Monday, April 18, 2016

Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Released: February 24th, 2015
Read: March 2016
Publisher: Tor Books
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages

Series: Shades of Magic #1

Description from GoodReads: Kell is one of the last Antari, a rare magician who can travel between parallel worlds: hopping from Grey London — dirty, boring, lacking magic, and ruled by mad King George — to Red London — where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire — to White London — ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne, where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back — and back, but never Black London, because traveling to Black London is forbidden and no one speaks of it now.
   Officially, Kell is the personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see, and it is this dangerous hobby that 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 take her with him for her proper adventure.

Review: Reading this probably took me longer than it should have, which isn't a bad thing, but it lost some of the details or emotional attachment for me. Altogether though, it was a really great book!
   The main characters (Lila and Kell) are loveable and complicated with flaws that make them human and realistic in a world of fantasy. Lila, with her tomboy (I hate that word, but what else can I use?) personality and cutthroat attitude was a lovely balance to the consistently frightened, forever on the run Kell. They had some really nice, deep conversations that showed their differences and how they got along better because of them.
   Along with that, the world-building was amazing. It really made me want to visit Red London, even after being shown the underbelly of such a wonderful city.
   The plot was different from what I was expecting but also not at all what I was expecting. Books that don't really tell you at least what the basic plot is in the description, are a little annoying and usually disappointing. Thankfully this was not that disappointing of a book.

Quotable Quotes:
"I'd rather die on an adventure than live standing still."
"Some people steal to stay alive, and some steal to feel alive. Simple as that."
"A life worth having is a life worth taking."

Rating: 8/10

Read if You Liked: Harry Potter, Carry On, anything adventurous or magical basically

Optimistically yours, Ola <3

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