My first graphic novel of the year and boy is it a good one. The Deep and Dark Blue is one of my favorite pieces of fiction. Period. Of the last few years. Why?
The Deep & Dark Blue by Niki Smith
Below are spoilers for the book
Twins Hawke and Grayson are part of a noble house, their grandfather is about to name their cousin the new head of the house. When a political coup happens and another family member takes over, the two boys have to flee.
The hide where no one would expect them, in an order of women, called the Communion of the Blue an order of magical women. Within the Communion, they are Grayce and Hanna, but while Grayce seems to take to the order like a fish to water, Hanna has a hard time. Grayce has never been comfortable being seen as a boy, and being in the Communion of the Blue feels like coming home for her. She learns how to spin the magical blue wool that controls the different elements in their world and finally finds her place.
Meanwhile, Hawke is having a tough time settling in, he meets an old friend who recognizes him from when they were children. She notes he needs to shave if he wants to keep up his disguise and she informs him that the family member who is responsible for the coup is coming for a blessing from the Communion of the Blue. Before they are officially made head of the noble house.
The twins know that the family member is really after a magical tapestry which shows the real heir of each noble house. The Communion of the Blue has a copy of the tapestry burned during the coup. Through this tapestry, they learned their cousin may be alive and hatch a rescue to take back their house and their family. Grayce though is reluctant to go back.
Their friend from childhood points out that Hawke hasn’t realized the change in Grayce, how she’s finally happy with who she is, the way she never was back when she was thought of as a boy.
Hawke apologizes to Grayce, and Grayce despite her reluctance goes with Hawke to help him find their cousin and help him take back his place as heir. But things are more complicated as they seem, and the Communion of the Blue may be involved.
When it comes down to proving who is the rightful heir before their relative is crowned, Grayce’s new skills she learned in the Communion of the Blue will prove to be the key to saving everything.
Literally so SWEET. The Communion of the Blue is where Grayce flourishes and the way it was described made me want to join. A sisterhood of magical women dying and spinning yarn that can cause magic in the world. Sign me up! But I think my favorite thing is the fact that Sister Marta the leader of the order is accepting of Grayce even after she is outed as being born male. The magical tapestry even changes to reflect who Grayce truly is, its so wonderful.
Five Favorite Things:
- Sister Marta provides a great representation of a woman of color in power. In fact, the sisters of the Communion of the Blue are very diverse and Grayce and Hawke’s friend from childhood is also a person of color.
- Grayce’s whole character. She’s so genuine.
- The information about what the Communion of the Blue does, I love a well explained magical system.
- The magical tapestry acknowledging Grayce’s gender.
- The fact that Grayce gets to be the hero at one point.
Overall this is a great book with trans and POC representation and my favorite book of February so far.