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A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E.Schwab

Thursday, October 20, 2016 Geraldine 0 Comments

The Breakdown

General Info:
     Title: A Darker Shade of Magic 
     Author: V.E. Schwab
     Genre: Fantasy, Historical Fiction 
     Publisher: Tor Books
     Publishing Date: February 24th, 2015

          - Characters were all very well developed
          - World building both intricate and new, yet familiar 

    Things that could have been better:
         - Different points of views confused me a bit - due to my everlasting forgetfulness! 

Rating: 4.5 stars
Goodreads | Amazon

Initial Thoughts

All of the book blogging community pretty much screamed at me to reead this book! I finally took upon this opportunity when I found out about the ADSOM read a long on Twitter and Goodreads! Plus, Lucie from Tea, books and fun also decided to read this book with me (although for her it was a reread)~! 

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.


The characters were actually phenomenal in this book. I really liked how they were constructed - they were 3-D characters that had many different layers to them. Especially with Kell - I delighted learning more about him, because he was such a complex character with a complex past that isn't fully revealed, not even at the end of the book...but  I guess that will encourage me to read book 2! I also really loved reading about Lila - she was such a badass character, and she would be a wonderful role model! 

Especially with some of the more minor characters - their deaths were actually like tiny little blows to my heart. Even if I didn't like them, I still felt sad when they died because of the last few moments they had, which didn't necessarily redeem them if they were evil, just made them more human. 

I actually disliked the switching perspectives throughout the novel - it did make it a bit difficult to read the book, because I was constantly forgetting what had previously happened...but that's just me with books that have multiple perspectives!  


The rules around magic here really made me think of Chemistry, but in a more instant form. One of the rules about magic was that it couldn't be created, and I just immediately thought of the Law of Conservation (the inner nerd in me is rising out!). I really loved how there were similarities between our world and the worlds that Schwab has created - it made it easier for me to follow along with the story! I think that the strongest aspect of this book is really its worldbuilding, with how it is both intricate and yet has links to our current everyday life. 

Writing Style

V.E. Schwab writes flawlessly. There were no huge info-dumpy sessions thankfully, and the words in this book had a poetic feel to them - every word used seemed to be in just the perfect place. It was really nice to read, because not only did it flow well, but it was also understandable. Sometimes you get these novels which sound nice, but you actually have no idea what's going on. This wasn't the case here - and I was so glad to experience this. 

Entertainment Value

For me, it was just hard to connect with the book. I don't know if this is because I read it in short little bursts - three or four parts a day, over the weekend. When I talked to Lucie about it, she said that she got to connect with the book and the characters more with her reread, so maybe it's because it's because it's the first time I've read it. 
As I didn't connect with the book, it made it hard for me to resonate with the characters and fangirl over this book. 

Final Thoughts

It's a book i would definitely reread, if anything to try to connect with the readers more. I love the world-building and I'm so excited to start reading A Gathering of Shadows soon! I need more of this universe!! I rate this book a rough 4.75 stars out of 5 (let's just say 4.5 stars) 


Thoughts in a Phrase 

Next book please! 

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