A Darker Shade of Magic

By Victoria Schwab (as V.E. Schwab)

Source: Received from the publisher

Series: Shades of Magic #1

Received from the publisher, for free, for review consideration. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Publication Date: February 24, 2015

Published by Tor Books

My Rating: five-stars

A Darker Shade of Magic

Cover image and summary from Goodreads:

From V.E. Schwab, the critically acclaimed author of Vicious, comes a new universe of daring adventure, thrilling power, and parallel Londons, beginning with A Darker Shade of Magic.

Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands. There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, 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 the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a 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—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.

I was beyond excited for this book because I love Victoria Schwab’s previous book, Vicious, so so so much. And the premise of A Darker Shade of Magic sounded so exciting and unique!

I absolutely loved the world-building going on here: the different Londons and the way magic existed – or didn’t – in each city, in different forms, and the way Kell traveled to the cities was so fascinating.

I also loved the characters, especially Kell and Lila. Everyone in this book intrigued me, from Kell and Holland to Rhy and Lila to the twins who rule White London – I wanted to know more about everyone!

Of course, the writing was fabulous. And the story lived up to my expectations and then some! It was dark, unpredictable, exciting, bittersweet, and full of adventure and magic.

I so wanted to book to go on and on. I really want to read more about this world and these characters, and I especially wanted to see Black London!

I can see from Goodreads that there will be a sequel. I am looking forward to it so much! A Darker Shade of Magic is definitely going to be a book that I purchase for my shelf, and so far is probably my favourite book I’ve read in 2015. I highly recommend it!!

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