Lit Coven's Reviews > A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
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it was amazing
bookshelves: series, 2016-read, diverse-reads, main-reads

If you’ve read V.E. Schwab before, you know exactly where she shines...precisely EVERYWHERE.

Yes, she’s got the characters, the action, the romance, the prose, AND the world building.

Actually, the Coven is going to give Schwab an A++ on world building...cuz damn.

In A Darker Shade of Magic, the characters live in a series of Londons. Yes, that was supposed to be plural. Schwab takes the same city and spins it in four fun ways, each one interesting and unique. Red London is full of magic, Grey London is industrialized and magic-less (gross), White London is cold and power-hungry, and Black London is a mystery.

There is a pretty strong Coven consensus that we’d sell our souls (If we had one left...) for a one-way ticket to Red London. It’s so vibrant, so full of magic, not to mention it’s the hometown of one very special messenger/prince, Kell.

Grey London is way too similar to our own world and White London seems to produce a lot of psychos, so we’ll pass on those two. Black London on the other’s just forbidden enough that a few of us could be tempted.

Dem Characters
ADSOM introduced the Coven to two of our favorite characters of all time.

She may not be the first character we meet in ADSOM, but she’s definitely first in our cold, dead hearts...Meet Lila Bard, described by her creator as a “cross-dressing thief,” and by us as an absolute BADASS. We liked Lila because she is has more courage than sense, but we LOVED her because she is 100% Lila Bard and no one else. She knows who she is, she knows what she wants, and she goes after life with a ferocity that we totally dig.

And although she might shank us for saying this…

...For all her practicality and ass kicking, Lila is a dreamer. She longs for the unknown, she fantasizes about adventure and about travel. So basically, she is one of us.

Then there is Kell…If you had told us that by the end of ADSOM that we witches would be drooling over a serious, sensitive, royal messenger with two-toned eyes, we would’ve cackled. And we would’ve been wrong.

Kell is the adopted prince and an insanely powerful magician. He’s got this special, rare sort of magic that allows him to travel between the different Londons. He’s literally one of two in all of those worlds (that we know of) who can use this special type of magic.

It’s so badass in fact, we’d be willing to kill for it. Literally.

If only we had more than one soul to sell...

Back to Kell...He is just as much of a badass as Lila, incredibly strong and brave, but he is much quieter about it.  And while he may not seek out fights with quite so much frequency, he damn sure finishes the fights that come to him.

Um...that scene when he tells the story of young Prince Rhy getting kidnapped and what Kell does about it?! It made even our blood run cold.

Speaking of Prince Rhy, he’s heir to the crown, and interestingly enough, he’s doesn’t have an ounce of magic in a family full of magicians. He’s all kinds of good looks, flirtation, and trouble. Just our type...

On our shit list, we’ve got the Dane twins, Astrid and Athos from White London.

Remember those psychos we mentioned earlier? Yeah, them.

But we will admit, albeit grudgingly, that they make some pretty interesting villains. They had some nasty tricks up their sleeve, which we may or may not have noted for personal use.

Last but not least, is Holland henchman of the Dane twins. He’s a magician, also from White London (a.k.a. Crazy Town), and there is definitely more to him than meets the eye. The lucky bastard is twinsies with Kell, the one other character who can travel between the different Londons.

Holland is forced into the role of villain, being stuck between a rock and a psycho killer (literally), and we don’t envy him.

We have a strong feeling we aren’t going to be happy when he makes his next appearance...


You know we can’t wrap up this review without talking bout that lovin’ feeling. ; ) To be honest, ADSOM is pretty light on the romance. Some books come on hot and heavy (which we don’t hate) but Schwab left us with tons of awesome chemistry and a few stolen kisses. Can’t wait to see where that leads...

Where was Kell before he turned 5 and was brought to the palace?

What is Lila? She has dormant magic and 1 glass eye. Could she be…?

And what happened to Black London?
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Quotes Lit Coven Liked

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'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

Reading Progress

December 28, 2015 – Shelved
December 28, 2015 – Shelved as: to-read
January 26, 2016 – Shelved as: series
February 28, 2016 – Started Reading
March 11, 2016 – Finished Reading
October 29, 2016 – Shelved as: 2016-read
October 15, 2017 – Shelved as: diverse-reads
October 31, 2018 – Shelved as: main-reads

Comments Showing 1-1 of 1 (1 new)

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Theresa (bookbliss925) I can't wait to read this series. I've heard so many good things about it. Love this review.

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