Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab
Genre: Adult, Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: February 24th, 2015
Goodreads Summary: Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.
Hey everybody, today I am reviewing A Darker Shade of Magic (obviously lmao) that is neither Contemporary nor Young Adult, who am I?
I buddy read this book with my best friend and we both had a blast and I can honestly only recommend buddy reading books with friends because books make life better. Anyway, starting this novel, I already loved it. I loved from the first page how magic based it was. This is my first ever Adult and it wasn’t that big of a step up since our main character is 21 and I’m 17 so it wasn’t too dramatic of an age gap, still it was different.
There’s so much that I loved about this book. I personally didn’t think that the beginning was slow, but I can understand why people would think it is. V.E. Schwab has to do a lot of world building, especially since it’s the first book, so not that much happens at the beginning, but the world building is crucial. At the beginning I didn’t really get the 4 Londons 100% but now after having read the book, I know like everything about them and I know what’s what and how everything works.
In this book, we follow Kell and Kell is a very powerful magician, obviously, he’s an Antari. But when he shows us his powers, V.E. Schwab’s writing didn’t make it seem like he was showing off or anything, she showed us that he spent a lot of time studying his powers and becoming an amazing master over them. He is in such harmony with his powers, it makes the book even better. Plus, Kell has this amazing friendship with the prince Rhy and I love that so much too because they don’t have childish fights or unnecessary drama like all YA’s do, it’s super refreshing to read.
Plus, while we’re already talking about the writing, the writing in this book is so good. It’s so beautiful. The entire time while I was reading it, I just thought about how truly perfect that it is. I read this book in German so it wasn’t 100% her writing, but it had her scenes and how she created them, and they were amazing. They weren’t too detailed, you could easily picture the scene infront of you, it was great. Plus, usually when I read books in German it takes me a little bit longer since it is German, but not with this book. I read this book extra fast and I loved it.
Every character in this book was so fleshed out. None of them blended together. All of them stood out from each other perfectly. I love Lila so much and I can’t wait to read more about her and I kind of like how impulsive she was, plus her banter with Kell was amazing. V.E. Schwab creates amazing villains, reading scenes about the Dane twins made me scared for my life. She created Rhy, the prince of Red London, the ‘magic’ London, and barely gave him any powers. Everything was so great.
Another thing to note from my reading experience was that every time I opened the book, I was immediately in the story. Every single time. I would open it real quick when I would be packing my bag in the morning and then I’d read 3 pages super quickly without even really noticing it. This book is so action packed, it has a great overall pace and I honestly think it’s a masterpiece. If the following books are like this, or even better, it will 100% without a doubt be on my favorite book series of all time list because I honestly just thought it was that good.
I definitely recommend this book. If you’re like me and you mainly focus on reading YA, you will love this because of how refreshing it is from the usual YA genre. You just really have to keep in mind that the beginning is slightly slower due to the world building, but it’s still interesting and I had a great time reading it. I can’t wait to continue the series. 🤗🤗