C.G. Drews's Reviews > A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
11375137
's review

it was amazing
bookshelves: 5-star, read-2016, young-adult, best-of-2016, read-2017, reread, audio-books, epic-fantasy
Read 2 times. Last read February 1, 2017 to February 8, 2017.

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 else faceplant into A Gathering of Shadows for the second time. <3

(FYI the audiobook was fantastic.)


ORIGINAL REVIEW: 2016:

It took me 90001 years of procrastination to read this. I DOn'T EVEN KNOW WHY???? I over-hyped to myself??? (Despite already having read and adored Vicious. So clearly I am the most pathetic of grapefruit fiends.) So of course I ADORED this book. It was violent and magicy and bloody and incredibly written...and I have a severe love Kell's magical multi-sided coat. Like seriously, I want one. YOU DON'T UNDERSTAND HOW MUCH I LOVE HIS FREAKING AWESOME COAT. Ahem.

Also this book just had this WHOLE LIST of things I love...seriously, it's like it stole the checklist of "things Cait likes" and just completed it all perfectly.

For instance:
• Magical multi-sided coat ✓
• Characters who put things in pockets, like millions of things (I have a pocket infatuation btw) ✓
• Sassy, snarky witty banter ✓
• A girl who's #1 aspiration is to be a pirate (#goals) ✓
• Evil magic ✓
• Concise writing ✓
• Lots of stabby stabbing all the time ✓
• LIKE STABBY STAB EVERYTHING OMG ✓

...I told you...IT WAS WRITTEN WITH ME IN MIND. (Ahem.)

Also I absolutely adore VE Schwab's writing style!! Like it's brisk and too the point. It doesn't fluff around. And she is QUEEN of world-building. Gah, I am in love with the world building skills. Seriously not a lot of books manage to make a world this complex and dimensional but EASY TO UNDERSTAND so so simply and fast. I actually never had any "Huh, I don't get it?" moments. Which is a big deal for me. Because 87% of my life is spent saying "Wut. I don't get it." BUT NOT WHEN I READ A SCHWAB BOOK HUZZAH.

And the characters?! Omg...I shall pause here and SHRIEK MIGHTILY OF MY LOVE. Shriek loudly, I tell you.

Kell was perfect. Like, literally perfect. A little bit tragic and lost and longing...and also totally sassy with the perfect comeback waiting. I love how basically the ENTIRE book is because he made a stupid mistake...so he's a gorgeous little darling, but at the same time immensely flawed.
Lila, of course, is my hero. She's NASTY. She's a thief and so snarky...omg, she'd bite you. She really would. And she's wondrous. I love how she starts off just wanting an adventure -- BUT THEN SHE GETS A FRIEND IN KELL. <333 And the way she and Kell continually had to save each other?!?!?? My favourite thing of ever.
Rhys was definitely a potential favourite. I mean, I DID love him. He was really overconfident and dashing and dazzling and spoiled and vibrant and INCREDIBLE. My favourite kind of character, tbh....but....he really wasn't in the story very much. For this I am sad.
Holland? I feel I want to mention Holland, who is another magician like Kell (they're the only two of their kind who can jump through worlds), and he was really CREEPY. But tragic? Like I felt really bad for him even as he was doing terrible evil things. He was enough of a villain to be hated, and enough of a victim to make me whisper a small "oh dear" and feel sad for him. #perfectwriting


...basically everything in this book was freaking perfect. nUNNNNNGH.

OH WAIT. One thing wasn't perfect. But this is purely me? And I dare say most people wouldn't have this problem: but I found the book very predictable. Seriously I KNEW what plot twists were going to go down most of the time??? It was really weird. I have this slight suspicion that it's sort of how I would put together a story? (I am in NO WAY claiming to be as good of a writer as Schwab. HAHAHAH NOPE. I am like a toddler with a crayon compared to her. But...yeah. I would choose all the plot directions she went in, which made me sort of know they were going down?) SO THAT'S WEIRD. BUT THAT HAPPENED.

Also pleeeeeeeeeeease tell me I'm not alone in catching the potential-plot-twist-about-Lila?!?!? (view spoiler)

...also I feel like I read somewhere that there was no romance in this book? WELL HECK NO. I SHIP KELL AND LILA LIKE NOTHING ELSE. There was a kiss. That's ship material there.

I also really liked how it didn't spare the characters. And like everyone's moral compasses were soooo twisted. AND THERE WAS TONS OF STABBING AND BLOOD EVERYWHERE. I'm like such a violent little squid. I know. But omg, so much blood. Everywhere. (Also it gives me the shivers when they cut themselves for spells. Ugh.)

So basically this book is perfect. BUT YOU ALREADY KNEW THAT. And I'm actually glad I only read it just now?? Because I can go buy A Gathering of Shadows straight away! HAPPY DANCE. I love the characters, I am so sucked in by the writing, and I can't get enough of the epic dialogue and the perfect plot twists and the bloody spectacular brilliantness.

YES I'M DONE GUSHING. OMG.

(You can all say "I told you so" but I will smush cake in your face and glare.)

(Also the part where Lila knocks Kell out with a book is basically the best part of the entire book and gives me life quite frankly.)
401 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read A Darker Shade of Magic.
Sign In »

Quotes C.G. Liked

Victoria Schwab
“I'm not going to die," she said. "Not till I've seen it."
"Seen what?"
Her smile widened. "Everything.”
Victoria Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic

Victoria Schwab
“Lila Bard knew in her bones that she was meant to be a pirate.”
Victoria Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic

V.E. Schwab
“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.”
V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic

V.E. Schwab
“You look more ready to storm a city than seduce a man.”
V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic

V.E. Schwab
“As Athera. To grow.

As Pyrata. To burn.

As Illumae. To light.

As Orense. To open.

As Anase. To dispel.

As Hasari. To heal.

As Travars. To Travel.”
V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic


Reading Progress

December 23, 2014 – Shelved
December 23, 2014 – Shelved as: to-read
February 16, 2016 – Started Reading
February 16, 2016 –
page 135
33.92% "OMG LOOK I'M READING THIS. FINALLY. IT ONLY TOOK ME 9000 YEARS. ARE YOU ALL HAPPY NOW??!??!"
February 16, 2016 –
page 167
41.96% "I love Kell and Lila's first meeting.\n SHE KNOCKED HIM OUT WITH A BOOK. \n <3"
February 17, 2016 –
page 300
75.38% "My actual number one concern is if Kell's coat is okay. I LOVE KELL'S COAT. I WANT ONE. IT IS THE MOST PRECIOUS LITERARY THING OF EVER."
February 17, 2016 – Shelved as: 5-star
February 17, 2016 – Shelved as: read-2016
February 17, 2016 – Shelved as: young-adult
February 17, 2016 – Finished Reading
March 20, 2016 – Shelved as: best-of-2016
February 1, 2017 – Started Reading
February 2, 2017 –
page 31
7.79% "I'm starting my re-read before ACOL because I am utter Schwablin trash by this point.
I'M EXPLODING WITH LOVE AGAIN AND IT'S ONLY BEEN 30 PAGES.
(Also audio re-read and the narrator is A+)"
February 3, 2017 –
page 100
25.13% "Rhy: Promise me you won't keep trading stuff between the Londons?!???
Kell: ok fine
Kell: [IMMEDIATELY TRADES FOR EVIL DARKNESS THAT DESTROYS EVERYTHING]"
February 4, 2017 –
page 155
38.94% "Girl meets boy.
Boy faints at her feet.
Girl stares at boy.
Boy starts to wake up.
Girl HITS HIM IN THE HEAD WITH A BOOK TO KEEP HIM UNCONSCIOUS.

Me: oh look my otp"
February 5, 2017 –
page 245
61.56% "Kell: It's not a pleasant story to tell.
Lila: ok well I officially want to hear it 50000% more now.

(WHEREIN I AM LILA.)"
February 7, 2017 –
page 363
91.21% "NAMES MOST PEOPLE CALL KELL:
- the black eyed prince
- master kell
- sir
- with all due respect

NAMES LILA CALLS KELL:
- magic boy
- hey you
- bastard
- i'll smack you into the middle of next week"
February 8, 2017 – Shelved as: read-2017
February 8, 2017 – Shelved as: reread
February 8, 2017 – Shelved as: audio-books
February 8, 2017 – Shelved as: epic-fantasy
February 8, 2017 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-50 of 55 (55 new)


message 1: by Bee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bee Ahahaha yay, so glad you loved this Cait! :D Kell's coat is a must-have for sure. You'll be happy to know that Rhy is in book 2 much more. The bromance is so strong in that book omg.


Finn Longman It was probably me who said there was no romance -- I said I liked that it had the potential to develop but I enjoyed how it could also be read as platonic and there wasn't too much of a focus on it. Or something like that. Heh.


C.G. Drews @Bee: OH GOOD. Because I need more Rhys. XD And I love that coat omggggg

@Miriam: Actually I've heard many people say it had no romance. ;D I don't think it was focused on at all, which was totally refreshing, but I stiiiiill think it was there. *shippy moment*


Amanda This review reminded me of why I loved this book so much, and now I'm extra siked about the sequel coming out next week!!


Vlora I TOLD YOU SO :D


Emily Mead OH THIS REMINDS ME WHY I LOVED IT. AND HAVE YOU SEEN MY REVIEW? BECAUSE I SAID THE SAME THING ABOUT LILA.


Kara YESSSS! So glad you loved this one, Cait. I absolutely LOVED Lila.


Laura P. Nope you aren't alone un catching the potential-plot-twist about Lila! :o.


Laura P. Btw I didn't find the book predictable but then again I'm the one that, when watching a crime tv series , is clueless until the end...duh!


message 10: by Lucy (new) - rated it 5 stars

Lucy (That Book Gal) Yayy!! I'm so glad you loved it!


message 11: by Finn Longman (new) - added it

Finn Longman Heh, fair enough! I like things where the romance can be interpreted as platonic as well, because I'm not very romantic at all. So I liked the ambiguity here. But it is definitely very shippable.


em_is_reading You know I love hate-to-love romance, Cait, but to be honest platonic-with-hints-of-something more is even more painfully sweet. I LOVE SHIPPING THOSE CHARACTERS OMG.


message 13: by Dita (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dita Oh yes! That Lila spoilery thing is just - whaaat? All the possibilities and explanations (mainly of course the one you mention, which was my assumption as well). And then we get nothing more about it in ADSOM, it was almost cruel. I do hope for more on it in AGOS.
Who didn't love that coat? It's EPIC, like, the coat of all coats.
And I do feel the ship, Cait, I really do. Just the ship doesn't feel itself yet, I'd say. I mean, Kell and Lila haven't thought of it just yet :D But they have time to do everything, so I'm okay for now with how things go along with tht ship. :)


message 14: by Jess (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jess THIS BOOK IS MY EVERYTHING TBH!!! And interesting theory on Lila, I did not think of that!


message 15: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews aHHHHH YOU NICE PEOPLES. <333 THANK YOU FOR ALL THE COMMENT LOVE!!!!

(And I'm glad I'm not the only one who thought of the potential-Lila-plot-twist. XDXD Hopefully that means it's true?!? Mwhahah.)


message 16: by Bee (new) - rated it 5 stars

Bee I finished AGOS. Much more Rhy, even romance! And it's a ship for the ages, Cait. Also more to ship for Lila & Kell. BUT DAMN THAT CLIFFHANGER! It's evil.


Aentee YES LILA AND SHIPPING I AM DYING AT KELL/LILA. I love it best when the romance isn't at the forefront but their relationship is still crucial to their character development.


message 18: by Finn Longman (new) - added it

Finn Longman That was my Lila theory too, so I'm looking forward to b2 to see if I was right. I've preordered the eBook :)


Mareli Thalwitzer I've started with this about an hour ago and I can't believe I didn't start reading this the moment I laid my hands on it.... I feel the excitement in your review and I'm quite sure already that I'm also going to aspire to become a pirate wearing a dashingly beautiful red coat.


Wendy Yes to the Lila hints, and I imagine it will be tied up with the first five year's of Kell's life as well somehow. Just as long as there's no Luke and Leia thing, because THAT sure sinks ships quickly and messily.

LOVED this one, even if the whole inadvertent corruption by magic object trope has already been extremely utilized in LOTR and later HP books. Haven't had this much fun with a book since Six of Crows. Seeing that the author goes by her initials for adult works, I'm not sure what would classify this as adult vs. YA.


message 21: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @Wendy: I consider it Adult because the characters are all in their 20s! (And omg if Kell and Lila are siblings I will actually destroy something.)


message 22: by Imogen (new) - added it

Imogen Sometimes I read your reviews just for fun 'cause they're hilarious (in a good way) :) But now I wanna read this book. I've also been putting it off for forever.


message 23: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @Imogen: omg thankyou. XDXD


Zaynah Abbas I feel exactly the same. Like, EXACTLY. Honestly.


Elora Mitchell *Sovereign of not finishing books I start* Ah, the coat. Yes!


Zaynah Abbas Elora wrote: "Ah, the coat. Yes!"

The coat, the coat... *swoons*

No, seriously. I WANT THAT COAT.


Michelle (Scarborg) OMG I HAVE FINALLY READ THIS AND I CANNOT BELIEVE IT TOOK SO LONG! Agree with you 100% on everything :D

Time to run along and find more Schwab books ...


message 28: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @Michelle: READ ALL THE SCHWAB!! *flings confetti*


Hikaoru Read the second book IMMEDIATELY! like seriously, 'cause i was all, hmmm, darling Rhys would be lonely if Kell and Lila would run into the sunset together. But book 2 gives a solution for that. Goooooo. :P


message 30: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @Hikaoru: I already have. :)


Gavin Abdollahi :o
I never thought of (view spoiler) that way.


message 32: by Divya (new) - added it

Divya i luv your reviews!!


message 33: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews Gavin: Just a theory. ;D

@Divya: Thanks!


message 34: by Cyrielle (new)

Cyrielle Jeanne you wouldn't smush cake in anyone's face! that would be wasting cake! the vilest crime!


message 35: by [deleted user] (new)

I simply cannot believe that you had not read this yet.

What.

Just, what.

You, the dragon of all things VC Schwab.

Oh, my gosh.


message 36: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @Daley: I'm confused! :P I read this February 2016?


message 37: by Deborah (last edited Jan 23, 2017 09:41PM) (new) - added it

Deborah O'Carroll @Daley and Cait about the time thing: With the new Goodreads homepage, when people comment on reviews it makes it look like the review was posted then. Hence, although this review was from February last year, it looked to Daley like this was only reviewed recently, due to the recent comments. Does this make sense to you both now? :)


message 38: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @Deborah: Ohhh, that is super weird. 0_0 The date is still at the top of my review though? It says "Read from February 16 to 17, 2016". GOODREADS IS WEIRD. XD


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

@Cait and @Deborah: Yeah, it showed up as a brand new review in my threads yesterday. There was no date on it in the threads. Wth?


message 40: by C.G. (new) - rated it 5 stars

C.G. Drews @Daley: GOODREADS IS OUT TO CONFUSE US. XD


message 41: by Aly (new) - rated it 4 stars

Aly Locatelli you wouldn't dare smash cake in my face, what a waste of cake (for you, because it's a gain for me) so bwahaha I TOLD YOU SO.


Flying Monkey I loved Steven Crossley narrating this one. I was hoping he would be narrating ACOL, but unfortunately it's Michael Kramer and Kate Reading. Their good, but I'll be reading ACOL. I can't wait.


message 43: by Elli (new) - rated it 4 stars

Elli *Fanatical.Fantasy* I DNFed this.......perhaps I should try again!


prag ♻ highkey need to reread this before ACOL but dunno if I can handle the heartbreak <33


Laojimmy998 wanted to read this one too hmmmm


Annie ☆{of Lightwoods and Herondales}☆ Pragya wrote: "highkey need to reread this before ACOL but dunno if I can handle the heartbreak <33"

PRAGYA YOU MUST POWER THROUGH IT! A re-read is A MUST ( *MUST BE TORTURED AGAIN*) ^.^


Kelsea The procrastination part WHY IS IT SO TRUE? It was on my should-read-excited-to-read-haven't-read-yet list forever because I just knew I'd love it and was afraid I might not. Who needs logic?


message 48: by Camile (new) - added it

Camile Souza (This Chamber of Books) Yes to all


message 49: by Em (new) - rated it 5 stars

Em OH MY GOD I DIDN'T REALIZE SHE WAS MISSING AN EYE AND (view spoiler)


River (Tamaranth) I officially love this review. Like seriously. And thanks to your gushing I'm not just bumping this book to the top of my reading list, I'm getting it RIGHT NOW. Thanks!! xD


« previous 1
back to top