Book reviews

A darker shade of magic, by V.E. Schwab | Book review

A Darker Shade final for Irene

I’d rather die on adventure than live standing still – V. E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic

If you want to go on an epic journey full of twists and turns, this book is for you! There are crazy new worlds out there, magic which will capture your imagination, grip you so tightly you won’t want to let go.

In A darker shade of magic, by V. E. Schwab, you get not one, but four Londons to explore, along Kell, one of the few travelers who can see them all. The world building is incredible and the book goes through each London individually and puts you in the middle of them.

Grey London is our world – magic-less, boring and covered with the silent dust of resentment. Here you find the protagonist’s sidekick, Lila, who wants to conquer life, beat the grayness out of it and have a proper adventure. She’s a pirate and a thief with a golden heart, of course.

In contrast, Red London is full of flourishing magic – magic which is respected, understood. People live with it and use it with care and the magic gives back to their kingdom, making it a beautiful place to live and evolve. It’s colourful and prosperous, but its past hides secrets of the sacrifices its leaders had to make to keep their worlds alive.

Where it gets tricky is in White London – a land where people fight against magic, wanting more and more, trying desperately to conquer it, keep it in their control at a huge cost. The throne is always taken by force and the rulers are all the best killers and murderers. This fight is taking a toll on the world which is clearly fading, struggling to continue to exist in this unbalanced way.

And then there’s Black London…which no one mentions anymore.

This book is full of lively description of each place and that’s what made it so special to me. When Schwab starts writing, you feel like a traveler and can actually feel the magic of the place described. The first time reading about White London, all my senses were tapped into, I felt genuine fear and I got goose bumps.

The action is also very good – incredibly fast paced, but easy to keep up with and you can see how logical every step of it is. The characters are lovable, but very damaged. They are not your typical heroes,although they are saving the world(s).

All in all, a great experience, with twists and turns. It makes you want to see more of the characters – especially Lola, but also Kell’s back story. And you’re in luck – this is the first book of a trilogy. Really looking forward to the rest of them.

Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟 – Loved it!

Have you picked up A darker shade of magic?

What did you think of it? Will you pick up the rest of this trilogy?

🌟 Happy reading 🌟

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