A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Chocolate Book TagOriginal title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Year published: 2015
Published by: Titan
Number of pages: 400
First sentence: “Kell wore a very peculiar coat.”

 Plot: Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.
Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.

 (From Goodreads)

 Kayla’s thoughts: Jesus Christ I don’t even know where to start.

Okay so let’s start with the hype. There was so much hype about this book. As soon as I’d heard about it I wanted to read it. Everybody loved this book, like crazy loved it. So of course I too wanted to love it, like I usually do. And did I? I’m not really sure. Let’s go over what I did and didn’t like then.

  • The language was amazing, the way this book is written is just, WOW. It really made me feel as if I was standing in the different London’s watching Kell bickering with Lila or Rhy. Witty and funny and just magical.
  • The story was also amazing. I got completely drawn into it. I even dreamed about it one night. I was a lost Antari girl, Kell’s long lost sister. It was fantabulous. Also a bit of weird, afterwards. Anyway. The whole story is great. I mean we’ve all though it right? Parallel universes and stuff like that. How amazing wouldn’t it be if we had parallel universes filled with magic. Fan-flippin-tastic. This story deals with a lot of forbidden stuff. Kell smuggles stuff. The deal with magic that shouldn’t exist. Stuff happens to Lila that shouldn’t happen, at least not to someone who’s not Antari. So the dangerous, forbidden element is always there, throughout the entire book. And I loved it.
  • The characters. I loved Kell from the start. Damn I love Kell! He’s so sassy. He’s also kind, powerful and I’m pretty sure he’s attractive as hell even with that black eye of his. Then there’s Lila. I really didn’t like Lila at first but the further into the book I got the more I liked her. She’s a bad ass gal who can take care of herself and I’m very curious to see what happens next for her. A lot of stuff was implied in the book, at least I think it was implied. I’m a bit confused about what I actually read and what my mind made up. Also there’s Rhy. Prince Rhy. He’s adorable. I really like him. I think he’s supposed to be more attractive than Kell but Kell’s personality is better I think. Rhy is really the little brother to Kell’s big brother. Even though Rhy’s the one telling Kell to be careful Kell’s the one who ends up taking care of Rhy. Lastly there’s Holland. Also an Antari like Kell. I guess you could call him Kell’s evil counterpart? I thought that maybe I was going to like Holland at first and then I was like “nooooo, he’s a bloody asshole”. Reading the synopsis for A Gathering of Shadows I hope that maybe he’ll have a chance to redeem himself? Who knows. I don’t want to spoil it for you too much.

I’m not really sure there was anything I didn’t like. There could’ve been a bit more romance I suppose. If you want a book where you swoon over the romantic moments then this is not the book for you. But there’s hope for the next one!

I really did like the book. There’s just something- I can’t put my hand on it- that didn’t sit well with me. Maybe it was the lack of romance. But I don’t really want to think that was it. I so wanted it to be a five star book. I wanted to completely love it. And I did really like it, it was soooo goooood. There was just something missing. I just don’t know what.

Anyway, kudos to you Victoria Schwab for writing this amazing piece of literature. I can’t wait for the next book!

So do I recommend it? Yes! It was amazing even if I didn’t give it five stars. SO GOOOOOD!

Rickus thoughts:

I absolutely LOVED this book. I didn’t think I would love it as much as I did, but holy hell it is just so good! Brilliant from the first to the last chapter. I loved everything about it, from the characters all the way to the writing. Such a great read.

Kell, a “prince” of Red London, is also a traveler, one of the few who can travel between the different Londons. He feels slightly out of place in the world, considering the fact that he is both adopted and one of a kind (well, two of a kind). Lila, a thief in Grey London literally stumbles into Kell and then steals an artefact from him. Lila is badass and a great character. Throughout the book we get hints that she isn’t all that she seems, not even to her own eye, and towards the final chapters it is easy to figure out where Schwab is going with all those hints. It only adds to the amazingness. We also get to meet several minor characters that are also absolutely amazing and really spice the plot up.

The world of this book is just absolutely fantastic. We have 4 different Londons, all very special in their own way. Grey London has hardly any magic left, Red London thrives on its magic, White London is draining its magic and Black London is no more because of magic. I loved the different Londons and how they were described. I also loved how “The Pub” existed in all of them at the same location, like a connection between all 4 Londons.

The writing is superb and it was easy to follow along and keeping track of all information that was given throughout the book. It was overall very entertaining and I absolutely loved it. It was an amazing adventure and I can’t wait for the sequel!

Do I recommend it? 

HELL YEAH! GO READ IT RIGHT NOW IF YOU HAVE IT AND IF YOU DON’T THE GO BUY!

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One thought on “A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

  1. Pingback: General update! | bookishwives

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