Dark and Deepest Red

Anna-Marie McLemore

fiction fantasy young adult
adventurous emotional informative medium-paced

309 pages | first published 2020

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.

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mysterious 69%
emotional 57%
hopeful 48%
dark 42%
reflective 34%
adventurous 32%
tense 32%
sad 21%
inspiring 17%
challenging 15%
informative 9%


medium 50%
slow 30%
fast 18%

Plot- or character-driven?

A mix: 60% | Character: 30% | Plot: 10%

Strong character development?

Yes: 70% | It's complicated: 20% | No: 10%

Loveable characters?

Yes: 63% | It's complicated: 22% | No: 10% | N/A: 4%

Diverse cast of characters?

Yes: 98% | It's complicated: 1%

Flaws of characters a main focus?

Yes: 50% | No: 29% | It's complicated: 15% | N/A: 4%

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