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

Note: New Year, new Review structure! Enjoy, and happy reading 🙂

Book 1 in the Shades of Magic Trilogy

400 pages

5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads Sypnosis:

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.

Let’s talk about the plot:

It was so exciting and fast paced! I knew, as soon as I started reading, that I discovered something awesome; and the series, I can tell, is going to be a long time favourite! One book in and I’m already hooked and obsessed with the world Schwab created. It was constant edge of your seat excitement, and I couldn’t get enough of Kell and Lila! The plot just got more and more detailed and wild too, I could have never predicted what was coming next! The book, and the story, and the plot was so unique! I have never read anything like this before! Pure perfection!

Let’s talk about the writing:

The writing was so pleasurable and vast! And detailed, I mean, even the concepts had me in awe! Schwab has created so much vastness, from Red London, which was my favourite of the settings (I mean, can I go there?!), to Grey London, and everything in between. It was so fascinating learning about all of the London’s, and what separates each of them. I could clearly picture each seperate environment, and I love how we saw everything from Kell and Lila’s eyes. It was honestly all perfection! The writing had be gasping in both shock, surprise and pleasure! I’d only read one of the authors books in the past, The Archived, but her writing had definitely matured since then! I mean, the wealth of magic in this novel is flawless! I loved every minute, as I said, and I didn’t want this book to end! Yet, I couldn’t put it down, I was dying to know what would come next! And the ending definitely didn’t disappoint! It was all flawless, and the pacing was freaking amazing. There was never a dull moment, and plenty of wit throughout.

Let’s talk about the characters:

I loved most of the characters! Lila Bard is one new favourite heroine of mine! She’s full of sass and she’s utterly fierce! I loved her introduction to the book, and I loved her dynamic with Kell! I was cheering for Lila all throughout, honestly! I loved her longing for adventure, and I love how she got to see so much of the other London’s! I felt like I was Lila, throughout the book, I felt like her thoughts and reactions mirrored my own, and I definitely shared her emotions! I definitely became proud of her too, she never backed down from anything and she constantly stood her ground. Her scenes had me terrified and delighted in equal measures! Given her last scene in this book, I can’t wait to discover the action that will be in store for her in the next one!

Kell, what an amazing character! I loved learning about him, his life, and how he came to be who and where he is now, throughout the book, it was absolutely wicked! He was definitely my portal into the book world, and I loved learning about the language, and the importance of magic and being an antari. Kell is definitely admirable too, I was cheering for him throughout, and I couldn’t get enough of him and Lila! Their friendship is so freaking fabulous, and I can’t wait to see how it grows, especially given it grew so much in the first book itself! I love Kell’s values, and loved his reactions to everything!

I also really love Rhy, I think he and Kell have the most precious bond, I love how they both hold the other in the highest regard and would do anything for one another, and I love their banter! Throw Lila into the mix, and that’s a brilliant trio! I hope there’s scenes with the two of them to come!

I’m not really sure how I feel about Holland, truthfully, I hope we somehow learn more about him (but I’m not sure if we will?!) but, honestly, I’m still conflicted! I want to learn more about his early years, I think, but I think I can safely say that he and Kell are two sides of the same coin. Their scenes definitely had be nervous, and their last one in this book had me biting my teeth.

Overall:

What a freaking epic start to the year of reading! (This year is the year where I will read all the books!) and I have another favourite series! Utterly flawless and if I had to fault it in a small way? I couldn’t! Thank you Victoria Schwab, for creating this world! I can already see it as something I’d re read over and over! I already can’t get enough! So for that reason, I’ll try and break up the other two books! I don’t want to leave this world!

Happy new year, everyone, I hope you all have a fantastic bookish year! This was my first read of the year, and I hope everyone has an amazing 2018!

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