Monday, March 23, 2015

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Publication: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 400


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.


Lately I've been reading a lot of fantasy and its fantastic! This book goes right up there with the best fantasies! I instantly fell in love with this book and I can't wait to read more. I love the idea of the parallel Londons and the magic was amazing! If you've read my previous reviews, you could probably tell that I really love books that involve magic and fantasy so this one dragged me in. I also have to say how awesome this cover looks!  

This world building was absolutely amazing! Schwab gives us so much details and I know of a couple of books that have really lacked in this department, however, Schwab does this perfectly. I love the idea of the parallel Londons, Red, Gray, White, and the now destroyed Black. White London is possibly the strongest remaining London, but nobody actually knows this because it has almost been destroyed by Black and the people living there live in poverty. Red London is the second strongest and the people their live in luxury with no problems. Grey London is like the normal human realm, with no magic. If you read this book, Kell describes the Londons very well, comparing them to a book. I took a test that determines which London you would probably reside in and I got Red London! This is what the site said "Congratulations, you whimsical creature, you belong in the vibrant city of Red London, a place where magic lives in everything. Take a stroll through the Night Market, and pick up a sea stone or a fire maker or a mask for the prince’s ball." (link here) The magic was also so exceptional and I love the idea of the Antari, the few that can travel between the Londons and use all forms of magic. Towards the end of the book I couldn't sit still. I was squirming in my bad with anticipation.

I love Kell. I love how caring he is to Lila and that he would protect her from everything. He came back when she was in trouble even when he had no idea who she was and even though she robbed him. One of the coolest things about Kell is his ability to use all five of the elements, earth, water, fire, air, and blood or bone. Also, he has this incredible jacket which has about 8 or 9 known coat in one. Kell states that he often loses some of the coats and that he actually doesn't know how many coats there actually are. I love the relationship that Kell and Lila have. They make me laugh when they are together. They're so cute together. I also love Lila so much. She's so strong minded, intelligent, and cunning. She's one of those 'take no bull' kind of girls and I love it! She has to go through such hardships and it pains me. However, she's still able to survive and act like nothing effects her. She's amazing at hiding her feelings and what she's thinking.

Then there's Rhy, the gorgeous and flirtatious prince who is Kell's brother in every sense but blood. He's a real sweetheart and really loves Kell and is constantly worrying about him. Holland, the evil Antari that is being held hostage by the White rulers. And then finally, the evil Astrid and Athos Danes, the rulers of White London. I don't like these people at all. They're sneaky, conniving, and evil people.

Overall, this book was incredibly fantastic. This is probably one of the best books of 2015 so far and I highly recommend that everyone go check this book out! I instantly fell in love with this world (or should I say multiple worlds), its characters, and its magic, both good and bad. Now I have to wait for what feels like forever for the next one and I can't wait!!




  1. Just started reading this one and I'm glad to see you loved it! Makes me even more excited to get into it.

    1. Yes! This book was fantastic! I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!