimmer and the magic shoes and the inequality. But there’s no centralized thing pulling them all together. Things feel a bit random. Sometimes events are brought up in retrospect as if the reader knows about them already so I don’t know what’s going on.
Something of substance may have started to take hold with the bewitched, possessed dancers. Delphine has danced herself to death. But why? What happened to them? Will Rosella do anything about it? Will it happen to her? What’s the point of the dancing? Who bewitched them?
Unfortunately, I only made it to page 62/300 and I’m kind of upset about it because I was really looking forward to this one. I just wasn’t enjoying the journey.
If you want to try my next trilogy and decide if it’s a DNF or not, click here.