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
My Copy: Ebook
My Rating: 9/10
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 :)
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