Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic


A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V. E. Schwab
Genre: Fantasy
Pages: 398 (hardcover)
Publisher: Tor Books
Released: 24th February 2015

My Rating: 5 of 5 stars


Kell is one of the last Antari, a rare magician who can travel between parallel worlds: hopping from Grey London— dirty, boring, lacking magic, and ruled by mad King George — to Red London — where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire — to White London — ruled by whoeverhas murdered their way to the throne, where people fightto control magic, and the magic fights back — and back,but never Black London, because traveling to Black London is forbidden and no one speaks of it now.

Officially, Kell is the personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see, and it is thisdangerous hobby that sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Dalilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to take her with him for her proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save both his London and the others, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — a feat trickier than they hoped.


“I’m not going to die,” she said. “Not till I’ve seen it.”
“Seen what?”
Her smile widened. “Everything.”

So I know I’m usually fashionably late to book parties but this is ridiculous, where has this book been all my reading life!

OK moving on from the dramatics… This is my first Victoria Schwab book so I didn’t really know what to expect going in but I was blown away, the writing was great and the plot even greater (I mean cumon, we’ve got magicians, a cross-dressing wannabe pirate and some parallel universes all in one book). This had everything I absolutely love; magic, mystery, action and adventure!

The complex world in this book was amazingly built by this author (I definitely have to check out more of her work) and the story was so fast-paced and action packed but that didn’t diminish anything at all, it just made me hang on and enjoy the ride that is A Darker Shade of Magic.

OK let’s talk characters; Kell, I’m absolutely in love with and Lila; such a strong female character. These two though wickedly badass are not like any character I’ve read about. For instance, Lila is an unapologetic thief with lofty dreams of adventure. Another character Rhy was so easy to like mostly because of his caring nature.

One thing that really shocked me though was the fact that nothing romantic happened between Lila and Kell, I kept waiting and waiting and then the book ended, like what the hell? I mean they were totally ship-able…. Right?!

Lastly, I need a second to obsess over the coat, I finally get it; why everyone kept freaking out over this amazing coat!

Ok the fangirling ends here! Thanks for reading my review, let me know what you think if you’ve read this book too!




2 thoughts on “Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic

  1. So glad you loved it. Personally I just want to adopt Kelly and give him lots of hugs. He’s just sooo sad. I love him and Lila and the banter between them but was glad it didn’t get bogged down in romance. You should keep reading. The next one has actual pirates 🙂


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