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Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul Paperback – November 8, 2011

108 customer reviews
Book 1 of 3 in the Magic Most Foul Series

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Frequently Bought Together

  • Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul
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  • The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart (Magic Most Foul)
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  • The Double Life of Incorporate Things (Magic Most Foul) (Volume 3)
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Editorial Reviews


"Hieber applies some real imagination to the story. Her depiction of the dark magic involved and of the demon's murderous activities adds some good suspense . . . a good romp." - Kirkus Reviews

""Darker Still was delightfully strange and charming. The book absorbed me within its first couple of pages. . . . This novel is chock-full of mystery, suspense and a most magical romance! I absolutely loved it and I absolutely recommend it."--Kristin Feliz, Growing Up YA" - Growing Up YA

""I highly recommend this book! It was just the right mix of paranormal and romance and I hope you all like it as much as I did!"--Sara Teitelman, Catching Books" - Catching Books

""Darker Still screamed eerie, spooky suspense from the first page and its claws dug into me and didn't let go. . . a masterpiece-twisted, dark, and chillingly possessive. . . I highly recommend Darker Still as a must read."--Debbie Wentlein, I Heart YA Books" - I Heart YA Books

""This is one of the most amazing Young Adult books I've read this year. Leanna Renee Hieber takes you to a time and place where anything and everything is possible."--Colette chmiel, A Buckeye Girl Reads" - A Buckeye Girl Reads

""Darker Still is such a unique novel, in a very good way! "--Novia Chang, Truly Bookish" - Truly Bookish

""Darker Still is such a unique novel, in a very good way!"--Novia Chang, Truly Bookish" - Good Reads

""Darker Still is such a unique novel, in a very good way!"--Novia Chang, Truly Bookish" - Barnes & Noble Review

""Gothic, dark and oh so good!"--Novia Chang, @TrulyBookish" - Twitter Mention

""The whole book was an amazing read. The setting, the story, the characters, the plot, the pacing of the story was perfect for me.
Five stars!!!"--Sandee Quimbao, Random Ramblings" - Random Ramblings

About the Author

Raised in rural Ohio and obsessed with the Victorian Era, Leanna's life goal is to be a "gateway drug to 19th century literature." An actress, playwright and award winning author, she lives in New York City and is a devotee of ghost stories and Goth clubs. Visit
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 12 and up
  • Grade Level: 7 - 12
  • Lexile Measure: 830L (What's this?)
  • Series: Magic Most Foul (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire; Original edition (November 8, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1402260520
  • ISBN-13: 978-1402260520
  • Product Dimensions: 7.8 x 5.1 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (108 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,375 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author, actress and playwright Leanna Renee Hieber grew up in rural Ohio inventing ghost stories. She graduated with a BFA in Theatre and a focus in the Victorian Era from Miami University. She began her theatrical career with the Cincinnati Shakespeare Company and began adapting works of 19th Century literature for the stage. Her novella Dark Nest won the 2009 Prism Award for excellence in the genre of Futuristic, Fantasy and/or Paranormal Romance. Her debut novel, The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker (Strangely Beautiful series) hit Barnes & Noble's bestseller lists, won two 2010 Prism Awards (Best Fantasy, Best First Book), the 2010 Orange County Book Buyer's Best Award (Young Adult category) and other regional genre awards and is currently being developed as a musical. The Perilous Prophecy of Guard and Goddess won the 2012 Prism Award (Best Fantasy). This currently out-of-print series will reissue in revised, author-preferred editions from Tor/Forge in 2016. DARKER STILL: A Novel of Magic Most Foul, hit the Kid's/YA INDIE NEXT LIST as a recommended title by the American Booksellers Association and a Scholastic Book Clubs "highly recommended" title. The critically acclaimed series continues with THE TWISTED TRAGEDY OF MISS NATALIE STEWART and concludes with THE DOUBLE LIFE OF INCORPORATE THINGS. Leanna's short fiction has been featured in anthologies such as Willful Impropriety: Tales of Society and Scandal, "Too Fond"; a short story on, "Charged" in Queen Victoria's Book of Spells: Tales of Gaslamp Fantasy (Tor) and the Mammoth Book of Gaslight Romance. Her new Gaslamp Fantasy series THE ETERNA FILES, is now available from Tor/Forge. Her books have been translated into many languages and have been selected for multiple book club editions. Leanna is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and International Thriller Writers. She is proud to be a co-founder of the original Lady Jane's Salon Reading Series in New York. Leanna was named the 2010 RWA NYC Chapter Author of the Year. A member of Actors Equity Association and SAG-AFTRA, Leanna works often in film and television on shows like Boardwalk Empire. She loves nothing more than a good ghost story and a finely tailored corset, frequenting Goth clubs, wandering graveyards and adventuring around New York City, where she resides with her husband and their beloved rescued lab rabbit.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Tara Gonzalez on December 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
I wanted to love Darker Still. Historical fiction with a side of magic and paintings of handsome men - it sounds awesome. My type of book for sure.

I loved the setting of Darker Still - I am such a huge fan of 1800s London and I think the author did a fabulous with the writing and the describing. The clothes, the people, the world they lived in - it was very vivid.

Unfortunately, I wasn't invested in the characters at all. I didn't feel any sort of connection with any of them, not the protagonist, not the love interest...I didn't really care about the outcome of the book. Although, I did think the main character's muteness was really interesting - something I haven't ever read in a book before.

The storyline was interesting enough, but overall I was just kind of meh at the end. I am mostly a character driven person, so this had a huge effect on how I felt about Darker Still.

Overall, while Darker Still was not for me, if you're a fan of historical fiction with a side of magic and romance, give Darker Still a shot!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Brenna on November 1, 2011
Format: Paperback
Okay, first of all, I don't think anyone can deny that this cover isn't drop-dead gorgeous. Plus, after reading such a promising description featuring so many allusions to classical literature, I was dying to read this book. DYING. I love mystical magi cand the supernatural set in a Victorian setting; there's something so dreamy and thrilling about it, don't you think? And Darker Still lives up to these promises to deliver a captiving gothic horror story.

Reasons to Read:

1.A Victorian Mystery:
Natalie likes to play detective; that is, she's only playing until she finds herself caught up in something very real, and very frightening. And she's such the perfect character to play this role, and she was so interesting all on her own. She was nothing like I expected (and I mean this in a good way), because she really stands out among YA female protaganists. Yet all of this is wrapped up nicely in a lovely Victorian setting, filled with magic...
2.Hauntingly creepy:
I mentioned magic: well, a lot of it is dark magic. And some parts were so twisted, that they send shivers up your body. I kind of wish this book had been released earlier because it is an ideal haunted Halloween read...
3.Delicious scandal:
Of course, I wouldn't mind being haunted if Lord Denbury was doing the haunting... and he definitely doesn't mind breaking a few society rules for the era! There's just something about a bona fide gentlemen that gets me all giddy.
Now, I do wish we had gotten to know Lord Denbury a bit more intimately (his character, I mean). And the romance does seem to progress awfully quickly, not quite insta!love, but just bordering on it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Miss Bonnie on March 31, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition

Final Page Thoughts

Dumb, dumb, dumb! *throws book*

First Thoughts
So here's the story on how I came to obtain this book: I was browsing through the library stacks and I was intrigued by the title and was even more intrigued when I picked it up and saw the cover girl was wearing this gorgeous purple dress. (If you know anything about me, it's that I'm a huge sucker for anything purple). Yep. That's my story. Completely necessary addition to my review, I know.

I start reading it and I'm kind of pleased at how it starts: it's interesting and original sounding and it's written in the form of diary entries. If someone would have told me it was written in the form of diary entries I would've given them a skeptical look and kindly set it aside.

My experience with journal entry-style books have not been pleasant. Plus, I think of how I wrote in my diary when I was a teen: ("Today, I woke up and ate breakfast and then had to take the bus and it was dumb but the day got sooooo much better because Kenny touched my hand when he went to turn his homework in and I'm going to be happy for the rest of this week. I <3 Kenny. Remember not to wash hand.") Note: Not actual diary entry. Maybe. You can understand my glee at realizing these were well written diary entries. Maybe I set the bar a bit low in comparison.

The Not So Pretty
Like I said, I found the journal entries to be interesting but they turned out to be a requirement as I'm not sure how else you'd tell a story from the POV of a girl who has been mute since she was 4 years old. This girl writes in her diary A LOT... but not all of the entries seemed entirely appropriate.
"I've been captured! I know not where I'm going. I'm in a carriage. Heading north, I think.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Christine on March 16, 2013
Format: Paperback
There are some books that linger with you long after you finish it's last pages, and books that end when the book ends. Darker Still was one of the latter. With all it's talk of mysterious deaths and a lord trapped behind a painting, and a girl with a strange gift to travel between these two worlds, Darker Still didn't stand out. I'm still trying to decide where I stand with this book. It had it's good points and bad points, and did make for a fresh, quick read. It's easily forgettable, filled with areas to nitpick, but isn't by any means terrible, or a horrible read. Darker Still just... was.

Ever since her mother passed away, Natalie Stewart couldn't say a word. Now, older, and freshly out of the Connecticut Asylum, she's unsure of what to do with her life, her options limited by her condition. That is, until she reads about the mysterious Lord Denbury portrait, the subject of whom it was said to have committed suicide right after commissioning the portrait. Her interest sparked, she convinces her father to request it to be loaned to them. But after a visit to see the painting, strange things start occurring - girls are murdered, she bumps into a man who bears an uncanny resemblance to Lord Danbury, and pieces of the painting start changing. When a single touch brings her - literally - tumbling headfirst into Lord Denbury's prison, it's all confirmed - Lord Denbury never died. The man - and murderer - whom people claimed to look exactly like Lord Denbury wasn't him. The murders are linked. And, from here on out, the murders and the magic that binds Lord Denbury to his framed prison will only get fouler.

(Sorry - I couldn't help it!
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