Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive. – (via Goodreads )
My Rating: 4/5
Immediately from the summary you know that A Darker Shade of Magic is a unique fantasy with an original magic system. It’s so intricate and precise, varying from London to London, that I found myself loving this aspect of the novel straight away. However, at the beginning of the novel, – this could be due to me reading a lot of books at the end of the month – I found it to be quite a slow start compared to the second half of the novel. However, this is to be expected as we were being introduced to these worlds, the characters and magic system. I did enjoy the beginning of the novel but the second half was where the plot and pace really picked up. It was incredible!
The characters in this novel were also fantastic. Once again, V. E Schwab excels at creating relatable but interesting characters. I loved Kell, our protagonist and the magician in the novel. However, my favourite character was definitely Delilah Bard. She is from Grey London, our London, and seeks adventure and freedom. She is incredibly daring and fierce. I loved her! I also loved the relationship dynamic between her and Kell. It made me laugh out loud!
V.E Schwab done an excellent job of creating this world. It was so natural, concise and, occasionally, brutal that it was hard to put the book down. I was so wrapped up in the politics of each London, their history and the magic systems associated to each one. It was never confusing and it was easy to follow. It helped with how V.E Schwab managed to describe these places so well that they become extremely vivid in my head.
I’m so glad I have finally read this book and I’m very mad that I didn’t read it sooner. It’s a dark story with magic, multiverses, and amazing characters. It’s so good! It’s a brilliant first novel to begin this trilogy.
I can’t wait to read A Gathering of Shadows.
Have you read this book? What was your thoughts?
Thanks for reading!