I was obsessed.
It was as if he called to me, demanding I reach out and touch the brushstrokes of color swirled onto the canvas. It was the most exquisite portrait I'd ever seen--everything about Lord Denbury was unbelievable...utterly breathtaking and eerily lifelike.
There was a reason for that. Because despite what everyone said, Denbury never had committed suicide. He was alive. Trapped within his golden frame.
I've crossed over into his world within the painting, and I've seen what dreams haunt him. They haunt me too. He and I are inextricably linked--bound together to watch the darkness seeping through the gas-lit cobblestone streets of Manhattan. Unless I can free him soon, things will only get Darker Still.
Darker Still is filled with twists and turns, and danger and mystery with every turn of the page. This book is the first in the Magic Most Foul saga by Leanna Renee Hieber, the story takes place in the year 1880 and from the very first page, I loved the main character: Natalie. She was a truly unique character; due to a childhood trauma she is almost completely mute, so she had to work harder than others at communication. The storytelling was luxurious and vivid, told through Natalie's diary entries. The romance between Natalie and Lord Denbury was endearing and honest, but what I most enjoyed was that Natalie didn't depend on Denbury to keep her safe. In fact, it was Denbury that needed to be rescued by Natalie. The relationships formed between Natalie and the people she meets during her adventure become lasting friendships.
Lord Denbury was tricked into losing the use of his body when an evil magician casts his soul into a portrait. But luckily for Denbury, a spiritualist named Evelyn North purchases the painting, and the real adventure begins when Natalie is introduced to the portrait. Natalie and Denbury form a connection when she stumbles into the painting and discovers that he is indeed alive. Following Denbury's doppelganger leads Natalie to the dangerous side of New York, where murderers and unsavory characters reside. They discover that the only way to save Denbury and trap the magician is to repeat the spell of imprisonment, and Natalie must be the one to say the words, but first she has to find her voice that she lost so many years ago.