Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V.E Schwab
Genre: Adult/New Adult(?), Fantasy, Magic
Publisher: Titan Books
(A Darker Shade of Magic [Book 1])
Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.
There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.
Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. 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.
Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, 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.
Where do I even begin with this series? How do I even try to explain my feelings for this series, the world, the characters? I DON’T KNOW! But I will try. So prepare for a mess of emotion and fangirling in this review (or rather, my feeble attempt at a review).
*sits and stares blankly into space for half an hour trying to figure out how to do review without just flailing about and just recommending it 1000 times*
Okay, if you haven’t already guessed, I absolutely fell in love with this trilogy. Honestly, I wasn’t quite sure that it would live up to all the hype. I’d mostly been putting it off because I find that sometimes hype can ruin a book/series for me. So yes, I was a little hesitant, but all the worries and doubt vanished practically as soon as I started reading the first book. And soon enough, I was obsessed.
The world Schwab has created within this story is so complex and unique and compelling. The alternate Londons, the different magic systems, the language and culture within each different world and country was just so intricate and well thought out and just honestly crazy good (yes, such a great adjective, Danielle). Just the mere thought of all the research and the detail that has gone into this story puts me in awe. I honestly don’t know how Schwab’s mind works, but I love it.
And don’t even get me started on her writing style. As this trilogy was my first ever Schwab read, I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I knew so many people admired her writing and praised it quite highly, and now I know they are not wrong to do so. Her writing is beautiful and easy to read and just. So. Damn. Addictive. I am so ready to read more Schwab now.
Moving on to the characters. The characters. The reason I fell in love with this series so strongly and so quickly. This is one of those stories where it’s really character-driven, and you really get to know each and every character quite deeply, which I absolutely love. Each character was unique, entertaining to read about, and just so damn wonderful. Honestly, if you tried to make me choose a favourite, I don’t think I could. Kell, Lila, Rhy, Alucard, Holland, they’ve all found a place in my heart.
Overall, the Shades of Magic trilogy has become one of my all-time favourite series. The adventures, the drama, the pain, the stress; all of the feels and emotions, I was completely enraptured by it all. I became literally obsessed with the characters, and I am so sad the series and their stories are over (like seriously can we get a novella, or a spin-off, or SOMETHING????). Not even a reading slump (which I fell into during my read of A Gathering of Shadows [book 2]) could stop me from falling head over heels for this world and the characters.
If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly highly recommend you to do so ASAP.
And to V.E Schwab, thank you for this amazing and complicated and wonderful world.
Have you read this series yet? If you have, did you love it as much as I did?
Until next time,