Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic

By: V. E. Schwab
Pages: 398
Published: February 24th, 2015
Published by: Tor Books
Series: Shades of Magic #1
Format: e-book
Source: iBooks
Rating: 5/5 stars


“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.

Add A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC to Goodreads right here!

When I first requested a small preview of A Gathering of Shadows on NetGalley, I had no idea it was the second book of the series, only that it was great. Then I started it and realized that A Darker Shade of Magic came first lol. And here we are. A Darker Shade of Magic was an absolutely wonderful book with great characters who gave me this vague desire to be something more. Not only was it a truly amazing story, but the characters and their motives were beautifully written. Because of this, I rate A Darker Shade of Magic with a bold 5/5 stars.

Right off the bat, I was introduced to two amazingggg characters, Kell and Lila, both of whom are perfect, like actually though. Kell is a like a badass little puppy who’s got that sass up his sleeve and has a comeback to like literally everything. Lila is definitely going on my list of amazing female literary heroines because, I mean, loving knives and defying gender norms here and there??? Definitely my type. And you’ve also got Rhy, who is like the prince which I can swoon over, Holland, who is like cool yet possessed, and the Dane twins, who are too evil for me to comment on. Basically they were all perfect and I need more of them.


Okayy, but the way Schwab writes and creates the world and characters and like everything was phenomenal. I was absolutely blown away with her writing style! It was raw and dark and had some darker themes, but I love that stuff. Since it was the first book I read by her, I didn’t know it was going to get so addicting that I accidentally started it while I was supposed to be studying for exams… whoops there went my studying.

My only little, tiny complaint was that I found the plot an itty bit predictable. I mean it might have just been me since I haven’t seen anyone with similar issues, but yeah, just me probably. Other than that, I loved the twists and I had so many “OMIGOSH” moments when I did guess something right because my ideas were like wayyy out there lol.

Final Verdict:

A Darker Shade of Magic was such a raw and dark story that I fell in love with slowly and then all too quickly. It was the story of staying true to yourself no matter the situation, and sticking with things to the end. Definitely one of my favourite books of 2016 so far! Haven’t read it yet? Well, the sequel comes out Tuesday so you won’t have to wait long! 😉


I tried to draw Kell after I finished.



I hope you enjoyed my review and maybe I’ve convinced you to read it? I hope?! Have you already read it?




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