Review: A Darker Shade of Magic

9780765376466Title: A Darker Shade of Magic

Author: V.E. Schwab

Publisher: Tor Books

Rating: 5/5

Kell is one of the last Antari, a rare magician who can travel between parallel worlds: hopping from Grey London — dirty, boring, lacking magic, and ruled by mad King George — to Red London — where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire — to White London — ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne, where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back — and back, but never Black London, because traveling to Black London is forbidden and no one speaks of it now.

Officially, Kell is the personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see, and it is this dangerous hobby that 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 take her with him for her proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save both his London and the others, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — a feat trickier than they hoped.


I’m not quite sure how to put what I’m feeling into words.

This book was everything I’d hoped for when I picked it up; action-packed with something new and unexpected at every corner. Amazing.

The concept in itself was brilliant. I loved it, it was just so unique and gripping.

A phenomenal read, go pick it up.

The whole concept and setting behind this book were so intriguing. I also loved the time period in which it was set, it added another special appeal to it. I didn’t know it was set in the past until I was on the second or third chapter but it turned into a really pleasant surprise.

Let me just start with how much I loved Lila and Kell. Their characters were just so intriguing (how many more times am I going to say that in this review) and full, I fell in love with them immediately.

Lila was an amazing female protagonist. I loved her tough, resilient nature, her hatred towards dresses, and her general all around badassery.

I also enjoyed the slow and progressed way she and Kell grew close. It was was slow, but immensely refreshing and satisfying to see two character that didn’t fall in love within the first two hours of meeting each other. I think this allows their relationship to grow and progress. I can’t wait to see how they evolve in the next book.

I loved that these books were so full of action. There was never a dull moment.

The descriptions in this book were amazing. V.E. Schwab has this great ability to paint a crystal clear picture in your mind; it was brilliant. I especially enjoyed the depictions of Red London. It was so beautifully written and described.

Also: the Danes. In my opinion they were freaky as hell and I’m having trouble believing they actually died. I’m pretty sure they’ll find a way to come back in the books to come.

All in all, a fantastic and jam-packed read, that I really enjoyed. 🙂

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