A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade final for IreneAuthor: V. E. Schwab

Shades of Magic, vol. 1

My rating: 4.5 of 5

Kell lives in a London where magic is the norm, where children play games involving testing their magical abilities from the time they’re young. But unlike any other citizen of his world, Kell has been to other Londons where things are very different. You see, he is an Antari, one of the last, an individual who has the ability control the magic that allows one to cross between the worlds. As a loyal subject–and adopted prince of what he terms “Red London”–Kell works for the king and queen, delivering messages to the royalty of the other Londons, “Grey London” and “White London”. He’s been known to carry other items across the boundaries between worlds as well, which is technically illegal but also profitable and exciting. Kell’s smuggling habits become a bit too exciting, however, when a package turns out to be a trap. And the help of an unmagical, Grey London girl may be his only hope for surviving the ensuing mess.

Okay, so you’ve all been telling me for . . . what seems like ages that  A Darker Shade of Magic is amazing. So I’ve finally gotten around to reading it, and I agree. I probably should have read it before, but there you have it. V. E. Schwab crafts quite the exciting and enjoyable story. The writing style is very approachable, with a good balance of description and action. I really appreciated the third-person style that the author used; you see so much first-person writing now that a well-done third-person story is quite refreshing. One of my only complaints about the writing is the use of different languages for people from the different worlds–and I totally get why this was used, it was just annoying to me to try to read unpronounceable words that I ended up just skipping in the end. Minor issue on the whole, though. The characters were fantastic, and I really grew to care for Kell, Lila, and Rhy by the end of the story. I also really loved that the story developed in the way it did–worlds-impacting choices and meaningful camaraderie as opposed to unnecessary and forced romance (which I see way too much of). I would definitely recommend A Darker Shade of Magic for those readers out there who haven’t read it yet, and I’m certainly looking forward to reading the subsequent volumes of this series–as well as anything else I can find by the author.

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5 Comments

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5 responses to “A Darker Shade of Magic

  1. ADSoM’s world is so lush and creative. I have you’re going to love the sequel. A Gathering of Shadows is even better because it focuses on the characterization and cast more, in my opinion. Make sure to read that one sooner than later, Honya!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m really glad you enjoyed ADSOM; it’s one of my favourites! AGOS was also fabulous — perhaps a little slower paced, but we get to see more of the characters. *nods* Ooh it’s interesting that you didn’t like all the different languages, because as a bit of a geek for cultural details that was something I really enjoyed. (I do think it works better in the second book, though.)

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is pretty interesting. I can definitely see the cultural details thing; it just didn’t work for me. Still loved the book though. And I’m definitely looking forward to reading the second volume. 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: A Gathering of Shadows | honyasbookshelf

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