PJV Quickie: This beautifully written gothic tale is a can’t miss for fans of the first book, Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul.  Both horrifying and hopeful, once you open the cover you will be spellbound by this fantastical world Ms. Hieber has created!


Title: The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart (Magic Most Foul #2)
Author: Leanna Renee Hieber
Type: YA Historical Paranormal Romance
Published: November 1, 2012 by Sourcebooks Fire
Source: Publisher
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I absolutely loved Darker Still:  A Novel of Magic Most Foul (my review here), and couldn’t wait to get my hands on the next installment.  My wait was not in vain – Ms. Heiber really delivered in The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart.

In Darker Still, Jonathan’s soul had been trapped in a portrait while a demon possessed his body and committed horrible crimes.  With the help of Natalie and some of her acquaintances, he is freed from the portrait and decides to pursue the mysterious organization that trapped him in the portrait.
Twisted Tragedy picks up where we left Jonathon and Natalie in Darker Still:  On a train leaving New York to visit Jonathon’s friend in an attempt to get more information about the secretive Association and their nefarious experiments.  Before they can get very far into their investigation, they realize things are worse than they imagined and Jonathon must travel to England while pretending that he is still possessed by the demon.   Natalie heads back to New York to face her father, seeing as how she left unannounced to run off with Jonathon.
As Jonathon delves deeper into the Association to find clues, Natalie is being stalked in her dreams by an old foe.  With the help of some old friends and new, they must fight adversaries on both the spiritual and corporeal plane.


I thoroughly enjoyed The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart.  Ms. Hieber has taken these unique characters and shaped them in ways both surprising and curious.  We meet again Mrs. Northe and her niece Maggie, and meet new characters like the intriguing Reverend Blessing and Natalie’s dear friend Rachel, who has a mystical talent of her own.  There were a couple of spots where I thought the villains missed a bit of the obvious, but for the most part they were eerily horrifying in their beliefs and actions.

Ms. Hieber combines a beautifully constructed Victorian world where mysticism masquerades as a popular hobby but in reality is dangerous to both body and soul. The romantic relationship between Natalie and Jonathon continues to move at a pace appropriate for the times, at once both sweet and frustrating in the restrictions placed on the characters by ‘proper’ society.

One of the things I love about this series is that I just can’t trust any of the characters:  At different points throughout the story I have suspected each of the characters (except Natalie and her father), and I’m still cautious about trusting anyone’s motivations.  The story was delightfully creepy (can those two words be used together, really?) and the set-up for the next book leaves me anxious for Natalie and Jonathon about what’s coming next.

When I spoke to a friend a few weeks ago about Darker Still, I told her the book was “like velvet” and she laughed, but it’s true!  Sometimes you get involved in a story and the author does such a good job of describing the surroundings that you can feel the textures of the fabrics and smell the scents in the air – and that’s exactly what Ms. Hieber has done with this wonderful series.



Fans of YA historicals, gothic  classics, and dark YA romance will enjoy The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart.


Other Novels you might like, similar to ‘The Twisted Tragedy of Miss Natalie Stewart’:

Darker Still: A Novel of Magic Most Foul by Leanna Renee Hieber (Book 1 – definitely read first!!)

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross (and that cover! *swoons*)