The Deep & Dark Blue
The Deep & Dark Blue
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Annotation: When a political coup causes them to flee, Hawke and Grayson assume new identities as Hanna and Grayce to find the Communion of Blue, an order of magical women, and the twins hatch a plan to avenge their family and retake their home.
Catalog Number: #192369
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Copyright Date: 2020
Edition Date: 2020
Pages: 256
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-316-48598-5
ISBN 13: 978-0-316-48598-2
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2019941622
Dimensions: 22 cm.
Language: English
Publishers Weekly
With capable worldbuilding and a positive look at transgender identity, Smith-s debut middle grade novel is likely to win over young fans of queer fantasy. Twins Hawke and Grayson are the grandchildren of the patriarch of House Sunderlay, a kingdom in a vaguely medieval world with a weaving-based origin story. Central to society is the Communion of Blue, a magical all-female monastic order. When one of the Sunderlay cousins stages a coup and captures the rightful heir to the throne, cousin Reyden, the twins flee for their lives. They find the perfect cover in the Communion as young initiates, where they go by -Hanna- and -Grayce.- Respectively, they study weaponless self-defense, guardianship, and how to spin the sacred blue -threads of the world,- while pondering justice and a return home. In doing so, their paths diverge: Hawke heeds a call to leadership, while Grayce discovers -This isn-t a disguise... It-s who I am.- Smith-s anime-inspired illustrations are smooth and beautifully costumed, with an open, cartoon expressiveness. If her universe doesn-t feel entirely original, it is nonetheless carefully considered, and young readers will enjoy inhabiting it. Final art not seen by PW. Ages 8-12. Agent: Charlie Olsen, InkWell Management. (Jan.)
School Library Journal
Gr 47 Identical twins Grayson and Hawke belong to one of their city-state's ruling families. When they lose their entire family in a bloody coup, the brothers disguise themselves as girls named Grayce and Hanna and hide out in the Communion of Blue, a religious order of magical women who weave using a mysterious deep blue dye that allows them to spin the threads of reality and manipulate elements such as fire and water. Obsessed with thwarting the traitors and getting his old life back, Hawke begrudges every moment he spends as a girl. His twin also wants justice, but identifying as a girl and belonging to the sisterhood feel like home, and she's anxious to remain true to herself, perhaps for the first time in her life. Smith vividly depicts siblings who couldn't be more different yet grow together. When confronted with Grayce's true identity, Hawke accepts that she is the same twin he has always loved, and they remain two halves of an unbroken whole. Manga-esque art advances the action smoothly, and speech bubbles are expressive and well placed. The palette is integral to the story: dynamic backgrounds rely on beautifully saturated hues, including royal purples, and blue-tinged scenes portraying the order's use of magic are mesmerizing. VERDICT Children figuring out where they fit in will appreciate this stunning work that does double duty as an absorbing adventure and a gentle musing on gender identity, family, and acceptance.Kelley Gile, Cheshire Public Library, CT
Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
Starred Review for Kirkus Reviews (11/1/19)
Publishers Weekly
School Library Journal (11/1/19)
Reading Level: 4.0
Interest Level: 3-6

The Witch Boy meets The Legend of Korra in this breathtaking, epic graphic novel.

After a terrible political coup usurps their noble house, Hawke and Grayson flee to stay alive and assume new identities, Hanna and Grayce. Desperation and chance lead them to the Communion of Blue, an order of magical women who spin the threads of reality to their will.

As the twins learn more about the Communion, and themselves, they begin to hatch a plan to avenge their family and retake their royal home. While Hawke wants to return to his old life, Grayce struggles to keep the threads of her new life from unraveling, and realizes she wants to stay in the one place that will allow her to finally live as a girl.

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