A Darker Shade of Magic | Book Review

Posted 16th February 2016 by Jordann @thebookbloglife in 4 star, book reviews / 10 Comments

A Darker Shade of Magic | Book ReviewA Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic #1
Also in this series: A Gathering of Shadows
Genres: YA, Fantasy
Published by Tor Books

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

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.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then 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.

Who should read A Darker Shade of Magic:

  • Anyone who really enjoyed Vicious
  • Anyone who enjoys morally ambiguous characters
  • Loves fantasy with strong world building
  • Wants a story without a focus on romance

Who shouldn’t read this book:

  • Someone who didn’t like Vicious
  • Don’t like world hopping
  • Dislike characters of questionable nature

I read Vicious a little while ago. Totally fell in love with the characters and the storyline. When I realised there was a new book out by the same author I was beyond excited. I finished A Darker Shade of Magic in a two day reading session and I adored it.

After reading Vicious and now this one I think that the one thing V.E. Schwab does extremely well is characters and building characters that question your love for them. Kell and Lila in A Darker Shade of Magic are no different, maybe not quite so extreme as Victor and Eli but still morally grey. I love reading about characters that have selfish motives, it makes the story move in a more natural arc, and the characters are more relatable.

The one thing I thought let this book down slightly down was the plotline, it definitely fell flat at times, and it felt as though there were certain tropes that were being fulfilled. At some points it became a little predictable but obviously not enough to affect my rating too much!

Travelling through the different London’s was well done and they were all well developed in their own right. It meant that from the offset they were well defined in my mind and it never became confusing or left me wanting to reread to find out which one was which.

I would definitely recommend this book. I’m super excited for the sequel, and the rest of the trilogy!

Have you read this series? What did you think about the characters? About the plot line or story line? Let me know in the comments.

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