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

I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still

I finally finished reading A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, after it has been on my shelf since it’s release. I have very mixed feelings about this book. I hope to find out by telling you about it.

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


Title & Author: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Genre: Fantasy, Adventure
Release Date: February 24 2015
Series: Shades of Magic
Publisher: Tor Books


Kell is one of the last Antari, a rare magician who can travel between parallel worlds: hopping from Grey London — dirty, boring, lacking magic, and ruled by mad King George — to Red London — where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire — to White London — ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne, where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back — and back, but never Black London, because traveling to Black London is forbidden and no one speaks of it now.

Officially, Kell is the personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see, and it is this dangerous hobby that 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 take her with him for her proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save both his London and the others, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — a feat trickier than they hoped.

First I will explain why I don’t know what to feel about A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. When I bought this book, it was very hyped, everyone was reading it and it made me very curious about these different kinds of London. Then when I finally started on it, I did not like the character of Kell, he felt superficial and he rubbed me the wrong way. It also took very long for anything important to happen. Yes Kell was traveling between the different Londons and he explained the differences between them. But it felt like the first half of the book took longer to take place then the last half.

Kell is a complicated character, he is one of the few who can travel between the different worlds/dimentions.. His name is made up of the two initials on his knife, which is not explained during the book. He is adopted by the King and Queen of Red London and there by get’s to be the Crown Prince’s brother. Nothing about this all is explained and I don’t like having all these questions about the characters if they are not unveiled in the first book, why else would you tell these things during the first book?

Delilah is a thief from Grey London and I like her. She is ready to kick-ass but not in an annoying way. She is smart and has great dreams. She wants to become a pirate! And is saving to buy a ship to roam the see. I like the pieces written about her. V.E. Schwab said in an interview about her that she is the hero of her own story and not a plot device. And I really like that about her. You actually notice her story is much different from most other ‘sidekick’ characters.

Overall I do think I like this book, that’s why I give it four stars. I hope A Gathering of Shadows will be better and gives me less mixed feelings. I am going to read that one as soon as possible.

Let me know what you thought of this book!
If you have any requests for which book I should talk about next, please let me know in the comments down below.

For now, let books enrich your life!


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