Our Dark Duet

Some books require a deep breath.


  • Author: Victoria Schwab
  • Publisher: Greenwillow
  • Year: 2017
  • Genre vibe: Urban fantasy!
  • At a glance: Things are  bad, and a badder monster has come to Verity. August Flynn and Kate Harker are up against their worst enemies: themselves. Lots of things get broken.

What all is there to say about this book? Not a lot, I think. This Savage Song was one of the most exciting books of last year–Schwab is a legend, and Urban Fantasy is a much-neglected niche of the YA market. You bet I was stoked. When the conclusion to this lovely duology arrived in this world, I was in Kansas for a writing workshop, and I had the opportunity to travel to Barnes & Noble and retrieve the precious. That very same day, some friends and I happened to be cosplaying some characters from the Shades of Magic series, so what a coincidence! However we neglected to take pictures with the new arrival, so oops.

But I got the book home, got swept up in other lovelies (like A Good Idea), and then finally picked it up. A weekend flew by, and suddenly it was gone. I couldn’t believe how quickly all those pages flew by, and my heart hurt at the end (as one’s heart does at the end of a Schwab novel), and I wondered for a couple days after…what next? What now? How do I even feel about this? And I’ve come to a couple of conclusions.

  1. These books need to be re-read, slowly.

There’s a meatiness to these books that I feel like I missed as I sped on through, caught up in the story and the world and all the things going on and the monsters and the darkness and the light and the everything. There’s some absolutely stunning insight in these, I feel, and I feel it gets missed when one gets caught up.

Schwab is very good at humanity. It’s one of my favorite things to read about, and one of my favorite things about her work. The Monsters of Verity books are simply soaking with it, and it’s an aspect that I feel deserves digging for.

2. The best part of these books is the music.

Schwab’s writing is like lyrics in this book more than in any of her others that I’ve read. I keep a small notebook nearby whenever I’m reading to jot down quotes, and I just filled half of one with things from this book because they just struck a chord with me.

These books are, of course, about the music. “Sing a song and steal your soul“, yes? But there’s something raw and real and lovely about the actual verbiage of this book in particular that really drove it home with me, and that, I think, is my favorite part.

So overall, this book is…

  • 4.5/5 stars
  • For people who love monsters and who also love humans; for people who wonder about the difference between the two.
  • silent blood and gore and quiet music.
  • Honestly, I couldn’t think of a single song I listened to during this book to go along with it, because this book was the song.