Yeah, that’s right. You are seeing this post correctly! I have finally broke down and read A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1) by V.E. Schwab. So for all of you who have been telling me I have got to read this book… This is for you. 🙂
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 was a fun read. I think Schwab did an amazing job with her unique world building and storytelling. The writing was solid, I never had any trouble being confused with what was going on or which character’s POV I was reading. I think both POV’s had a very distinct voice and personality which I really appreciated. There was also a nice flow throughout the book with things, never any lull in the action. Though things really started picking up about 200 pages in.
Lila – I’m going to be honest, I spent most of this book really not enjoying her. We just couldn’t connect at all. It almost felt like Schwab was trying too hard to have a main character be this badass and independent woman that is so popular right now, but just failed convincing me that it was real. She seemed like a bit of a try-hard. I felt that the only descriptions we had of her were about how she dressed and acted like boy, how good she was with a weapon, blah blah blah. It was practically shoved down our throats. I was like, alright alright, I get that she’s sooooo awesome. UGH. However, towards the end I stopped glazing over when the chapter switched to her POV and finally got into it a bit more. I don’t know if I just got used to it or if she actually changed into a more likable character. Jury is still out on this one and I’ll have to see how she is in A Gathering of Shadows.
Kell – Now I enjoyed him. He seemed like a real person with his own flaws and strengths. You could tell he was alone and yet I really enjoyed his relationship with Rhy. You could really feel how much of a connection there was between the two of them (literally, haha!). Either way, I enjoyed Kell’s POV the most and found him to be more tons more interesting than Lila. Bust out the pitchforks but there it is!
And all I have to say about those villains…AMAZING. They vicious and evil and so damn cool.
This was a fun read. I think Schwab did an amazing job with her unique world building and storytelling. The writing was solid, I never had any trouble being confused with what was going on or which character’s POV I was reading. I think both POV’s had a very distinct voice and personality which I really appreciated. The beginning was a bit slow for me but got better as it went along.
However, I do have to say that for 3/4 of this book, it was just okay. It was good but I wasn’t wowed by it. I don’t know if I was just in a mini slump or all of the hype surrounding this book affected how I viewed it. But I was having to force myself to pick it up. Luckily, towards the end, everything came together and the plot really got going. I started truly enjoying it and couldn’t put the book down. And because of that, I bumped up my originally planned rating by one star. I’m looking forward to seeing if it gets even better in the next book!