Review: Deepest Blue

I received this ARC from the publishers in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis | Goodreads

In Panduri, an enchanted city seen only at twilight, everyone’s path is mapped, everyone’s destiny decided, their lives charted at birth and steered by an unwavering star. Everyone has his place, and Matteo, second son of Panduri’s duca, is eager to take up his as Legendary Protector—at the border and out from under his father’s domineering thumb. Then Matteo’s older brother pulls rank and heads to the border in his stead, leaving Panduri’s orbit in a spiral and Matteo’s course on a skid. Forced to follow an unexpected path, resentful and raw, Matteo is determined to rise, to pursue the one future Panduri’s star can never chart: a life of his own.

Brigadoon meets Pippin in this quirky tale of grief steeped deep in Italian folklore and shimmering with hope—to remember what helps, forget what hurts, and give what remains permission to soar.

Review | Rating: 5 stars

Deepest Blue is the story of three brothers who are each trying to find their way that does not seem to follow the paths charted for them. The story begins with Matteo’s—the protector and second son of the duca. His older brother, Antonio—the heir—keeps running to the border which is supposed to be Matteo’s destiny. He doesn’t understand why his older brother keeps doing that and it makes him feel aimless. He’s also angry with Antonio for messing with his destiny. Claudio—the priest—is also aimless, but for different reasons that aren’t discovered until further into the novel.

After a tragedy, the brothers are thrown into more chaos that changes their courses permanently. It causes them to focus on the past of what happened to their twin younger brothers and what was the cause of the tragedy they are dealing with. It was interesting to see how someone can become so obsessed with finding answers and the past that they can’t even be happy when they get what they wanted most. This story dealt with regret, loss, and changed destinies. I do not want to give away anything with this book so I will not go into great detail as to what happened.

Antonio, Matteo, and Claudio learned a lot about the stars and the ways of Panduri. They learned that not everything is as it seems and there is a reason for all the strife and discontent the three of them feel. Having to deal with grief and confusion, this clouded their viewpoints and made them wonder and question everything. None of them could find their place or happiness in life and did not even really know what would give them that. The ending wasn’t a perfect happily ever after and there were still questions just like in real life but the brothers were able to find peace and some answers.

Mindy Tarquini did an excellent job of showing just how a person’s destiny could be different than what was charted for them. She created an environment with this family that was full of dysfunction and a lot of love and loyalty. The deceptions and secrets were deep and multi-layered. Some of it I saw coming, but a lot of it I didn’t.

This book was heavy and it was hard to know exactly was going on because of the writing style. It was quite poetic and beautiful and the way the people conversed was different in style than how we talk. But this novel was hilarious. I found myself laughing a lot at some of the things these brothers said to each other and that they kept bringing up the same things over and over again.

I do not read a lot of books with male main characters, but Tarquini did an excellent job of showing how crude men can be when they speak to one another; how straightforward they are most of the time with each other, and how they curve and bend their words when speaking to women or children. Matteo, Claudio, and Antonio were the perfect characters to tell this story. I connected with their angst keenly and feel like each of them needed something and answers that just drove this story forward.

The magic in this story wasn’t the main story line and I enjoyed that a lot. It was more mysticism for the most part and the powers that the sons of the duca had were interesting. Matteo had power over words and Antonio over music. This made them suited for each other. I am not entirely sure what Claudio’s magic was, but he could decipher the charts the best and would sing the songs that Matteo wrote accompanied by Antonio’s fiddle. Everyone had a purpose in Panduri and their magic is what made their city so unique and special.

Deepest Blue was such a beautifully written masterpiece that dives into the dynamics of families while introducing the readers to the magic of Panduri. I was sucked into this story and became involved and invested with learning the answers that the brothers were seeking and what would happen to all three brothers. This was ultimately the story of finding your destiny even if it diverges from what the path laid out for you and what happens when you dare to do just that. This was such an amazing story that made me laugh and tear up.

*This review is also featured on The Nerd Daily!

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