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A Darker Shade of Magic 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, BlackKell 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 SeeUnofficially, 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 FirsthandAfter 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 AdventureNow Perilous Magic Is Afoot, And Treachery Lurks At Every Turn To Save All Of The Worlds, They Ll First Need To Stay Alive


10 thoughts on “A Darker Shade of Magic

  1. says:

    Every night of the year, the market lived and breathed and thrived The stalls were always changing, but the energy remained, as much a part of the city as the river it fed on Kell traced the edge of the bank, weaving through the evening fair, savoring the taste and smell of the air, the sound of laughter and music, the thrum of magic I m already a Victoria Schwab fan after reading her good vs evil superhero urban fantasy novel Vicious so I couldn t wait to get reacquainted with her addictive writing style, complex characters and wonderfully conceived fantasy worlds As it turns out, A Darker Shade of Magic was even than I d expected.This book feels like traditional fantasy than Vicious with the style, the invention of a new language, the large cast of characters, the magic, and the focus on royal political dynamics And yet, to use the word traditional anywhere near this novel is an injustice because it s unlike anything I ve ever read before.The characters are weird and colorful We have a protagonist Kell who is strong and badass enough to root for, but also complex and layered enough for us to truly care about and relate to Plus, he has a coat that has many sides, which he turns around depending on how he wants to look insane, unique, wonderful Schwab s imagination clearly knows no bounds.We also have a cross dressing pirate who happens to be a tough, infuriating and lovable female character Lila And a promiscuous prince, villains who are blood slaves, evil twin rulers and much And then there s this bizarre world that just played on every one of my senses The author asks us to believe in a setting that is incredibly farfetched and yet she breathes life into this world with evocative language and makes the unbelievable something we can picture in our heads She shares little stories from this world s history to flesh out the picture The infamous Kro s Mejkt, the Stone Forest, was made up not of trees but of statues, all of them people It was rud the figures hadn t always been stone, that the forest was actually a graveyard, kept by the Danes to commemorate those they killed, and remind any who passed through the outer wall of what happened to traitors in the twins London. What s all this about the twins London Well, in this world there are four different versions of London that only the Antari like Kell can move between Technically, there are only three these days because Black London fell, consumed by its own misuse of magic The others are Grey London the one we know , Red London the one Kell is from and White London ruled over by the sadistic Danes twins.Everyone, it seems, is out to use magic for their own selfish goals in this book And when a mysterious relic from Black London a relic that should have been destroyed reappears, Kell and Lila must do what they can to protect it from all those who wish to claim it as their own.Nothing short of a wild, fast paced adventure.Blog Facebook Twitter Instagram Youtube Pinterest


  2. says:

    I d rather die on an adventure than live standing still Isn t it astonishing how upon our second readings of our favourite books, we discover so much about our beloved characters and the world building itself than the first time around And so in consequence to my rereading of A Darker Shade of Magic in order to be fully prepared memory wise for A Gathering of Shadows, I started seeing redeemable qualities in Delilah Bard, the fierce, courageous yet reckless thief.When she and Kell the gorgeous Kell, my sweetheart, Kell had gotten closer on my first reading of this book, I damn straight wanted to chop her head off.But now, my wish is only to smother her a little bit in her sleep just a little bit.Progress, right Saves me a death sentence.A Darker Shade of Magic is such a colourful book I say that because there is not one dull character or moment in the story Even Holland yes, the poker faced Holland released a feeling inside of me curiosity.It s a dangerous world forgive me, worlds Kell lives in In Red London is by far the most agreeable place to live in, but the other worlds or shall I say alternative Londons Grey London, White London and dead Black London are not as pleasant.But magic runs through his blood, for he has a great purpose to travel through the Londons for diplomatic purposes and to keep peace He s somewhat of a guardian to those lands.Kell is incredible It s and I mean it impossible to dislike him He s understanding, temperate, calm, powerful and charming without even trying to be he really isn t , unlike his brother, Rhy, whom I love dearly but do not get to spend much time with what s with not including him in the adventure, Miss Schwab Miss Schwab is a very skilled writer What s funny is that even though this is a relatively dark fantasy novel for debatably mature teenagers, it strangely feels like a fairytale, or a cautionary tale, rather It s just so memorable and re readable, like a classic.Love, love, love To all fantasy readers who have yet to plunge into A Darker Shade of Magic, feel my wrath You need read it Blog Youtube Twitter Instagram Google Bloglovin


  3. says:

    YA adult Fantasy There isn t just one London There are, in fact, four cities sharing that name and geographic location, each in a very different plane of existence The novel takes place in the early 1800s, when magical travel between the different Londons has been severely restricted Long ago, the place called Black London underwent a massive magical accident a sort of implosion during which the forces of magic consumed the humans who tried to wield it Since then, the doors between the worlds have been sealed The only ones who can travel from world to world are the blood magicians known as Travellers When we first meet the traveler Kell, he has arrived in Grey London in our own un magical world to deliver a message from his own sovereigns of Red London to King George III and the Prince Regent The existence of other Londons, we learn, is a closely guarded secret that only the rulers know We follow Kell s travels from Grey London to his home, the magical Red London, to the sinister world of White London, ruled by a pair of despot siblings who make Vlad the Impaler look like a nice guy At the same time, we meet a young thief of Grey London named Lily Bard, whose life becomes entwined with Kell s accidentally as they are both plunged into a plot to reawaken magic and tear down the walls between the worlds.Phew Just describing the book makes it seem complicated, and it is an intricate world that V.E Schwab has created, but it s not as confusing as it seems I highly recommend checking it out if you like fantasy The idea of four separate Londons is fascinating, and like all the best fantasies, this novel makes its system of magic seem absolutely plausible Me I hope I never get stuck in White London That place is YIKES Having said that, I would definitely sign up for adventures with Kell and Lily


  4. says:

    I wrote this book, so I m probably biased Since it s early, and the full jacket copy isn t out, here s a list of things in ADSOM Magic Cross dressing thieves Aspiring pirates Londons plural Sadistic kings and queens A royal who is equal parts Prince Harry and Jack Harkness More magic blood magic, elemental magic, bad magic, etc etc Epic magicky fights scenes Angst And coats with than two sides


  5. says:

    I m so glad I decided to re read this before carrying on with the trilogy There were SO many things I had forgotten Can t wait to get to book two V.E Schwab does it again It amazes me how she continues to get better and better with each book she puts out into the world I need the sequel ASAP.


  6. says:

    4.5 solid


  7. says:

    As Travars, he said Travel And oh boy, I did travel I was covered in smoke, I tasted metal, I smelled roses, I wore a bizarre coat and I dreamed under a pale sky But unfortunately, I did not feel.A Darker Shade of Magic had great potential The world V.E Schwab created is fascinating, full of magic and blood There is Kell, an Antari, a blood magician who can travel between parallel universes, and Lila, a street thief who wants to become a pirate and experience great adventures, and when their fates interwine, they are the only ones who can save all three Londons from the tainted magic that destroyed the forth I mean, it sounds pretty amazing, doesn t it I d rather die on an adventure than live standing still I can t say that the execution failed me, because I was all too eager to read Kell and Lila s story, to turn the pages and fight and travel and discover the mysteries of the powerful obsidian stone and uncover conspiracies and secrets But in the end I was unsatisfied I expected something and my expectations were not met because I couldn t connect with the characters They were superficial and I was detached I didn t care about their fates, I didn t find in them the depth I wanted and the pang of enthusiasm I usually feel when I start a new series I was just a silent observer, witnessing their story unfold without finding the spark of magic that would make me an active participant and cheer for them, worry for them and eventually love them Lila annoyed me a couple of times with her imprudence and her recklessness but there is no doubt she was a badass and strong female lead I liked Kell a little and I waited for the signs that I was falling for him, but they never came I m still intrigued about his magic and his past though and I m curious about the way his relationship with Lila will develop Some people steal to stay alive, and some steal to feel alive Simple as that I can t help but shake the feeling that V.E Schwab had raised her wand, ready to cast the spell that would bewitch me but the words never left her lips Her plotline was like Red London, vivid and full of possibilities Her characters like White London, dangerous yet somehow pale and faded And me, well, I m Grey London, magicless in the surface but waiting for the magic I know it exists to ignite I don t know how to rate a A Darker Shade of Magic Four stars are too much, three not enough, and I ll have to settle with 3.5 and a hope that A Gathering of Shadows will actually be the one that will disperse the shadows the debut of this trilogy cast.


  8. says:

    I m not going to die, she said Not till I ve seen it Seen what Her smile widened Everything Kell one of the last Antari is playing a dangerous game Being an Antari, he travels between worlds He knows of four worlds and all four of them have one, conveniently overlapping city London Grey London Magicless, technology driven Red London Magic is considered a gift and is practiced with careful determination White London Magic is cruel, often needs to be stolen and locked into bodies Black London Magic is hungry and all consuming, magic apocalypse happened here All magic, artifacts and people from Black London is banned from the other worlds.Kell frequently travels in and out of the Londons passing along correspondence, adventuring and smuggling artifacts that last bit is hugely illegal After a visit to the cruel king and queen of White London, Kell is given an innocuous black stone and told to bring it to Red London A bit buzzed and confused, he travels between worlds only to discover that the stone is actually a part of Black London.By smuggling the stone, Kell committed treason against the crown of Red London his adopted family but importantly, the black stone contains remnants of that world s magic seduction and hunger.Delilah Lila Bard lives in Grey London not that she knows it It s the only London without magic and she s spent her entire life looking for a way out And then Kell lands on her doorstop I d rather die on an adventure than live standing still. Kell immediately struggles with the power of the stone And he soon realizes that although he may not want it, help will come to him in the form of one very, very stubborn Lila Bard Sure I do, countered Lila cheerfully There s Dull London, Kell London, Creepy London, and Dead London, she recited, ticking them off on her fingers See I m a fast learner Whewww I really enjoyed the start to this series Schwab had such a unique idea with the four Londons and their varying degrees of magic and executed it extremely well I loved all the details she included it really made the story come alive As for the charactersLila at times a bit over the top really balanced out the seriousness and coldness of Kell The two of them working together had a really natural feel as evidenced by their free flowing banter I apologize for anything I might have done I was not myself I apologize for shooting you in the leg said Lila I was myself entirely I cannot wait to get started on book two Audiobook CommentsRead by Steven Crossley and he did a great job This was a rather well read audiobook I do wish he would ve had emotion when it came to his characters but then again, Kell is supposed to be a little stand offish.Blog Instagram Twitter


  9. says:

    RE READ UPDATE So, in a startling turn of events, this book is even insufferably perfect the second time round and I m so in love with it I frequently forget WHAT AIR IS I love Kell I love his frown I love his love for his brother I love his smol fragile beginnings of a relationship with Lila I love his bloody magic I love his dark side.I LOVE THIS BOOK AND THIS WORLD AND THESE CHARACTERS SO MUCH IT HURTS JUST A LTITLE WHICH CAN BE TRANSLATED A LOT.Wow I may need to go lie down or else faceplant into A Gathering of Shadows for the second time 3 FYI the audiobook was fantastic ORIGINAL REVIEW 2016 It took me 90001 years of procrastination to read this I DOn T EVEN KNOW WHY I over hyped to myself Despite already having read and adored Vicious So clearly I am the most pathetic of grapefruit fiends So of course I ADORED this book It was violent and magicy and bloody and incredibly writtenand I have a severe love Kell s magical multi sided coat Like seriously, I want one YOU DON T UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH I LOVE HIS FREAKING AWESOME COAT Ahem.Also this book just had this WHOLE LIST of things I loveseriously, it s like it stole the checklist of things Cait likes and just completed it all perfectly For instance Magical multi sided coat Characters who put things in pockets, like millions of things I have a pocket infatuation btw Sassy, snarky witty banter A girl who s 1 aspiration is to be a pirate goals Evil magic Concise writing Lots of stabby stabbing all the time LIKE STABBY STAB EVERYTHING OMG I told youIT WAS WRITTEN WITH ME IN MIND Ahem Also I absolutely adore VE Schwab s writing style Like it s brisk and too the point It doesn t fluff around And she is QUEEN of world building Gah, I am in love with the world building skills Seriously not a lot of books manage to make a world this complex and dimensional but EASY TO UNDERSTAND so so simply and fast I actually never had any Huh, I don t get it moments Which is a big deal for me Because 87% of my life is spent saying Wut I don t get it BUT NOT WHEN I READ A SCHWAB BOOK HUZZAH.And the characters OmgI shall pause here and SHRIEK MIGHTILY OF MY LOVE Shriek loudly, I tell you Kell was perfect Like, literally perfect A little bit tragic and lost and longingand also totally sassy with the perfect comeback waiting I love how basically the ENTIRE book is because he made a stupid mistakeso he s a gorgeous little darling, but at the same time immensely flawed Lila, of course, is my hero She s NASTY She s a thief and so snarkyomg, she d bite you She really would And she s wondrous I love how she starts off just wanting an adventure BUT THEN SHE GETS A FRIEND IN KELL 333 And the way she and Kell continually had to save each other My favourite thing of ever Rhys was definitely a potential favourite I mean, I DID love him He was really overconfident and dashing and dazzling and spoiled and vibrant and INCREDIBLE My favourite kind of character, tbh but.he really wasn t in the story very much For this I am sad Holland I feel I want to mention Holland, who is another magician like Kell they re the only two of their kind who can jump through worlds , and he was really CREEPY But tragic Like I felt really bad for him even as he was doing terrible evil things He was enough of a villain to be hated, and enough of a victim to make me whisper a small oh dear and feel sad for him perfectwritingbasically everything in this book was freaking perfect nUNNNNNGH.OH WAIT One thing wasn t perfect But this is purely me And I dare say most people wouldn t have this problem but I found the book very predictable Seriously I KNEW what plot twists were going to go down most of the time It was really weird I have this slight suspicion that it s sort of how I would put together a story I am in NO WAY claiming to be as good of a writer as Schwab HAHAHAH NOPE I am like a toddler with a crayon compared to her Butyeah I would choose all the plot directions she went in, which made me sort of know they were going down SO THAT S WEIRD BUT THAT HAPPENED Also pleeeeeeeeeeease tell me I m not alone in catching the potential plot twist about Lila view spoiler LILA S FREAKING MISSING EYE BAh She is so totally an Antari Clearly someone cut out her eye as a kid, right hide spoiler


  10. says:

    An Overhyped Shade of MediocreBefore you jump down my throat, I didn t hate this novel as much as I felt let down by it Let me explain it s been hyped up everywhere and when that happens, expectations tend to run very high Think back to when you were a kid and wanted something for your birthday so much and were so sure that you were going to get it and even if you got plenty of nice things, the fact that you didn t get the one thing you wanted made you disappointed That s the same feeling I got from this book.Further, I felt like there was a lot of pandering going on here Currently, YA books are trying their darnedest to be inclusive, which I personally think is a great step in modern storytelling However, I don t care for having one dimensional characters just for the sake of faux representation Prince Rhy is well, a prince, but he s also bi pan omnisexual and that s about it Sure he is our MC s best friend adopted brother and serves some purpose in the story, but he s mostly a token character since there is nothing to him Our second case of pandering comes from our female MC, Lila She s a tough female protagonist with a dark past, because we ve never seen that before. eye roll Okay, I get that audiences need strong female characters and are sick of Mary Sues, but Lila reads like a stock character She s tepid and boring, just like the writing.This book took me longer to finish than I would have thought, simply because the writing is so dry and flat On nearly every page I pendulated from interested to bored and back again like a metronome The story itself is captivating in parts, but the actual prose has no life There s no heart in it at all, and you don t care about the characters so when they die it s no big deal It sits there listless and says, Our main character is Kell, and he is oh so original You guys, he s one of the last travelers magicians with a rare, coveted ability Are there any protagonists that don t have rare gifts any Wait though, he has a completely black eye and does blood magic and there is only one other blood magician in the story so of course they have to face off Not only that, the MacGuffin in this book is a stone split in half, and wouldn t you know it The other half of this stone belongs to the villain I have never heard of a hero and villain having some sort of weird twin connection between their magical foci before sarcasmBack to Lila view spoiler I think it s pretty clear that Lila is an Antari because she s missing an eye that probably would have been black like Kell s and there are strong hints that she has magic inside her, plus she can also travel worlds hide spoiler