Mini Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab


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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.


“You believe that magic is an equal. A companion. A friend. But it is not. The stone is proof. You are either magic’s master, or its slave.”

This book is absolutely amazing, I’ve never read anything quite like it, V.E. Schwab is a literary genius OK?

“A Darker Shade of Magic” centralizes around Kell, who is a Traveler. What’s that mean? Well he can use magic to travel between parallel universes, in this case, the universes are different versions of the same city of London.

There’s Grey London, which would be like our modern day THIS universe London, there’s no magic and few people know magic even exists.

Red London is the hub of all things magical,everyone is aware of magic and mostly everyone can manipulate it.

White London is a place full of desperate people where the city is ruled by whoever kills their way to the top.

And no one talks about Black London.

So basically what Kell does is carry messages between the monarchs of each London.

Also there is another central character, Lila Bard, a native of Grey London and a very talented thief. Lila steals in the hopes that one day she can buy a ship and sail the seas as a pirate.

These two both get caught up in events that force them to team up and work together for the greater good of ALL of the Londons.

Now what I loved about this book:

1. Kell and Lila are amazing characters, I loved them both sooooo much. They both are very believable characters, Kell overall was probably my favorite though, he will do things that go against what he believes or what he knows in order to save those he loves. I can really get behind that, you go man. Also I absolutely adore Kell and Lila together.

2. The plot was very intriguing, it kept me guessing and turning pages until I finished the whole dang thing. All of the scenes are written spectacularly, I laughed, I cried, and I got super creeped out by scary dark magic. This book gave me FEELS. It also ends in a very good place, not to where I’m ripping my hair out in anticipation. This book kept me turning the pages and dreading the end.

Overall I will definitely be blissfully awaiting the arrival of the next book “A Gathering of Shadows”


Definitely, especially for all of you magic lovers in need of your next book.

Links: Goodreads / Amazon

The Sassy

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