A Darker Shade of Magic: Shades of Magic Review

A Darker Shade of Magic: Shades of Magic (Book 1)

by V.E. Schwab

“Kell is one of the last travellers – magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city. There’s Grey London, without magic an ruled by the mad King George III. Red London – where magic is revered, and where Kell was raised alongside the heir to the empire. White London – where people fight to control the remaining magic and magic fights back. And once there was Black London.”

After reading This Savage Song, I knew that I wanted to read other books by V. E. Schwab, but I was not too sure which ones, so I ended up with A Darker Shade of Magic. I did not really know anything about it beforehand, just what the blurb said (which I only read as I opened the book).

Kell is an Antari (a traveller between parallel Londons), he works for the Red royal family, while Holland works for the White. Grey London is our world, but 300 years ago, while Red London is brimming full of magic and White London fights for every scrap of magic to be found. Lila is a thief from Grey London, she dresses like a man to make it easier to steal things, but she longs for adventure. Which ends up thrust upon her when Kell and then Holland turn up.

That was awesome! I honestly cannot find the words to describe how I feel at the end of this book. I want to move onto the next book straight away. I cannot get enough of Kell and Lila. The first line just drags you in, you want to know more about the coat and then why it has more than two sides, how can this be? I now wish I could have a coat like that.

I think my favourite part has to be the bits with Kell and Lila, I love their relationship and how it grows. I also love the different worlds in the what that they are different, with different languages and cultures, but also the way that London is different in each one, with only a couple of things the same. With the different sections and different points of view you were constantly wanting to know what was going to happen, and when things started to come to together it made things make a bit more sense but there were still plenty of twists and turns.

My favourite characters have to be Kell, Lila and Rhy. I would like to see all the relationships grow more in the next book, even though we see Kell and Lila, and Kell and Rhy, but only a short bit of Rhy and Lila. I also would like to see what happens about Lila and magic. Also, to see if Kell and Lila (maybe Rhy) can fix my kind of broken heart, I also ended up laughing at a few points, almost cried and I was shocked in a few more.

A Darker Shade of Magic ends on a cliffhanger, as the Shades of Magic series continues in A Gathering of Shadows.

While reading A Darker Shade of Magic, I described it as parallel worlds with differing amounts of magic and what happens when they interact. I would recommend to older teenagers and adults. 5 out of 5.

A Darker Shade of Magic





  • Storyline
  • Characters
  • Setting

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