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A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  109,423 Ratings  ·  16,392 Reviews
A Darker Shade of Magic, the first book in V.E. Schwab's New York Times bestselling Shades of Magic trilogy, is now available in a special collector's edition.

With a revamped, metallic ink detailed cover and reading ribbon, this edition will also feature the following bonus material:
*End papers featuring fan art
*A glossary of Arnesian and Antari terms
*An interview between
...more
Hardcover, Collector's Edition, 424 pages
Published October 31st 2017 by Tor Books (first published February 24th 2015)
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Rebecca I know this is late to the party, but Schwab answered this on her Twitter, so I thought I'd add that here. She said that you can tell based on the way…moreI know this is late to the party, but Schwab answered this on her Twitter, so I thought I'd add that here. She said that you can tell based on the way her name is listed on the book. Victoria Schwab=YA, V.E. Schwab=Adult :)(less)

Community Reviews

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Emily May
Mar 15, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult, arc, 2015
Every night of the year, the market lived and breathed and thrived. The stalls were always changing, but the energy remained, as much a part of the city as the river it fed on. Kell traced the edge of the bank, weaving through the evening fair, savoring the taste and smell of the air, the sound of laughter and music, the thrum of magic.

I'm already a Victoria Schwab fan after reading her good vs evil superhero urban fantasy novel - Vicious - so I couldn't wait to get reacquainted with her addic
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Lola
Mar 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mature-ya, fantasy, dark, magic
“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”

Isn’t it astonishing how upon our second readings of our favourite books, we discover so much more about our beloved characters and the world-building itself than the first time around?

And so in consequence to my rereading of A Darker Shade of Magic in order to be fully prepared (memory-wise) for A Gathering of Shadows, I started seeing redeemable qualities in Delilah Bard, the fierce, courageous (yet reckless) thief.

When she and Kell—t
...more
Rick Riordan
Feb 18, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
YA/adult Fantasy. There isn't just one London. There are, in fact, four cities sharing that name and geographic location, each in a very different plane of existence. The novel takes place in the early 1800s, when magical travel between the different Londons has been severely restricted. Long ago, the place called Black London underwent a massive magical accident -- a sort of implosion during which the forces of magic consumed the humans who tried to wield it. Since then, the doors between the w ...more
Victoria Schwab
Feb 10, 2014 added it  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I wrote this book, so I'm probably biased. Since it's early, and the full jacket copy isn't out, here's a list of things in ADSOM:

–Magic

–Cross-dressing thieves

–(Aspiring) pirates

–Londons (plural)

–Sadistic kings (and queens)

–A royal who is equal parts Prince Harry and Jack Harkness

–More magic (blood magic, elemental magic, bad magic, etc. etc.)

–Epic magicky fights scenes

–Angst!

–And coats with more than two sides
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
I'm so glad I decided to re-read this before carrying on with the trilogy! There were SO many things I had forgotten. Can't wait to get to book two!

V.E. Schwab does it again! It amazes me how she continues to get better and better with each book she puts out into the world. I need the sequel ASAP.

Regan
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5 solid
C.G. Drews
RE-READ UPDATE:
So, in a startling turn of events, this book is even more insufferably perfect the second time round and I'm so in love with it I frequently forget WHAT AIR IS. I love Kell. I love his frown. I love his love for his brother. I love his smol fragile beginnings of a relationship with Lila. I love his bloody magic. I love his dark side.

I LOVE THIS BOOK AND THIS WORLD AND THESE CHARACTERS SO MUCH IT HURTS JUST A LTITLE WHICH CAN BE TRANSLATED A LOT.

Wow. I may need to go lie down or
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Katerina
“As Travars,” he said. Travel.

And oh boy, I did travel. I was covered in smoke, I tasted metal, I smelled roses, I wore a bizarre coat and I dreamed under a pale sky. But unfortunately, I did not feel.



A Darker Shade of Magic had great potential. The world V.E. Schwab created is fascinating, full of magic and blood. There is Kell, an Antari, a blood magician who can travel between parallel universes, and Lila, a street thief who wants to become a pirate and experience great adventures, and w
...more
Raeleen Lemay
I sort of flew through this book.

Or rather, I listened to the audiobook extremely quickly. I found the story interesting at first but it rapidly lost steam for me... The writing was great, but I didn't care much for the plot (which seems to be a pattern with Schwab's books for me, with Vicious being the exception). The concept of parallel Londons was really cool, but aside from that I didn't find it very interesting.

I was also left wanting more character development. All I could think during th
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Darth J
An Overhyped Shade of Mediocre

Before you jump down my throat, I didn’t hate this novel as much as I felt let down by it. Let me explain: it’s been hyped up everywhere and when that happens, expectations tend to run very high. Think back to when you were a kid and wanted something for your birthday so much and were so sure that you were going to get it; and even if you got plenty of nice things, the fact that you didn’t get the one thing you wanted made you disappointed. That’s the same feeling I
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Jessica ❁ ➳ Silverbow ➳ ❁ Rabid Reads-no-more
Reviewed by: Rabid Reads

4.5 stars

A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC is one of those books that I needed to reflect upon before reviewing.

As far as I can tell this happens to me for one of two reasons:

1. It was awful, but in a way that confounded me, either b/c it was an author whom I love and trust and WTH happened? Or b/c my issue(s) is nebulous and thus has to be dissected to determine the root of the problem.
2. It was amazeballs, but in a way that confounded me, b/c SO MUCH CLEVER.

This was a #2 situati
...more
Cece (ProblemsOfaBookNerd)
*Upon a reread, my passion for this book stands. I love it so much. I can't believe I actually get to move on to book 2 this time. I JUST LOVE IT.


My thoughts: "Now, think critically. There were one or two things you maybe didn't love quite as much as everything else. A 4.5 accurately sums up your feelings and shows you didn't think the book was absolutely perfect."
My actions: *RUNS DOWN THE STREET SCREAMING "5 STARS OF PERFECTION" AT ANYONE WHO WILL LISTEN*
Petrik
Feb 19, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an unpopular opinion, if you’re easily offended, please don’t read this review.

Okay, 3 stars is still a good rating but I think rating aDSoM 3 stars on Goodreads is like I’m an E.T who arrives in London. This is my sixth month on Goodreads and throughout that period, there are three series that always appeared on my feeds and probably everyone else. First, Six of Crows duology, second, anything that came out of Sarah J Maas’s head and finally, the Shade of Magic trilogy by V.E Schwab. It
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Hannah
Jan 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
My spoiler free video review is now up!!: https://youtu.be/hINnk0eqj8I

4.5 Stars

All I can say is WOW!

That was incredible!!

First off, the characters were FANTASTIC! Schwab is truly a master when it comes to crafting multidimensional, well rounded, and flawed characters. Rhy is so pure and precious. Kell deserves love and happiness. And Lila. Lila Bard is my new queen.

This was truly one of the most realistic fantasy worlds I've ever read about. I mean that in the sense that the world seemed like
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Sana
*Major spoilers ahead. They won’t be marked*

I was really hesitant going into this one because hello??? I usually end up hating on the most hyped books loved by all my friends. However, I’m so fucking happy and shocked that I actually enjoyed this.

This book is dark and gripping book full of magic. I loved it and I wanted to give this 5 stars, I really wanted to, but the beginning took some time getting into and it was very dull and boring. The beginning of this book felt like I was reading a tex
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Miranda Reads
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
“I'm not going to die," she said. "Not till I've seen it."

"Seen what?"

Her smile widened. "Everything.”
Kell - one of the last Antari - is playing a dangerous game. Being an Antari, he travels between worlds.

He knows of four worlds and all four of them have one, conveniently overlapping city: London.

Grey London - Magicless, technology driven.

Red London - Magic is considered a gift and is practiced with careful determination

White London - Magic is cruel, often needs to be stolen and locke
...more
sreeja
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don’t know what I can say that hasn’t been said before. But in short, this is just perfect. Every page is magic and every scene has a purpose. The characters bring life into this book. The magic system and the writing style is unique and a breath of fresh air. VE Schwab’s writing style truly shines through and I loved every moment of this. Reading this book feels like stumbling into something wholly new and familiar at the same time. Reading this was an adventure with magic and drama. Reading ...more
Kai
Apr 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
“A life worth having is a life worth taking.”

Wow. I'm stunned and I'm in awe.

Incredible world-building, beautiful language and an intruiging plot make this 5 out of 5 stars. And let's not forget about the "cross-dressing thieves", "sadistics kings (and queens)" and my favourite the "royal who is equal parts Prince Harry and Jack Harkness". I love Rhy.

This novel started as it ended: magical, sensational and breath-taking. It is as beautiful from the outside, as it is from the inside. It's the kin
...more
Nat
Jan 31, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: diverse-reads
Magic was a living thing—that, everyone knew—but to Kell it felt like more, like a friend, like family. It was, after all, a part of him (much more than it was a part of most) and he couldn’t help feeling like it knew what he was saying, what he was feeling, not only when he summoned it, but always, in every heartbeat and every breath. He was, after all, Antari.

description
*This review contains spoilers.*

I just finished this book and my mind is all over the place.
I went into this book not knowing much abou
...more
destiny ☠ howling libraries
#1 A Darker Shade of Magic ★★★★★
#2 A Gathering of Shadows ★★★★★
#3 A Conjuring of Light ★★★★★

"There's Dull London, Kell London, Creepy London, and Dead London. See? I'm a fast learner."

Despite the fact that the four Londons share a name, they have little else in common; one is brimming with life, one is held captive by wicked rulers, one has no magic at all, and one is dead. While there used to be traversing between the Londons, now the doors have been sealed to all except the Antari: magicians
...more
Lia Bonnibel  (pidgey)
So...
I finally finished this book. I say finally because it took me a lot to get through - and into- it, and I'm not entirely satisfied with what I read.
I'm a huge Victoria Schwab's fan, she's both an amazing author and a really kind person that I'd spend days worshiping. Vicious is one of my favorite books of all time and her writing is very original.
Yet this book...
Let_me_think_uhm_um_eh_ooh_yuck_dunno_weird_crazy_britney_huh_what_damn_creepy_icky_whoop_nah.gif
I can't tell you if I loved it or not, if maybe I should try and reread it in another moment, because maybe I'm too dumb to get
...more
Robin Hobb
Sep 03, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I recently met V.E. Schwab and found her entertaining and charming. So I acquired one of her books! I don't think my review of this work is affected by knowing the author, but I like to be transparent.

I always like to avoid spoilers, but in this case, I think the book jacket gives away a bit of the setting, so I'll share it here as well. Imagine four Londons, existing simultaneously but separately. Each has a differing amount of magic, with black London a loss, and Red London a place where magic
...more
Candace Robinson
So, the first time I tried to read this book, I quit. I just could not get into it. Maybe it was all the different London talk? I recently read This Savage Song and loved it, so I wanted to give this another shot. Normally, I don't change my mind about a book, but I did here!

I loved the characters!!! Kell! Lila! Especially Lila, because she puts the A in awesome!!! Plus the freaking magic was a-a-mazing! Full review on my blog https://literarydust.wordpress.com/20...
Anne
3.5 stars

There was just something about this one that kept it from totally rocking, and I can't quite put my finger on what it was. It was good, just not (for me) great.
Kinda dry maybe? Or I just didn't totally connect with the characters?
Not sure.

description

But it's still one of those books that I'm glad I read, and I'm actually really looking forward to reading more about this world/worlds that Schwab created.
And I seriously mean that! There's something cool about this setting and these characters that
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Saania Zee Jamal ϟ
"As magis," I whisper, as I turn the final page to a close. More.

Alright, so ignoring the fact that I completely just butchered their language with my google translate skills there (and the lack of any actual pages to be turned with my virtual copy), can I just say what a THRILL it was reading this book?

V. E. Schwab's first installment of the trilogy opens doors -quite literally- to fascinating new worlds full of magic, mystery and mayhem. While more work may yet be done in further expanding thi
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just here for desi sapphics
a) the collector's edition is the most beautiful thing i have ever seen
b) the rhy and kell short story made me cry
c) i will read this over and over again until i can recite every single word
l a i n e y
Words... I need to find words...

OK, I'm trying to write review for this *fantastic* book again...

I loved this.
Immensely.

Best opening chapter  that I could recall reading which includes Kell's JACKET. That thing deserved a mention since it was truly a piece of art in and of itself.

Glorious world: imaginative, expansive yet still 'contained' and that was a splendid thing.

There's a sort of calmness in her writing style that I just absolutely adored. I don't think I can put it into words why, o
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Clara
Aug 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
** 5+++ "BRILLIANT AND MARVELLOUS" stars ! **

I actually first tried to read this book a few months back but couldn’t get into it and I now realize I was just not in the mood because I decided a couple days ago to give this another shot, and now I’m left wondering why I ever stopped reading it because THIS book right here is fantastic and I absolutely loved it !! <3 I now understand the hype about it which I think is totally legit !

Let’s first start with the brilliant world-building , shall
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Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘


Actual rating : 4.5 stars

What do I think? WHAT DO I THINK? I feel like slapping myself in the face for not giving A Darker Shade of Magic a chance earlier. Thoroughly enjoyable and original, Kell and Lila's journey got me out of my reading slump faster than I could have dreamed.

Let's find out why, shall we?



First of all, let me tell you something : I am in awe of the multi layered and unique world building V.E. Schwab created, where darkness is spreading from every pore, lurking in every London
...more
Maria
Sep 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I AM IN LOVE. New favorite. 100/5
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Also publishes under Goodreads Author, Victoria Schwab

Victoria has stated that books published under V.E. Schwab are adult releases and those under Victoria Schwab are YA.
More about V.E. Schwab

Other books in the series

Shades of Magic (3 books)
  • A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2)
  • A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3)

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“I'd rather die on an adventure than live standing still.” 1710 likes
“I'm not going to die," she said. "Not till I've seen it."
"Seen what?"
Her smile widened. "Everything.”
1157 likes
More quotes…