Saturday, November 14, 2015

A Darker Shade of Magic

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic

Author: V.E. Schwab

First Published: February 24th, 2015

Series: A Darker Shade of Magic #1

Genre: YA, Fantasy

Available As: Hardcover, paperback, ebook

Pages: 398

My Copy: Ebook

My Rating: 9/10

Goodreads Summary:
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.

It's been so long since I've read a fantasy book. These days, I've been reading some contemporary fiction, so this book was exciting and in some ways - relieving. I think it's safe to say that one of my favourite genres is fantasy. All the new worlds, new languages - anything can happen!

So, Kell is a Antari, one of the last people who can travel between Londons. He's a powerful being, but works for the Red Crown. They don't treat him bad or anything; in fact, they treat him like a son. But there's the mystery behind his scar - a scar that marks suppressed or wiped memories. He doesn't remember anything from his life before. I'd love to uncover more about his past and what really happened to him.

Lila is a common thief - and a good one at that. She's from Grey London, running into Kell one fateful day. They start off on the wrong foot, each hating the other, but in the end they make a good team. Lila tends to distance herself from most, covering herself with a sarcastic, tough appearance. We all know that this means she has something to hide. She's scared? Lonely? That urge of hers to go on an adventure; I think she's tired of living a bland life of stealing on the streets. Lila is a strong character and I really like her.

In this book, it is highly emphasised that magic is not all good. Kell knows this as a fact. When he finds himself in possession of a stone - straight from Black London - things take a turn for the worse. Pursued by Holland, the Dane twins and even the Red Royal Guard, Kell has found himself in a sticky situation. Especially when Lila won't leave him alone. The black magic slowly consumes him, feeding his (unknown) thirst of power. There are times when I thought he would go completely dark side, but he manages to fight it off. Phew!

Kell is the opposite of Lila. I guess this is what makes them a good team. Lila is impulsive, hot-headed and sarcastic, whereas Kell is calm, poised and in control. Nothing really seems to get to him, unless it is his loved ones on the line. In the whole book, we can tell that Kell really cares for Rhy, his brother. They aren't brothers by blood, but they are family. I was so scared when *spoiler alert* Rhy was possessed by Astrid and she forced him to stab himself. Kell resorting to desperate measures to save his brother showed that he deeply cares for him. Rhy is Kell's biggest weakness. Someone will use this to their advantage in the near future, I'm sure. *spoiler over*

Overall, I thought this was a really good book and I loved the idea of different Londons and all their different cultures. It's really cool! I think I'd like to live in Red London, since it seems the nicest and safest. White London is dangerous, and Grey London is dull. Oh well :)

My Chosen Quote:
“I'd rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”


  1. Ahhhh, you beat me to this! I actually have this book sitting on my table right now, and I plan to read it sometime this month. Your positive review makes me even more excited to read this!

    1. It's a great book! Can't wait to discuss it when you've finished reading :)


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