This book is great, this was a reread for me, my library cleverly celebrated the acquiring of Vengeful, which all copies were already borrowed out, with a display featuring V. E. Schwab’s and I wanted to revisit the first novel I read of her’s.  This book is amazing very dark, featuring misunderstood characters.  I’m so glad this is the first book in a trilogy, even though this book has a definitive end there’s still a lot more to explore in this world, or worlds.  Since I have read the series this book is the perfect first step into the ever expanding world that keeps growing.

The plot: Kell is a traveler of Worlds there is the real world which is referred as Grey London, which is the London of the early 1800’s London, where magic is only a myth,  The there’s Red London where magic exist to enrich lives, there’s White London the uses magic to corrupt, and then there is Black London that is now barred because the magic grew so powerful it imploded, they shut all the magical doors to Black London and destroyed all magical artifacts. The trouble starts when a Black magic artifact is smuggled in to Grey London by an unknown Kell who sells safe magical items from other London’s to magic aficionados, all hell breaks lose when a pickpocket named Lila steals the black magic artifact and starts infecting people all over London, the only way to get rid of it is to head to Black London, now that Lila is apart of this she must venture with Kell through the different London’s. The plot thickens as we learn who set Kell up and there plans to rule all the Londons.

What I Liked: Kell and the relationship with his brother and Lila.  The creations of all the different London’s.  The ending left me floored on multiple levels.  The character of Lila, is some of Schwab’s best character work, she’s good at writing these great antihero character’s like Lila and Victor from Villainous, but she adds this third layer of androgyny which really separates how this character deals with the world and those around her.  I do like that in the story King George the third is mad because he’s exposed to magic and no one will believe him. Kell’s job and side job are really interesting.

What I Disliked: I wanted to understand the magic a little bit more until it comes to the shit hits the fan moment. Prince Rhy is a character that does develop over the series but I wanted a lot more from him as a character. All we really get is he’s charming and he does love Kell.

Recommendations: This book has a fast moving plot and was very easy to read, I really enjoyed it, and where it took my imagination, I recommend this book for Young adults who want more adult subject matter, it is a good transition book. There is light cussing and a good deal of blood shed. This is one of my rare 5 out of 5 star reviews.

 

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2 thoughts on “Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

  1. Great review, I don’t read a huge amount of YA (there’s too much on my TBR pile already!) but loved the Shades of Magic series. I’m a sucker for ‘alternate universe’ books and thought this dealt beautifully with the idea of moving between worlds

    Like

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