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Book Review; A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker ShadeAuthor: V. E. Schwab
Publisher: Titan Books
Published: 27th February 2015
Pages: 400
Format: Paperback
Source:: Borrowed ARC
Add It: Goodreads, Amazon UK, TBD

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.

When Trouble Strikes

I was dying to get my hands on a copy of this book as I loved V. E. Schwab’s previous adult fantasy novel; Vicious. I was certain that I would also love this book and thus I am glad to report that I devoured this book. It was a truly magnificent novel. It was a book that I loved so passionately, in fact, that I am worried this review will just be a word vomit of hyperbole’s. I will apologise if it is but just also know the reason is merely because I honestly loved this book so much that I can’t stop thinking about it.

Will You Find

If there is one thing that Victoria is good at, it is creating world’s that are easy to imagine and plots that are full, complex and highly dynamic. This is shown brilliantly through A Darker Shade of Magic. The plot kept me on my toes throughout and there are subtle hints to more complex things as well, which is so fascinating to me. At one point I exclaimed in revelation as I realised something incredibly clever about the story and the world. But the best thing is that despite how in-depth the world building ad plot are, none of the book is too complicated.

Yourself Fighting Alone

Victoria also seems to have an incredible talent for creating amazing, wonderful characters. My favourite in A Darker Shade of Magic is Lila. Lila is feisty. She is stubborn, clever, and loyal and I just couldn’t help but love everything about her. She is an incredibly strong character in many ways. And then there’s Kell, who is so different but who stole my heart just as easily. He is quieter but also loyal and very protective. He carry’s a burden on his shoulders and I just found him to be a fantastic addition to the story. Honestly, even all of the side characters are well thought out and have a depth to them all.

Or With Help?

A Darker Shade of Magic is a book that took my breath away. It had everything I love about reading within it and I found myself wishing it would never end. It is written extraordinarily well, is full of a truly breathtaking world, has a complex and intense plot, and is filled with the most marvelous characters. I struggled to find any flaws in this book aside from wishing the next book was already waiting for me. If you want a fantasy book that is insanely beautiful, you should not miss out on this book!

five stars


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