Because Darkest Legacy has so few characters and you get to know them so intimately, instead of just making a playlist that applies to the work as a whole, I had the idea to make a series of character-centric playlists. Since Tamara is by far the character we know the best right now, her playlist is the one associated with Darkest Legacy. (Future playlists for other characters will come with later books.)
Below is a list of songs – and explanations for why I chose them – that I feel fit Tamara at some point in the story. Warning: there are no overt spoilers in the explanations, but if you haven’t read Darkest Legacy yet, you might want to do that before checking out the playlist. (Besides not getting anything semi-spoiled, it will make so much more sense.)
“Falling” by The Civil Wars*
Why am I feeling so guilty?
Why am I holding my breath?
Worried about everyone but me
And I just keep losing myself
Please, please tell me you know
I’ve got to let you go
This song manages to capture the strange and heart-crushing emotion of “falling out of love,” and between the dreamy instrumentals and the softness of Joy Williams’ voice, it does a very nice job of putting you in the head of someone who’s been through what Tamara has. Beautiful and haunting.
“Hands of Time” by Rachel Diggs
You can’t turn back the hands of time
Just let it go and you’ll be fine
What’s done is done and it’s all right
You can’t change what’s already happened; all you can do is keep going forward. Tamara really doesn’t take this to heart like she should, considering how much time she spends obsessing over both having been a part of Valentine’s plans and having betrayed him.
“Angels” by Within Temptation
You took my heart,
Deceived me right from the start
You showed me dreams
I wish they’d turn into real
One of my favorite lesser-known bands; I absolutely love her voice (and ability to hit high notes that make me cringe). This song is about finding out that someone isn’t who you thought they were, and about betrayal—makes it very appropriate for Darkest Legacy, hmm?
“Broken” by Lifehouse
I am damaged at best
Like you’ve already figured out
I still see your reflection inside of my eyes
That are looking for purpose
They’re still looking for life
About recovering from a relationship that’s left you damaged, yet not fully able to let go of the other person. In particular, this makes me think about how a person can get so fully under your skin that it’s hard to shake them.
“Distance” by Christina Perri ft. Jason Mraz
Do you feel the way I do right now?
Call it anything but love
And I will make sure to keep my distance
Say “I love you” when you’re not listening
How long can we keep this up?
Not everything on this playlist is dark and depressing, okay? This one is a sweet little song about the awkwardness of being in love with your best friend, and waiting for the right time to see if the friendship can possibly turn into something more.
“In My Veins” by Andrew Belle
Everything will change
Nothing stays the same
All that you rely on
And all that you can save
Will leave you in the morning
A very pretty love song (remember, they were happy and in love at one point), though the line “You’re in my veins and I cannot get you out” takes on a more haunting significance when you think about how Valentine’s had this phantom hold on Tamara for twenty years. But I like this one because it’s also about how life doesn’t always go the way you think it will, which could not be more true for Tamara.
“Poison & Wine” by The Civil Wars
You only know what I want you to
I know everything you don’t want me to
Your mouth is poison, your mouth is wine
You think your dreams are the same as mine
Oh I don’t love you but I always will
Oh God, this song has Tamara and Valentine written all over it. The back and forth, the lyrics that might as well have been ripped from the story… I think if I had to sum up their relationship in one sentence, it’d be that last line: “I don’t love you but I always will.” Shivers.
“Lover’s Eyes” by Mumford & Sons
But do not ask the price I paid
I must live with my quiet rage
Tame the ghosts in my head
That run wild and wish me dead
Oh let me die where I lie
Neath the curse of my lover’s eyes
This song does a great job of portraying how guilt can just absolutely consume you if you let it. Also because Valentine has those awesome gold eyes.
“Sweet Nothing” by Calvin Harris ft. Florence Welch
‘Cause I’ve swallowed every word
And every whisper, every sigh
Eats away at this heart of mine
So I put my faith in something unknown
Yay for another more upbeat song! This song makes me think of Valentine’s fondness for speaking in “glittering generalities” that don’t mean very much, and how Tamara lets herself believe them without looking too closely at first.
“Remember When” by Avril Lavigne
I remember when it was together till the end
Now I’m alone again, where do I begin?
I cried a little bit
You died a little bit
A very bittersweet song about leaving someone you love, knowing it’s for the best and yet hurting for it all the same. The dissolution of a relationship that’s been a part of your life for so long you’re almost not sure how to live without it.
“Fix You” by Coldplay
And the tears come streaming down your face
When you lose something you can’t replace
When you love someone but it goes to waste
Could it be worse?
This song is more about Valerie than Tamara, because this idea is such a central theme of their friendship—that Valerie’s always there to pick Tamara back up after whatever damage Valentine inflicts on her; no judgment, just support. Tamara’s so lucky to have a friend like that.
“Coming Home (Part II)” by Skylar Grey
And the blood will dry underneath my nails
And the wind will rise up to fill my sails
So you can doubt and you can hate
But I know no matter what it takes
I’m coming home
Despite the haunting tone and the darkness present in the lyrics, to me this song is really uplifting, and reminds me of Tamara’s determination to do the right thing once she realizes that Valentine’s plans are bad news.
“Warrior” by Demi Lovato
Now I’m taking back my life today
Nothing left that you can say
‘Cause you were never gonna take the blame anyway
I’m a warrior
And you can never hurt me again
If “Falling” describes the Tamara of the beginning of the story, then “Warrior” is who she’s become by the end. She goes through so much crap that you can’t really blame her for wanting to curl up in the corner and hide, but instead, she finds the strength to face her demons head-on and in a very powerful way.
*Yes, this is the song that plays in the book trailer!