A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic #1)

A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab

Hey guys, I hope you all are having a great day and this is my review to A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab! This is the first book in a YA fantasy trilogy!


Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.


Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.


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


But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.


When I read the first chapter of this book, I was scared that this book was going to have a lot of info-dumping. And then A Darker Shade of Magic slapped me in the face for ever doubting it.

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Reason why I love this book:


Delilah effing Bard. We are introduced to this girl when:

she strolls into her rented room and she is about to get molested by her landlord who is an owner of a bad-conditioned ship. So, she stabs him, manages to kill him, and sets his ship on fire. After, she goes to visit her friend in his tavern.

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NEED I SAY MORE?! And THEN, she steals from Kell—an Antari for goodness sakes—and gets away with it. AND IF THAT IS NOT ENOUGH THEN GO READ THE BOOK.


We’re introduced to four Londons without having to be dumped with info upon info. Hats off to Schwab for pulling off the world-building so well! I was so impressed! :D She manages to introduce all four Londons so well, that it made me doubt for a while that this book was less than 700 pages. :D


Kell is not a “hunky” male character. Last time I was impressed with a male POV that didn’t scream “boobs” was from Holly Black’s The Curse Workers trilogy with our lovely Cassel. The author does not exaggerate the fact that Kell is a boy. And she doesn’t try hard to write in a “male POV” so I was extremely relieved.


The differences beyond Kell and Lila’s POV (even if told from first person) is beyond that they’re different genders. Literally—when there’s a change in gender POV, the guy (or girl) is sometimes pulled off so bad. I feel like the authors of some of these books sometimes think, “Hmm . . . forget about what [insert male character name] might do, let’s write what a guy would do—oh, yeah. He would be perverted. Because, all guys are perverted, right?” NO AUTHOR. SO THANK YOU VICTORIA SCHWAB FOR DOING THIS RIGHT. Lila is a not a boy, but she can pull a knife faster than Kell. And Kell is not a warrior or a soldier or a commander or a major or a guard. Thank the Lord.


There are so many other reasons why I love this book! I was never intimidated or annoyed, and when I thought that I guessed the next thing that was going to happen, I was so relieved to be wrong! :D


Overall, A Darker Shade of Magic is an amazing book in a parallel universe with an amazing magic system! It has great characters and an insight on those characters that aren’t part of the main cast. The pacing and the world-building was exceptionally well done. :D


I would recommend this book to ALL Fantasy readers! If you haven’t checked out this book yet, then you should read it fast because this isn’t meant to be in your TBR ;).


Thanks for reading my review guys! Until the next one! :D