Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab

Posted March 29, 2015 in review / 2 Comments

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria SchwabA Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
Published by Macmillan on February 24th 2015
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400
Source: Purchased
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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.

Firstly, I just wanted to say that Nikki persuaded me to buy this book, and after several attempts, I relented. After waiting 1 month for it to arrive, it is finally HERE and lemme tell you, I never regretted buying it at all. In fact, I will also buy the next book once it comes out (which is like forever? SIGH).

This book is unique, and I have honestly never read any book like ADSOM. You need to understand first that there are 4 different Londons. Red London, Grey London, White London and Black London. Red London is where magic thrived and is treated as equal. Well, you could say that Red London is the better London among the rest. Grey London, however, does not have any magic. They’re basically normal human beings. White London is a cross between the two other Londons. They wanted to control the magic, and in turn, magic fights back. You could say that White London is literally in ruins. Black London is the city that was lost, the one that magic destroyed, causing the other Londons to break apart and seal themselves in.

Now let me introduce you to the main character. KELL. He is a traveler, the few ones who still survive, and hence, he becomes like a messenger between the different Londons. HE. IS. HOT. Done, there I said it HAHA. Throughout the whole book, I just couldn’t keep my eyes off him! He has this strong presence, and even when he’s surrounded by enemies that even he does not know if he could defeat, he still projected that air of confidence. And that’s what I like about him. So, when he got himself into trouble, he actually wanted to solve it all himself, even though he knew the amount of risks it would take. Well, until he met Lila. *giggles*


Delilah Bard isn’t an ordinary girl, trust me. She is so far from ordinary. She’s a thief, and a damn good one. Well, and she’s pretty kickass in this whole book. She practically dresses like a man everywhere she goes (and the book’s context is stated in London, where everyone is quite prim and proper, so that is a big deal).

I think what I adore most about this book is that the romance blossoming between Kell and Lila. There was practically NONE. Okay, fine, just kidding, there is some. At random times. AND THAT’S THE WHOLE POINT. Yes, these two MIGHT like each other. But they’re both in danger, they ain’t got time for love. HAHA. So in this book, those little and rare love scenes will make you go “awwwwww” HAHA.

So, in conclusion, this book was pretty amazing. Why amazing? Because I am thoroughly impressed that the author wrote such a complicated book, and at the end of the day, it all came out smoothly. There weren’t any awkward pauses.

And yessss, READ IT FOR KELL HAHAHA. HE IS WORTH IT! Now, I shall just sit back and wait for the next book to come out. *looks at time and sigh*

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