Graphic Novel Review: The Deep & Dark Blue by Niki Smith

The Deep & Dark Blue by Niki Smith. Little Brown, 2020. 9780316485982. 256pp.

Twin brothers Grayson and Hawke manage to escape during their cousin Mirelle’s coup against their grandfather. Needing a place to hide, they disguise themselves as girls and join the Sisters of the Communion Blue as new initiates, Grace and Hanna. They go to some effort to keep their secret, but are tested along with the other new girls. Soon Hawke is training to become a guardian, who will protect the Sisters, and Grace is welcomed as a spinner who will learn to create the threads that bind the world (and the magic that goes along with that). Hawke rankles at staying hidden, but it’s clear that Grace’s place and new identity means much more to her. When the two have a chance to expose the truth of what their cousin did, Grace tells her brother as much, though they still go forward with their risky plan that starts with removing a magical tapestry from the Sisters’ Library of Ancestors.

Smith’s art grew on me as the book progressed, and I especially loved the way she showed Grace’s emotions as she slowly figured out who she is. This is a great book for middle schoolers, and I’m sure some younger and older kids will love it, too.


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