Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab 
Pages: 400 pages 
Published: February 24th, 2015 
Genre: YA Fantasy 
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. 

Buy it Now! 

This book, well any V.E. Schwab book in general, has been on my TBR list. And I've got to say that I haven't read such a good book in a long time. I'm doing something different for this review, which is just basically stating all the things I liked and disliked about this book. I was inspired by Missie from A Flurry of Ponderings to start this new thing with my reviews.

A Darker Shade of Magic is not just an ordinary, light fantasy read. In fact, it's not even 'light' to be honest. It was more of a heavy and dark read, and if you know me I haven't read a good dark fantasy read in like forever. Now if you're a reader who hasn't read a V.E. Schwab book yet and you're still very hesitant, I hope I have the ability to change your mind!

The magic system ~ Antari are travelers that can travel through the parallel Londons. I thought the term itself was very intriguing. There was also the concept of the stone and how it worked, almost like the Antari's powers but had a much greater hold on the user. 
Characters ~ Kell and Lila, my ultimate OTP as of now. One thing Victoria really excels at is making her characters relatable and vulnerable because trust me, both and Kell and Lila get tossed around in the book. She adds snarky and stubborn personalities that are both lovable and aggravating at times.
Action Scenes ~ I can see why people call Victoria the Queen of Fantasy. Every time the characters would get into a fight or a battle of magic, I could literally feel their pain and winced when they were wounded. My eyeballs were glued to the book, like I was in a trance! She makes magic and spells not seem so cliche or the usual 'bibbity bobbity boo'. There were actually spells in another language (I think) or some voodoo language I'm not familiar with. 
World-building (setting) ~ As you know there are 4 Londons (universes) mentioned in the book. There is Grey London (a world in which magic is forgotten) , Red London (a wealthy world with magic), White London (a dying city with desperate monarchs and defiant magic) , and Black London (a world entirely closed off because of the magic corruption that happened there). All of the different parallel universes she creates has their own personalities, or as Kayla Rayne says (from Kayla Rayne on Youtube), as if they were their own person.
- Writing ~ I think to say 'writing' is way too general of a word. What I mean is how she writes and her writing style. How Victoria likes to play with words and use such intricate vocabulary. She has this flow in her words that author can't seem to hack into their books and gahhh... It's just so fricking beautiful! 

Not a book for everyone ~ I definitely think EVERYONE will enjoy this book but if you're not into fast-paced books with fantasy aspects, this may not be your forte. And I know it's not up to me to tell you what to read, so I encourage you all to read this book! 

My Final Verdict:
No matter what kind of reader you are, what size, shape, or genre you prefer, you should and you must pick up this book. Read more of V.E. Schwab's writing because I know 100% for sure I am!

My friend Kayla Rayne wanted to dedicated a tag to how much she loved this book! If you have a Youtube or a blog, go ahead and watch the video and see for yourself if you would like to do the tag. It's definitely something to look forward to and I know it would make her so happy :D 

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is a book-hoarding, binge-eating anime lover that loves to read and write on her free time. When she hasn't got her head stuck in an enthralling fantasy novel, she's outside collecting rocks or re-organizing her bookshelves for the 100th time. Alex also has nightmares of her TBR pile falling down and crushing her underneath.


  1. I have this on my stack and need to find time to read it!'
    Jen @ YA Romantics


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