Series: A Darker Shade of Magic #1
Published by Tor Teen (2.24.2015)
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Source: For Tour
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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.
Wow you guys, Victoria Schwab has such a wonderful talent for creating worlds like no other world written. Just like her other books, I’ve never read anything like it! What really made this book amazing was how unique the story was, that was definitely the selling point for me. It was deliciously dark and magical!
I must confess that I was a little bit bored in the beginning – it had a very historical feel to it, and anything remotely close to historical makes my eyes cross. But then the magic took a front seat and I was HOOKED! I absolutely loved the concept of the Antari and the different Londons. I think that was my favorite part! Each one was different in its own right, it was very cool! I thought it was brilliant that they were all ‘stacked’ together, and that you had to have a token to open doorways to the next one. And the stone! SO. COOL.
Kell was a great lead! I don’t read male POVs very often, but this is one of the better ones I’ve read. Um, and HIS EYES. One of his eyes was pure black (as in, no white at all) because of his being an Antari. How awesome is that?! My favorite character was definitely Lila, though. She was so fiesty! She reminded me sooo much of Selina Kyle from Gotham (Camren Bicondova). If this ever becomes a movie – which it should, because it was cinematic! – then Camren definitely needs to play Delilah Bard!
One scene in particular that I adored was when the sword became an entity. View Spoiler »I don’t know why I loved it so much, but the part where it was absorbed into the man was freaking epic! « Hide Spoiler There was just something dark about this book that called to me. I like the feel of this story! I know it will stick with me for a long time.
I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.
I FREAKING LOVE THIS!
“You have a house if not a home. You have people who care for you if not about you. You may not have everything you want, but I’d wager you have everything you could ever need, and you have the audacity to claim it all forfeit because it is not love. Love doesn’t keep us from freezing to death, or starving, or being knifed for the coins in our pocket. Love doesn’t buy us anything, so be glad for what you have and who you have because you may want for things but you need for nothing.”
Writing Style: 4/5
World Building: 4.5/5
Overall rating: 4/5
About the author
V. E. SCHWAB’s first adult novel, Vicious, debuted to critical praise and reader accolades. Schwab is the author of YA novels The Near Witch, The Archived, and The Unbound, and the Everyday Angel series for middle grade readers.
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A question for Victoria Schwab
[Jessi] If you could develop a supernatural ability like the characters in Vicious, what power would you want to have?
[Victoria] I have thought long and hard about this, as a writer of superpower fiction should, and I would want the ability the modify time, but only going forward. I would want to be able to speed time up, or slow it down, or pause it, but not rewind, because as pop culture and science have told us, that is when things go wrong ;)
Praise for A Darker Shade of Magic
What London would you belong in?
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I read that her books start slow, but I wasn’t bored at all! I do tend to like world building though. Yeah the eyes thing was so cool! I was worried about liking Lila, so I’m glad to hear you liked her. I’m so going to picture Kat now!
I think I’d pick the same power as Schwab, but I’d so want to rewind. What would you pick?
I’ve been intrigued by this one from the first time I saw it on Goodreads! Glad you enjoyed it ~ Now I just need to hunt down my own copy. :D
I love your quotes – I totally remember reading those in the book and thinking they were epic!
Great review and great giveaway. I really want to read this one. I have heard great things.
You choose an excellent quote. And I agree it was amazing when the sword came alive. I look forward to reading more!
Gah, waiting impatiently for my copy to arrive and this review is making me will it to come faster. Those quotes! Cannot wait to read this now.