Helia's Reviews > A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
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Apr 23, 2015

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, favourite-series, diverse-reads, age-adult
Read 2 times. Last read February 13, 2017 to February 18, 2017.

The first book in V.E. Schwab's Shades of Magic had me hooked from the very first page.

Schwab's universe contain four parallel universes, all connected by one city with a shared name: London. The doors between Londons have been long closed, but as a rare blood magician, Kell can travel between them. In his travels Kell finds something that a relic with a corruptive power, and with the help of Lila, a thief and aspiring pirate with a habit of violence, they must travel between worlds to eliminate it.

The writing in this series is simply gorgeous. I cannot express this enough: Schwab really knows how to write. It's the kind of writing that has enough detail to fully immerse you in the world you're reading about, which is so vital to the success of this book. A Darker Shade of Magic deals with some complicated concepts, and yet Schwab glides through them with ease.

Schwab masters a perfect combination of writing, characters, concepts and plot in her books. In my reread, I found that the pace was a little slow in order to build up this magnificent world, but the effort is so utterly worth it. Kell's world is one I want to get lost in, and one that I would happily explore again and again.

"I'm not going to die," she said. "Not till I've seen it."
"Seen what?"
Her smile widened. "Everything."



- Warnings: blood, death, violence, self-harm
- Diversity Note: genderfluid character and POC bisexual character (labels not specified in book)

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Quotes Helia Liked

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

V.E. Schwab
“I'd rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”
V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic

V.E. Schwab
“I apologize for anything I might have done. I was not myself.”
“I apologize for shooting you in the leg.” said Lila. “I was myself entirely.”
V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic

V.E. Schwab
“A life worth having is a life worth taking.”
V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic


Reading Progress

April 23, 2015 – Shelved
April 23, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
March 8, 2016 – Started Reading
March 8, 2016 –
page 55
14.32% "Majestically poetic language and a splendidly crafted world. I knew I had reason to be excited for this book."
March 10, 2016 –
page 100
26.04% ""no one suffers as beautifully as you" - I'm stuck between deciding whether that sentence is beautiful or horrifying. Either way I love it."
March 12, 2016 –
page 161
41.93% "Oooohh Holland is terrifying I love him"
March 12, 2016 –
page 205
53.39% "Barron ;n; Also Lila is the coolest I want to be her"
March 13, 2016 –
page 302
78.65% "Gahhh"
March 14, 2016 – Shelved as: fantasy
March 14, 2016 – Finished Reading
September 6, 2016 – Shelved as: favourite-series
February 13, 2017 – Started Reading
February 15, 2017 –
page 130
33.85% "I MUST REREAD BUT I ALSO MUST SLEEP"
February 16, 2017 –
page 272
70.83% "I want to read/reread this whole trilogy by the end of this month and I feel like the pressure to get through it all is preventing me from loving it as much as the first time which breaks my heart because this series is my fave"
February 18, 2017 – Finished Reading
April 4, 2017 – Shelved as: diverse-reads
July 2, 2017 – Shelved as: age-adult

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