A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V.E. Scwab 
Pages: 400 pages 
Published: February 24th, 2015 
Genre: YA Fantasy 
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. 

Buy it Now! 

THIS BOOK GUYS.... THIS BOOK...
This book, well any V.E. Schwab book in general, has been on my TBR list. And I've got to say that I haven't read such a good book in a long time. I'm doing something different for this review, which is just basically stating all the things I liked and disliked about this book. I was inspired by Missie from A Flurry of Ponderings to start this new thing with my reviews.

A Darker Shade of Magic is not just an ordinary, light fantasy read. In fact, it's not even 'light' to be honest. It was more of a heavy and dark read, and if you know me I haven't read a good dark fantasy read in like forever. Now if you're a reader who hasn't read a V.E. Schwab book yet and you're still very hesitant, I hope I have the ability to change your mind!

Likes
- The magic system ~ Antari are travelers that can travel through the parallel Londons. I thought the term itself was very intriguing. There was also the concept of the stone and how it worked, almost like the Antari's powers but had a much greater hold on the user. 
- Characters ~ Kell and Lila, my ultimate OTP as of now. One thing Victoria really excels at is making her characters relatable and vulnerable because trust me, both and Kell and Lila get tossed around in the book. She adds snarky and stubborn personalities that are both lovable and aggravating at times.
- Action Scenes ~ I can see why people call Victoria the Queen of Fantasy. Every time the characters would get into a fight or a battle of magic, I could literally feel their pain and winced when they were wounded. My eyeballs were glued to the book, like I was in a trance! She makes magic and spells not seem so cliche or the usual 'bibbity bobbity boo'. There were actually spells in another language (I think) or some voodoo language I'm not familiar with. 
- World-building (setting) ~ As you know there are 4 Londons (universes) mentioned in the book. There is Grey London (a world in which magic is forgotten) , Red London (a wealthy world with magic), White London (a dying city with desperate monarchs and defiant magic) , and Black London (a world entirely closed off because of the magic corruption that happened there). All of the different parallel universes she creates has their own personalities, or as Kayla Rayne says (from Kayla Rayne on Youtube), as if they were their own person.
- Writing ~ I think to say 'writing' is way too general of a word. What I mean is how she writes and her writing style. How Victoria likes to play with words and use such intricate vocabulary. She has this flow in her words that author can't seem to hack into their books and gahhh... It's just so fricking beautiful! 

Dislikes
- Not a book for everyone ~ I definitely think EVERYONE will enjoy this book but if you're not into fast-paced books with fantasy aspects, this may not be your forte. And I know it's not up to me to tell you what to read, so I encourage you all to read this book! 

My Final Verdict:
No matter what kind of reader you are, what size, shape, or genre you prefer, you should and you must pick up this book. Read more of V.E. Schwab's writing because I know 100% for sure I am!

My friend Kayla Rayne wanted to dedicated a tag to how much she loved this book! If you have a Youtube or a blog, go ahead and watch the video and see for yourself if you would like to do the tag. It's definitely something to look forward to and I know it would make her so happy :D 

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30 comments

  1. Great review. I ordered this one from Amazon last week, and I can’t wait for it to get here so I can start reading.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

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    1. Ohh I can't wait for you to read it as well!

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    2. yess I must hear your thoughts :D

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  2. I just watched your March Haul >>> You totally hauled this book. AND NOW IT'S READ. It's like I'm in the future.

    In any case, I need to read this. I <3 snark big-time. And man, ultimate OTP? That's some big praise right there.

    I've read Victoria's Archived series & I'm already a huge a fan of her writing. I'm actually glad I haven't read this yet -- the anticipation is exciting, haha. Great review, Alex :) And you were super cute in your video!

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    1. Anticipation.. I love it! LOL Thanks for that boost of confidence I so needed! I get so nervous when I'm filming :P

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  3. Awesome review!! I just ordered my copy on Amazon! You and Blessie got me so excited to read this!

    Pearl @ AsteriskPearl's Book Blog

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    1. AHH Jennifer U don't know how excited I am for u to read this book!

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  4. I've been seeing this book everywhere and NOW I WANT TO READ IT :D I love these kinds of books, and if you say so that the writing is beautiful, then I'm definitely in it for that! <3 Thanks for the review. I'll be hunting this down if I see it in the book store :)

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    1. I'm so glad my opinion means so much to you. I absolutely worship your blog and hope there is more coming!

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  5. I really enjoyed this book, but I agree that it wasn't for everyone. I struggled a bit at the beginning because I couldn't figure out where the book was going. Once we had a plot, I was back loving the book!
    Missie @ A Flurry of Ponderings

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    1. Same because it was my first V.E. Schwab book and I didn't know what to expect from the story.

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  6. I NEED this book in my life!! I hate to say that I've never read a Victoria Schwab book but - this book sounds so so amazing and I need it =P Awesome review! I'm going to have to pick this one up asap!

    Also, I have to say that I love the new review system. It's so much simpler and straightforward. I always get lazy about writing reviews because I take forever to put my thoughts together in ways that aren't just flailing or fangirling. I might have to try this out style out sometime.

    - Jazzie @ The Book Dancer

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    1. It's okay Jazzie. This was my first V.E. Schwab book like I'm pretty sure this one will be ur first one as well! I also fell in love with this review system because it was so easy to read and I talk too much :P

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  7. I haven't heard a single bad thing about this book. I am so reading it soon!

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    1. Same here. I hope you enjoy it when you read the book.

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  8. I'm so excited to actually dive into this now!! I was pretty excited before though, but I've been too busy. Thursday cannot come soon enough!

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    1. LOL Yess have fun reading this book! You're lucky you're reading it for the first time. I wish I could forget what I read and read it all over again with a fresh memory.

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    2. It must be super duper good for you to say that! Five more days :D

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    3. Yess! You're almost there :D

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  10. This book sounds really interesting! Definitely going to pick this up. The concept sounds very promising and I hope I enjoy it. Awesome review! :)

    Mariella @ Bookletbeauty

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    1. Thanks! I definitely hope you enjoy it

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  11. I LOVED THIS BOOK AS WELL HAHAH. I do have to agree that it's not for everyone, but I THINK EVERYONE NEEDS TO AT LEAST TRY IT :D Awesome review!

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    1. That's a great point that you've made!

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  12. I absolutely love this book! The writing, the world-building, the characters, just EVERYTHING! I'm seriously hoping that in the second book we get a bit of a relationship from Kell and Lila because their scenes together were beyond entertaining! Girl I lived for the action scenes! Do you know how many times I screamed or yelled because I thought one of my favorites was going to die?! lol. I'm glad you enjoyed it just as much as I did :)

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    1. Kell and Lia, major OTP. I hate that they just kissed a few times and that what happened in the end (hidden for spoiler reasons). I wasn't nervous because I knew the ending already (spoiled :P) but I loved it and I'm glad u loved it too!

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