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A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab (Review)

April 24, 2017 No Comments

Author: V.E. Schwab

Publisher: Titan Books (UK) / Tor (US)

Goodreads Description: Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. 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.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, 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.


This is my second book Ive read from Victoria, the first being This Savage Song, which I read last year and really liked. So the question is why did I not pick this up sooner?! I swear I do this a lot with popular series, Victoria just creates the most amazing characters that I always seem to instantly connect with and this book is no different. Something that I found reading both the books I have by her is that she is great at writing friendships, quirky, humorous friendships, that are different from ones I have read about before.

MAGIC! The magic system is seriously cool in this book, the use of having tokens from each of the London’s to help gain a pathway is really interesting, with the main character Kell, being a bit of a collector of magical items himself, it was fun to see him pick up interesting objects along the way. Something I found really interesting was the fact that Kell often travelled from the same spot in different Londons and would end up at a similar place in each one – a different tavern. It was funny to see all the different kind of characters that popped up from time to time in each of the different Londons.

So lets talk about Lila. Lila is so headstrong, sarcastic and wonderful and I literally think she should be protected at all costs (just saying). I loved reading from her POV, because she doesn’t take any stick from anyone. Lila is a thief in Grey London, who is trying to gather enough coin together so she can by a ship, she just wants to be free from the life she currently has.

Something that was worrying me when starting this book was getting confused between the different Londons and making the connections in my brain. But that thought went away pretty quickly as I got more into the story, each of the Londons are so unique and have their own backstory. It was really interesting to read about how each of the Londons handle magic and how they compare in terms of their culture.

After finishing this I literally hopped onto Amazon and ordered the second book A Gathering Of Shadows so I can’t wait to read that pretty soon!

rated: 5/5 stars.


UK Book blogger, mostly Young Adult, Fantasy/Thrillers.

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