A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab
Genre: Adult Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: February 24th, 2015
Rating: 5 stars
Synopsis: 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.
It took me two years to finally buckle down and read this book. I had tried on several occasions to read it – I think I started it close to 7 times and could never make it past the first chapter. I was well versed in Kell’s peculiar coat! Hah! I listened to the first 1/3 via audio, switched to reading, then back to audio and I really enjoyed it! I heard the narrator changes in book 2 so we will see! I hope they don’t change Lila’s cockney accent! I could do without Rhy’s whining, though!
Things that worked for me (could be considered slightly spoilery):
- The world building is EXCEPTIONAL! It is fantastic! I love the ideas of the different London’s and how they are vastly different from one another.
- Lila Bard is a mu’fuckin’ hero! She is honestly the best thing about this book. I love her attitude, her determination, her grit. She is my new fave heroine!
- Morally grey is where it’s at. Schwab is the master at creating characters that you question their every intention. I am so excited to see the development in the next installments!
- It wrapped up in a way that if I never read the other books I would be satisfied with the story. I feel like most of Schwab’s stories are like this. I felt this way about This Savage Song and Vicious. There’s the feeling of, maybe there’s another book, but also being satiated with what was given.
Things that didn’t work for me (could be considered slightly spoilery):
- Not much actually! I really enjoyed this book. I’m not sure what happened when I was reading it, maybe I was hung over from previous books, but there wasn’t much I even thought “meh” about!
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I am so glad that I finally took the time to get to know this story and appreciate it! I am excited to read A Gathering of Shadows!
You can pick up this book at a local or online retailer. It is available now!