Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab
A Darker Shade of Magic
Series Number: 1
Published: 24 February 2015
Page Count: 400
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 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.
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A Darker Shade of Magic has been on my TBR for a long time, and similar to A Throne of Glass I was a wee bit worried that it wouldn’t live up to the hype. I’m very happy to say that it did, and I fell in love with the magical alternate Londons that V. E. Schwab conjured up. Even the harsh and unyielding world of White captivated my interest. Everything about this book blew me away. The magic and world-building are magnificent, the are refreshing and interesting, and the story is bold, beautiful and heartbreaking all at the same time. It was no surprise to me that I quickly gobbled up the second book, the third book and then the graphic novel series as well.


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