Dark and Deepest Red

Anna-Marie McLemore

fiction Fantasy Young Adult
adventurous emotional informative medium-paced

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Summer, 1518. A strange sickness sweeps through Strasbourg: women dance in the streets, some until they fall down dead. As rumors of witchcraft spread, suspicion turns toward Lavinia and her family, and Lavinia may have to do the unimaginable to save herself and everyone she loves.

Five centuries later, a pair of red shoes seal to Rosella Oliva’s feet, making her dance uncontrollably. They draw her toward a boy who knows the dancing fever’s history better than anyone: Emil, whose family was blamed for the fever five hundred years ago. But there’s more to what happened in 1518 than even Emil knows, and discovering the truth may decide whether Rosella survives the red shoes.

With McLemore's signature lush prose, Dark and Deepest Red pairs the forbidding magic of a fairy tale with a modern story of passion and betrayal.

What the community thinks

summary of 222 ratings (see reviews)

Content warnings

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Homophobia (1 reviewer), Racism (1 reviewer), Transphobia (1 reviewer), and Religious bigotry (1 reviewer)


Racial slurs (1 reviewer), Racism (1 reviewer), Transphobia (1 reviewer), and Religious bigotry (1 reviewer)


Genocide (1 reviewer), Homophobia (1 reviewer), Racial slurs (1 reviewer), Sexual content (1 reviewer), Sexual violence (1 reviewer), and Antisemitism (1 reviewer)


emotional 59%
mysterious 59%
hopeful 55%
adventurous 40%
dark 40%
tense 37%
reflective 25%
sad 25%
informative 18%
inspiring 11%
challenging 7%


medium 53%
slow 32%
fast 14%

Strong character development?

Yes: 72% | It's complicated: 16% | No: 12%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 56% | It's complicated: 32% | No: 12%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 96% | It's complicated: 3%

Flaws of characters centre-stage?

Yes: 69% | It's complicated: 13% | No: 13% | N/A: 4%

Average rating


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