A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
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.
A Darker Shade of Magic is a book that I've been meaning to read since it was released, but for whatever reason I kept putting it off. Now that I've read it I'm glad that I finally made the time for it. It was easily one of the best books I've read so far this year. Initially I was expecting this to be YA because it has gotten lumped in with YA books a lot, but this is in fact an adult fantasy novel. I think the main reason for this is the age of the characters. Anyway I really enjoyed reading this and stayed up very late to finish it.
The thing that drew me to this book were the different parallel worlds that were not the same. I thought the idea was fantastic. The main character Kell is one of only two magicians left who can travel between these parallel worlds. I liked Kell, but if I had a negative thing to say about him it would be that I wish he had been more powerful with his blood magic up against Holland. And speaking of Holland, he was the sort of antagonist that I really like. He was so tortured with a lot of gray in his personality. I could hate him and sympathize with him at the same time.[ I'm not so sure he's dead either. He was barely alive when he was pushed into black London with the stone and my guess is he will end up surviving with the help of the stone and its original inhabitant. I mean where did that entity get dispelled to if not back to black London? (hide spoiler)] There are many mysteries still to uncover about Kell. Where did he come from? Who were his parents? Why was he taken from his parents? What is it that was wiped from his memory? What is his real name? I am looking forward to uncovering these mysteries in the next two books.
The other main character in the book is a girl named Lila and I also found her very likable. With her short hair and her love of coats and trousers, she reminded me a little bit of Min from the Wheel of Time series, if Min were a thief. I loved Lila's spunkiness and bravery. There are many mysteries that are yet to be uncovered about Lila as well. I liked the dynamic between Lila and Kell. There was a friendship bond between them that deepened by the end of the story and there was maybe a hint of a romance to come.
I also want to mention the cover art. When I first added this book to my to-read list I didn't pay much attention the details, but before I read the book I really looked at the cover and found that I loved it and I think is perfect for the book. Overall I was quite impressed with this book. It was different from other fantasies I've read and I always like when an author comes up with something different. I'm definitely reading the next two books.
View all my reviews