Review: A Darker Shade of Magic


A Darker Shade of Magic
By V. E. Schwab

Source: Personal purchase, paperback
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Historical Fiction

Goodreads Synopsis:
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.

This is another book that I have really mixed views on. It was very well written, with complex characters who were easy to love, yet (and I hate to say this, and am somewhat scared because so many people love this book) in some places I found it boring. I liked the fact that it was Adult Fiction, yet had the same magical feel like a YA read.

The characters were my favourite element of this book. They were badass so I was cheering for them, yet complex and had depth so they were loveable. Both Kell (the male protagonist) and Lila (the female protagonist, who wasn’t focused on as much as Kell was) were different yet similar, and very interesting to read about.

The thing that I didn’t like was the pace of the book at the beginning. Because there were 4 different Londons in the book, 4 different world-builds got a bit slow. I was also a little bit confused and really had to pay attention to which world we were in. I really had to persevere through the start because of this book.

It was only until around the middle of the book a goal formed. I began caring much more about what was happening because we were working towards something - I was more invested because I actually wanted to know what was going to happen.

The ending was very exciting. I was really invested in the story by this point, and lots was happening. There was lots of action so I really wanted to read on. This was definitely my favourite part of the story. Things were also a lot less confusing in this part.

Overall, I enjoyed this story, but felt like the start could have been sped up a bit. It was very well written, and the characters were loveable. The book was also very imaginative which made it even more of an interesting read.

My rating:

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  1. I'm still on the fence about this book. I've read so many reviews that either totally love or hate the book. I like your point though, with 4 worlds to really build onto, it would be kind of slow.

    1. It's definitely worth a read. I really enjoyed the last part, so if you can manage to get through the slow parts it's a really fun read. The 4 worlds are kind of slow!

      Thanks for dropping by :)


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