‘The Deep and Dark Blue’ Book Review


The Deep and Dark Blue is a Young Adult fantasy graphic novel by Niki Smith. It follows Hawke and Grayce, twins of the House Sunderlay. After a coup, they must go into hiding. They find safety in the Communion of Blue, an order of women who spin the threads of reality. Hawke and Grayce must also avenge their family and retake their royal name. But Grayce isn’t sure if she wants to leave the Communion. She has found a home in the Communion of a Blue, where she can finally live as a girl.

The artwork in this graphic novel is stunning, with vibrant colors and a cartoonish/anime style. The colors reflected the mood of the scenes nicely, like the dark purple in the background during the coup versus the light greens and blues used when the Sunderlay twins joined the Communion of Blue.

I was also compelled by the fantasy setting, although I would have preferred more worldbuilding. For example, it was unclear at first what the Communion of Blue actually did and I didn’t know enough about the House of Sunderlay to understand the coup.

I loved the way that Grayce’s transness was handled. Her identity as a transgender was girl was respected and an important part of the story without needing to be the whole story. I don’t want to spoil the ending, but I really enjoyed that part of the story.

I would recommend The Deep and Dark Blue among my LGBTQ+ graphic novel favorites of which there’s beginning to be a long list. It was really cute while still exploring some darker themes, so it’s perfect for young adult readers particularly.



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