Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab
Published on February 27th 2015 by Titan Books
Genre(s): Fantasy, Young Adult
I went straight into this book not really knowing much about it other that a character in the book can travel between different versions of London. Honestly that premise had me sold as soon as I heard it and I just knew that I had to read this book. This book follows protagonist Kell and he is one of the last travelers-magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes. I absolutely adored Kell! He was my favourite kind of character that was morally grey, and very well developed.
Something that I am very intrigued by is Kell's family style relationships with the King, Queen and his brother Rhy, but I feel like we've only just scratched the surface and I can't wait to see what is to come in the next couple of books.
“Sure I do,” countered Lila cheerfully. “There’s Dull London, Kell London, Creepy London, and Dead London,” she recited, ticking them off on her fingers. “See? I’m a fast learner.”
While in Grey London Kell first crosses paths with Delilah Bard. I found their first couple of encounters hilarious to read and really enjoyed the banter between both of them, I think that it was done really well. I also really enjoyed the fact that they both were almost like different sides of the same coin and their interactions were very interesting to see unfold. I'm not really sure why but I loved the conversation between them about their upbringing's in the different Londons. I think that the fact that they were basically arguing who had it worse was really funny and Schwab did an amazing job of making light of the very deep and heavy situations.
“I'd rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”
The Magic in this book is very original and different than any other kind of magic systems that I have read about before and I liked that while Kell was very gifted in all kinds of magic, Rhy wasn't and really struggled with it but is still the heir to the thrown and I thought it was a great contrast. It's almost realistic in a way because its like saying that not everyone can be good at everything and that was brilliant.
“He would see her again. He knew he would. Magic bent the world. Pulled it into shape. There were fixed points. Most of the time they were places. But sometimes, rarely, they were people. For someone who never stood still, Lila felt like a pin in Kell's world. One he was sure to snag on.”
In terms of the plot I feel like there is a lot that has yet to be revealed and I am excited to see whether or not Lila actually has magic of her own. I really hope that she does. She was really bad-ass in this book and I think that if she does have magic there will be some amazing things that could happen.
“But the thing about people, Kell had discovered, is that they didn't really want to know. They thought they did, but knowing only made them miserable.”
Overall I thought that the characters were extremely well thought out and found the world building and development to be beautiful. I feel like the more I think out these characters and the amazing world that V.E. Schwab has created I seem to love it even more and I can see so much potential for the next books. The plot was very fast paced and Schwab's writing seemed to flow really well and was so easy to get lost in, it was really phenominal! I can't wait to get dug into A Gathering of Shadows and A Conjuring of Light.