engaging YA fantasy
"Give the Dark My Love" is a dark but engaging YA fantasy. Told in alternating perspectives, we follow two characters- Nedra and Grey. Nedra is leaving home in the pursuit of knowledge, seeking to unite the more progressive medical advances of alchemy with the older 'old wives' tales' medical treatments. The beginning of the book is exciting as Nedra is from a poor family but has received a prestigious scholarship, and she is bright-eyed as she enters the Yugen Academy.
Grey is from a wealthy family and at the top of his class (until Nedra appears). He is immediately attracted to her and they become friends, and a romance soon blossoms. However, before you know it, the plot gets darker and darker spiraling into something more engaging albeit harsher. A plague is killing people around the country and in the city of the Academy. Nedra and Grey are working with a professor who is trying to study it and create a cure. There are some pretty horrific descriptions of the victims and the experiences they have (for instance, during a horrible amputation in an effort to save someone's life, the patient dies- Nedra is in shock the whole time; also, what happens when she is with her family).
No one is safe from this plague, and the descriptions of death and illness are not for the faint of heart. This book is a true page-turner that will keep you moving quickly. I had a hard time putting it down and I really enjoyed it- this is a great read, but be forewarned about this- this is not a light fantasy. With themes of poverty and socioeconomic disparities plus the lengths you'll need to go to for answers/a cure and medical ethics, this is a really well-written book. I highly recommend for readers who enjoy darker YA fantasy (e.g. The Young Elites series, Dark Gifts series, The Lone City series)- you won't want to miss this!