I’ve finished this book a loooong time ago, then school started and i completely forgot about it. So now I’m so excited to post this review, because finally a 5 star read!! Also I read this book with Chloe @Blushing Bibliophile, go check her review here!
A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab
- Genre: YA, Fantasy
- Pages: 399
- My rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ out of 5!
- Plot: 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.
First of all THIS IS ONE OF THE BEST FANTASY BOOKS EVER!
This is a really engaging novel even if it is, for me, a little bit slow paced. I could describe this book with just one word VITARI (for you, mundane, it means magic in arnesian). The plot is slow in the beginning, but the characters and world were more than enough to keep me interested in the story. The action picks up a lot toward the end and I read the majority of this book in one day.
The writing is AMAZING it’s a little bit more complex than the normal books (that I read), in fact at the beginning I struggled a little bit to get into the plot without thinking about what I was reading. She has an amazing and original voice. I also took note of quotes as always, but this time I also “post-it-ed” so many descriptions and paragraphs that were amazingly written. English is not my mother tongue and I think this book actually improved my english, in fact as I kept reading I got used to the writing and got into it!
For example read this:
The vivid glamour of the world outside paled in comparison to the world within. It was a palace of vaulting glass and shimmering tapestry and, women though it all like light, magic. The air was alive with it. Not […], but a loud, bright encompassing thing. Kell had told Lila that magic was like an extra sense, layered on top of sight and smell and taste, and now she understood. It was everywhere. In everything. And it was intoxicating She could not tell if the energy was coming from the hundreds of bodies in the room, or from the room itself, which certainly reflected it. Amplified it like sound in an echoing chamber.
And it was strangely – impossibly – familiar.
Beneath the magic, or perhaps because of it, the space itself was alive with color and light. …read the book to continue reading
The book isn’t actaully full of descriptions, but I really wanted to show this one, without any spoilers. I think she deserves a prize just for this, okay??
I usually don’t like fantasy, but this convinced me to get more into this genre! I don’t like fantasy things when they’re all great and fluffy and there is a villain, that’s isn’t really complex or at least 3D. But with this book there’s a darker shade of magic with a lot of adventure!
The worldbuilding is amazing and intricate! In the book there are three Londons and a destroyed one, which are similar but different at the same time. Grey London is were the mundanes live and is your version of the Victorian London. Red London is full of magic an it’s like it is full of hufflepuffs and gryffindors and it smells like flowers. White London is ruled by two siblings, it is full of people who crave power and it smells like metal. The last London destroyed and sealed from the others London is Black London where magic took the power and destroyed the city.
“I’m not going to die,” she said. “Not till I’ve seen it.”
Her smile widened. “Everything.”
Notice! “New crushes and role models ahead!”
The novel deals with Kell who is an Antari, someone who can travel between worlds. He’s a part of the Red London’s royal family and his best friend is Rhy the prince of his London. Then there is Lila a Grey London’s adventurous lady, a wanted thief and an aspiring pirate.
This is one of my notes I took while reading: I really really really really really really really like Kell, you know what Rhy as well…
A better version of Carly Rae Jepsen’s song I Really Like You.
The design has been created by Will Staehle and I love it so much! So extra points for that!
I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.
Final thoughts This book was such an adventure, a little bit slow-paced, engaging and magical. The only thing that disappointed me is that I don’t have many feels for it, but it’s okay, IT’S STILL AMAZING!
I’m looking forward to buy the next book and I want to know more, his background story I want to know more about Lila as well! Also I want more fanart and a more active fandom!
By the way did you know that Rick Riordan reviewed it? Can you believe it?? Because I can’t!
- Plot: 5 out ot 5
- Design: 5 out of 5
- Characters: 5 out of 5
- Writing: 5 out of 5 (AMAZING)
- Interest: 5 out of 5
- The Feels and emotions: 4 out of 5
- Ending: 5 out of 5
QUIZ ON BUZZFEED
Last but not least I also found a quiz on buzzfeed which tells you “Which London do you actually belong in?”
And I got…. Red London!
So what do you think about the book? Have you read it?
Thank you for reading,