Hello Humans! Yes I did finally get round to reading one of the most well-loved books of the fantasy loving world. I have to say A Darker Shade of Magic did not disappoint. I already knew I was going to love this book because I adored the Monsters of Verity duology. I’m so happy to share with you my thoughts on this, the start of another series.
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.
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.
The worldbuilding, friends. The worldbuilding. That’s one of the things that strongly comes across in this book. Throughout the reading you can tell Schwab just fell in love with this setting, her passion for it comes through in every word and detail and you can’t help but fall in love as well.
The same can be said of the characters. I am adding Lila to my list of fantasy characters who would be in my gang if I had a gang…it’s getting quite big now, we’re thinking of getting jackets. But Kell is another amazing protagonist, Schwab manages to write male characters I can actually relate to and it is much appreciated.
You can’t avoid the fact that this is a first novel (in a series I mean) and so there are a lot of ends that don’t get tied up, however, I didn’t feel like the plot was gratuitous or setting up anything bigger than itself (though it is). What I mean by that is, this is a fully fledged novel in it’s own right, you could read only this and be mostly satisfied with how things are set up and then turn out. That is what I want from the first novel in a series.
I won’t wax lyrical about this book (as much as I would love to) because I feel like everything that I could possibly say has already been said by many another blogger. Suffice to say I have fallen hard for this series and I can’t wait to tell you what I thought about book #2 (tomorrow?).
What say you? Also a fan of these books or are they not your cup of tea? Let me know in the comments below!