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The Shades of Magic Series

(Shades of Magic #1-3)

4.51  ·  Rating details ·  809 ratings  ·  60 reviews

This discounted ebundle includes: A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, A Conjuring of Light

Witness the fate of beloved heroes and notorious foes in V.E. Schwab’s New York Times bestselling Shades of Magic series.

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black. After an exchangeseries.


Kindle Edition
Published August 15th 2017 by Tor Books (first published 2016)
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Average rating 4.51  · 
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 ·  809 ratings  ·  60 reviews

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Hussein Baher
Oct 30, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2019, favorite-series
book 1: ★ ★ ★ ★ 4/5
book 2: ★ ★ ★ 3/5
book 3: ★ ★ ★ ★ 4.25/5
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
(Actual rating: 4.5)

"I'd rather die on an adventure than live life standing still."

Despite me sitting still reading every single one of these books back to back for the past week, aside from an occasional coffee break, I definitely felt like I was on an adventure, and far from standing still.

I had been wanting to read this series ever since the first book came out but managed to not get around to it until this year and I'm honestly glad I waited, just so I could read each of/>"I'd
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Shades of Magic series – made up of A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, and A Conjuring of Light – interested me for a very long time. There are so many Schwab fans out there, and I was curious to see what all the fuss was about.

The moment I started reading, I understood. The Shades of Magic series is all kinds of addictive. It sucks you in deep, leaving you wanting more, and putting the books down is near impossible. You want to see how everything comes together, yo
Mar 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
Truly an original, and I don't say that often. The characters are delightfully unpredictable, the world is unique without being absurd, and the story is a tapestry perfectly woven. There are just the right amount of deliberate loose threads that cheekily hint at multiple new installments in this universe, as well.

Besides the obvious skill that has been honed through a lot of hard work and practice, Schwab also has a raw talent for writing that remains present in her works. Keeping that original
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I loved this series. I missed the characters when away from the read. Each book has a body of its own. The author does a great job build a rich and detailed world, full of sights and experiences. As the reader I felt like a traveler moving through what she created.
Dec 02, 2018 rated it it was ok
Summary of the books, light spoilers but tried to avoid specifics.

Plot of the first book: A character who can travel between worlds gets sucked into a cool, if a little underdeveloped adventure that encompasses getting a dangerous artifact back to the mysterious world. The plot has stakes, there is suspense, and it plays well within the concept of the four connected worlds, while leaving some hints that we'll find out more about them.

Plot of the second book: We don't, rea
Oct 27, 2019 rated it liked it
There are four parallel Londons, some magic, lots of promising premise and very little actual thrill. The plot had great potential with the four Londons and the characters are nothing like regular YA fantasy - a girl who is a theif with exactly a theif's morale and habits, a young man who is blessed with rare magic and carries it like a weight on his shoulders. The problem is nothing much happens in the name of a plot and the villians are very insipid. The writing is good and the lack of romance ...more
Alessandra Scarpetta
Dec 31, 2017 rated it it was ok

Not many likeable or relatable characters. If it weren't for Lila, I woulda quit. The romance felt shallow and left me wanting more, which grew to apathy towards some relationships over time. Either the magic was incredibly inconsistant or the characters weren't very bright because cool abilities were normally demonstrated once and never used again, so fights seemed like everyone forgot what they were capable of ... at least Lila had the excuse of learning
Mar 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a fun fantasy trilogy with fascinating and well-rounded characters and a lot of action.
Summary: Kell is a magician from a world of magic, who has the rare power to travel between worlds. Lila is a London pickpocket from our world, circa 1820. When the latter steals a dangerous magical artifact from the former, she becomes involved in a cross-world adventure, as the two of them race to dispose of the thing before it can cause a disaster. Further adventures ensue in the following two books.

So what’s the series about? It’s about four worlds, each with its own version of London, a
Chad Bay
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this series. Incredibly creative and the world building is vibrant and well illustrated... I fell right into the world(s) of these characters instantly, and by the third book was fully invested in seeing how it played out. Schwab does such a great job in the first book of introducing a diverse range of (seemingly) disconnected characters who all come to a head in one way or another throughout the series. I loved these characters - each drawn with delightful detail - and was genu ...more
Eduarda Hanauer
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I don't think I can put in fair words how much I loved this whole series. The author's writing is amazing and the whole plot is just a perfect mist of magic, adventure, friendship and brotherhood. *kind of spoilers ahead*. I have to talk about a certain romance that comes up as the story goes, and my need to talk about it comes from the fact than the author managed to build it in a natural, slow and justified way that is so real it makes us fall in love along with the characters. To make it bett ...more
Shilpi Goel
Aug 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Darker Shade of Magic is an intense but fun series --- there's unspeakable darkness, pain, despair, and loss, but it's balanced out by unparalleled love, loyalty, heroics, and plain old careless adventure. There's magic, there are good vs. evil battles, and there are good people trying to find their way back after they were led astray in their search for redemption. All of this is against an intriguing backdrop of four parallel Londons of varying degrees of magical proclivities and the ability ...more
Lauren Eicher
Jan 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
There aren’t many books or series that I could read over and over again. It is this series (and Harry Potter) that every time I go back, I fall in love all over again. The characters are fleshed out, complicated, yet, like the book itself, have a whimsical and quirky feel to it. It is the first book I’ve read that I saw a reflection of myself in.
It’s a fun adventure read while still hitting some pretty heavy and serious topics. It’s at once upbeat and dark. If you like Neil Gaiman’s sense of hu
Jan 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Review in form of a stream of thoughts:

Four worlds divided
by distance, as well as magic
the travelers are marked by blood
and darkness
and shalowness

Worlds unexplored, even after 600 pages -
characters without substance
that never learn
(and oh, how unfit for their roles they all are!)
you can open the first and the last page
and they are the same, or even less defined.

The scenes change,
yet you do not care
for there is nothing at stak
Michael Schmanske
Apr 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Cracking good fantasy. NOT a “historical” fantasy novel as categorized but a fantasy novel placed within the confines of a historical framework. I read the series straight through in 3 days because it was exactly what I was looking for. Magic, good characters (a little bit of failure around grudges to long held, too quickly forgiven, or not forgiven in a way that seemed artifice, but not complaining since it drove the story and character development forward), great conflicts and satisfying resol ...more
Jackie On
Aug 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My absolute favorite series. I fell in love with the world & the characters in ADSOM, I screamed after finishing AGOS, & I nearly cried at the end of ACOL. It was like saying goodbye to good friends. Victoria Schwab, you singlehandedly reminded me of the power of writing & imagination. It's been a couple months since I've finished the series, & I am still mourning the end of this adventure, but I am also extremely grateful & inspired.
Hildaly Rosa
Jun 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Alright, let's begin by saying that these are just some of the best YA Fantasy series I've ever read. I'm from Puerto Rico and recently hurricane Maria swept the island and for 8 months we were on a blackout, so in this time I got to read an exaggerate amount of book I hadn't read, and on that list was the "Shades of Magic series". I felt like I was in each characters shoes the whole time. From the setting to the conflicts, it was just perfect
Jade Courville
Dec 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Such an amazing world

While the first few chapters of the first book were slow to drag me in, the story began to pull at my heart and pique my interest. The I was hooked. What a wild ride this story was. Its imagery and descriptions fuel the action so well. Loved this journey, pain and all.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
4 stars only beacuse i didnt like book 2 at all.
Aug 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites

An adventure I would take again and again. The best series I've read in a long time, with a balance of love, friendship, and intrigue.
Mary Nguyen
Nov 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great series. Really enjoyed them.
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorite-series
TL;DR I thoroughly enjoyed this series. Victoria Schwab does such an excellent job writing antagonists! You are left with so much empathy and love for all of the characters, you are left questioning who is doing the right thing, and completely sucked into her fantasy world. The premise of this series is excellent, and the execution is even better.

#1) A Darker Shade of Magic: 4.8/5 stars!
- It started off a bit slowly, but I would argue this is necessary for the world-building.
- Overall the wor
Jennifer Willoughby
Nov 03, 2019 rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
So I saw this boxed set on sale for 50% off (Yay Black Friday!) and I just couldn’t resist (I have a weak spot for boxed sets). I just had to buy it!

Honestly, I’m so happy with my purchase. This boxed set comes with a poster of the four Londons! Also, this edition of A Conjuring of Light includes bonus content (a glossary of Arnesian words and a Q&A with V.E. Schwab) which weren’t in the hardcover edition that I borrowed from the library.

Two things that would’ve made this boxed set even more
CJ Andrian
Oct 31, 2019 rated it liked it
(Actual rating: 3.8/5)

What I Did Like: The originality of this concept, the worldbuilding, the fact that the royal family of Red London is Brown (yessssss!). I love Kell and Rhy's close sibling relationship, Rhy himself (it's so fun and kind of sad to watch him grow) and Alucard (everyone loves a roguish bastard every now and again!). Lila in a suit coming in like Tuxedo Mask! That was cool! I also really liked Holland's ending. It was a sad one and it's not for everyone, but to me, it was a pe
Tristan Cordelia
Aug 07, 2018 rated it it was ok
Volume 1 - I was drawn to read this by the concept of Schwab's invented world (there are four parallel-universe Londons with varying degrees of magic, and only certain travelers can move between them), but the characters are mostly YA fantasy cliches, the plot was predictable, and ultimately, isn't this just a Neverwhere knock-off? 2 stars

Volume 2 - This volume was pointless - for the first 4/5 of the book nothing happens except build-up for a magic tournament which turns out to be i
Nov 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it liked it
This was good pulp, but kept disappointing as it stretched for more. Characters’ arcs let them “power up” without really changing in any way, and much of the second and third books’ quests struck me as needless padding. Some nicely cinematic set-pieces, and perhaps better overall as a potential screenplay.

Nice touches: no more “zapping” with magic. We have instead an interesting set of mechanisms. Also nice: the inter-world movement, which wad a device much underused compared to the
Jan 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
The first one is really interesting, the second one is the best, wild, crazy but fun. The third one is the problem. Too much personal internal angst and pointless wander considering the dire circumstance they had.

The worst part in the whole series is all the male characters feel too girly compare to Lila.
It might be fun sometimes, but, after so many pages, it did feel like I am actually reading a tale of four girls' adventure,and I don't think that's what the author want?

Overall, 3
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V.E. Schwab is a pseudonym of Victoria Schwab.

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

Other books in the series

Shades of Magic (3 books)
  • A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)
  • A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2)
  • A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3)
“We all believe the same thing really, we simply give it different names. Hardly a crime.” 2 likes
“But Rhy did walk among them, because he was their prince, and because he could not sleep, and because he knew what it was like to be held by a spell, to be dragged into darkness, to be bound to something and yet feel utterly alone.” 0 likes
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