A darker shade of magic by V.E. Schwab – Spoiler-free Review

A darker shade of magic (V.E. Schwab) – Review

Hello! This week I’m presenting you my review of A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab.

Goodreads Summary:

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, travelling 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.

About the book:
Author – V.E. Schwab
Title – A darker shade of magic
Publisher – Titan Books
Publication date – February 27th, 2015
Pages – 400
Special Features – none
Price – 7,72 € (Book Depository)
ISBN – 9781783295401
Series – 1st book in a trilogy
Version – Paperback
Genre – Fantasy/Young Adult/Fiction
Trigger warning – self-harm
Language – English
My rating –  📖📖📖📖 1/2 


I always have my problem with books that deal with magic. Why? Well, I only think of Harry Potter and I find it strange when other books talking about magic are not in the same universe. I may have read to many HP Fanfictions but I never really liked other books talking about that theme. So it was really a surprise to me that I liked this one a lot. Who would have thought that? Well, certainly not me.  I found myself attracted to this magical world. I wouldn’t say that I liked it better than the Harry Potter series by the wonderful J.K. Rowling but we are nearly there. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have given it 4 and a half stars on Goodreads. 

What I liked a lot about ADSOM is the fact that a) the chapters are pretty short -which makes it easier to read – and b) that it was divided into parts. V.E. Schwab also wrote in different point of views and her main characters are Kell & Rhy Maresh, Delilah “Lila” Bard and last but not least Holland. Another thing that I liked about this novel is that the romance was not detailed like hell. You could feel the chemistry between those two characters but that was it. 

So where to start Kell and Holland are the last remaining Antari. What is an Antari? Well, it is a magician who can use his magic with his own blood. Antari are also the only people who are able to travel between the parallel Londons. Yes because there are 4 freaking Londons existing in this magical novel and all 4 parts are strangely connected.  Let’s start with Red London – Kell and Rhys home. Kell was adopted by the King and Queen who are the parents of Rhy Maresh. He is also the only Antari in Red London. This London is the magical one and also the ‘nicer’ one (for me). Then we have the Grey London where our dear Lila is from. That one is ruled by King George III – a really mad person. The third London is the White one. White London is a city where people want to control the remaining magic by restraining it. It is ruled by two crazy twins and Holland – the other Antari – is living in this London. You can also feel the cold atmosphere of White London through the book. The last London existing is Black London. But nobody really talks about this part anymore. It is abandoned and the only thing left is misery. 

The problem with Kell is that he can’t say no to an item from the other Londons. Which is not making his life any easier. Lila – personally my favourite character – is a thief in the 18th century. However, on her thieving journeys (is this even a word) she disguises herself as men. 
When Kell is in trouble both of their journeys meet and I need to say that those characters are simply amazing and working great together as a team. 

This book is addictive! It was a bit slow at the beginning but honestly, I can’t complain about that. I prefer it when the world is described by the author and how everything is working instead of having problems to understand what is going on. You can get through the book at a fast pace because of the short chapters. At least I couldn’t stop turning pages. As I mentioned in the trigger warning this book is indirectly going to talk about self-harm. To do magic, Antari need to use their own blood in order to perform a spell or to travel. It is however not used in excess!

In my opinion, this book could also work as a stand-alone novel but hey I’m not going to complain. I will read the second and last book as soon as I get my hands on them. I swear! The only thing that disappointed me a little was that I hadn’t a map in my book.

I’m a hundred percent recommending this book to every fantasy lover! And now I need the sequel!

As I’m curious what is your opinion of ADSOM? Please let me know in the comments below. And if you like my blog feel free to subscribe. Thank you! 
Books in the Trilogy:

Book one – Goodreads

Book two – Goodreads

Book Three – Goodreads

2 thoughts on “A darker shade of magic by V.E. Schwab – Spoiler-free Review

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