On a scale of one to five, The Sweetest Dark falls smack dab in the middle for me. I liked the historical aspects of the book, but wasn't as excited about the fantasy portion of the read. I have nothing against dragons, but the shifting in this book just didn't grab me. This one leans more towards the Disney-rated teen read. If you're hoping for something darker, this won't fulfill your hopes - but, it is a good book for younger readers interested in the genre. Those who like the dragon-fantasy realm will probably favor this one more than historical fiction fans.
The Sweetest Dark is different because it combines historical fiction, airships, dukes, boarding schools, orphans, alchemy, magic and dragons all rolled into a single plot line. Seems impossible, but Abe does just that. What is ordinary is the obvious love triangle, poor-orphan characterization and snobby elite. It's one half Jane Eyre with equal parts alchemist meets dragon.