destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries]'s Reviews > A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
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it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, favorites, adult, owned-digital, owned-physical, otp

#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 with the ability to command blood itself, allowing them to travel between the parallels.

One of the last two remaining
Antari in the world, Kell, is the unofficial carrier of messages between the three living Londons, but his entire world comes crumbling down around him when he is tricked into taking a magical object that has enemies hunting him down from one city to the next. When Lila, a young thief and aspiring pirate, is drawn into the middle of his adventure, Kell must learn that the boundaries between good and evil magic aren't as defined as he once thought they were, and he must straddles those boundaries to right what has been made wrong.

---

This book was my first ever Schwab read, and I went into it a little bit apprehensive, because she is so widely loved that I wondered if this series would live up to the expectations I had for it. I picked it up for the Life & Lit June group read, and ended up putting it off until the last possible minute because I was so wary, but my nervousness was entirely unfounded. This book was phenomenal!

KELL ➳➳
What can I even say? Kell is one of the most lovable male MCs I've seen in a really long time. He's so loving and protective, despite his ongoing self-identity crises regarding his family. He loves his brother Rhy with a fierceness that I couldn't get enough of, and he's just so genuinely good in his heart that I couldn't help but root for him. He's one of those MCs that makes me afraid to continue the series because I can't handle anything terrible happening to him.



LILA ➳➳
I didn't really know what to make of Lila at first, because to be frank, her excuses for thievery kind of rubbed me the wrong way. Like... you're just going to steal from all of these people because you can? I wouldn't have minded so much if she just stole food or whatever, but trinkets? (I revisited this annoyance a few times later in the book, too.) Overall, though, I really enjoyed her sassy attitude and the way she refused to let anyone tell her what to do or hold her down. I loved that she insisted on going on an adventure, even if it meant risking her life, and her interactions with Kell were just adorable.

RHY ➳➳
Adorable. Absolutely adorable. He actually made me cry a few times because he just is so pure and innocent and golden.

HOLLAND ➳➳
Holland honestly gave me the sketchiest vibes ever from the beginning, but I think he's a fantastic character and I pitied him more often than not. I know some shit went down, but I really hope we get to learn more about him later in the series.

PLOT & WORLD ➳➳
I thought the plot, as well as the world-building, were absolutely incredible. I loved the idea of these parallel cities that the Antari could travel between, and I thought the magic system was beautifully built up. Too many books ignore the foundation for their magic systems and you're kind of left just going, "oh, well, it's magic and that's that," but Schwab didn't do that at all in this book. The idea of these Antari being sort of the chosen ones who could control blood was just badass as hell, and I really hope that Kell and Holland aren't actually the only ones left.

WRITING ➳➳
Like I said, this was my first time ever reading anything by Victoria Schwab, so I had no idea what to expect. My very first impression from the opening segment,

Kell wore a very peculiar coat.

It had neither one side, which would be conventional, nor two, which would be unexpected, but several, which was, of course, impossible.


was that her writing reminded me a great deal of Tolkien, circa The Hobbit. As I got further into the book, I did find that Victoria's voice is very much her own, but I enjoyed it to no end. It was the perfect balance of straightforward and flowery prose, and it painted a splendid picture while never wasting too much time on the details.

FINAL VERDICT ➳➳
Overall, I thought this book was a fantastic beginning to a series and I cannot wait to continue with book #2. I gave this an easy 5/5 stars and would recommend it to anyone who likes three-dimensional high fantasy read, full of a delightful set of characters and a terrifically intriguing world.

You can find this review (and more) on my blog here!
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Reading Progress

February 21, 2017 – Shelved
February 21, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
March 13, 2017 – Shelved as: fantasy
June 21, 2017 – Started Reading
June 21, 2017 –
7.0% "My very first Schwab book! 😍"
June 28, 2017 – Finished Reading
September 6, 2017 – Shelved as: favorites
April 19, 2018 – Shelved as: adult
July 8, 2018 – Shelved as: owned-digital
July 8, 2018 – Shelved as: owned-physical
September 9, 2018 – Shelved as: otp

Comments Showing 1-23 of 23 (23 new)

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message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Maks do not read the spoiler maks do not



Maks:OOPS…


destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries] Don't do it Maks! Lol


message 3: by [deleted user] (new)

ammm kinda too late :/


Frankie Lovely lolololol ..... hmmmm .....


destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries] @Maks aww. Can't say I didn't try! 😂

@Frankie DON'T YOU HMM ME! Jfc I need the second book now lmao


Frankie Lovely Destiny wrote: "@Maks aww. Can't say I didn't try! 😂

@Frankie DON'T YOU HMM ME! Jfc I need the second book now lmao"


No I just remember having similar thoughts in this book.

You do though! You need book 2 and not without book 3 also in hand FYI (you're welcome ... I just saved your life)


destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries] @Frankie lmao at least now I know that if I'm way off base I wasn't the only one. Duly noted! Thank you for that. I'll order both of them together in my next book order whiiiich will probably be asap because that was really friggin' good.


Misstdennis OMG! I never thought of this!!! WHY DIDNT I THINK OF THIS!! It could change everything!!! 😱😱😱


Frankie Lovely Destiny wrote: "@Frankie lmao at least now I know that if I'm way off base I wasn't the only one. Duly noted! Thank you for that. I'll order both of them together in my next book order whiiiich will probably be as..."

YAY! I am so happy you and enjoying this book! I hope the rest of the series goes just as well or better <3


Justine (Milkz) That last question! I didn't even think about it until the very end either even though it was mentioned that her eyes were different shades! Can't wait to see if you like the other 2!


destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries] Justine (Pep In Your Step) wrote: "That last question! I didn't even think about it until the very end either even though it was mentioned that her eyes were different shades! Can't wait to see if you like the other 2!"

Dude I seriously was just sitting there thinking about (view spoiler) and it hit me out of nowhere and I was like WAIT A SECOND! Lmao I am hoping to order them later this month and tackle at least book #2 but maybe also #3 in August! July is just too slammed for me. >_<


Scrill I'm so glad you loved this! I only gave it 4 stars if I remember, but am loving the second one soooo much! Can't wait to see your thoughts on that!!


destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries] Scrill wrote: "I'm so glad you loved this! I only gave it 4 stars if I remember, but am loving the second one soooo much! Can't wait to see your thoughts on that!!"

I can't wait to read it! I've been saving it for later this year when I can commit to books 2 and 3, since I'm told the second one ends on a cliffhanger! :D


Gemma ♕ Books_McCoy I love this review. It makes me want to read the whole series again!!


destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries] Gemma (BunksMcCoy) wrote: "I love this review. It makes me want to read the whole series again!!"

Awww thank you! :D


message 16: by Zoe (new) - added it

Zoe Mann Fantastic review! & sounds like a fantastic book!


destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries] Zoe wrote: "Fantastic review! & sounds like a fantastic book!"

Thank you! It definitely is - I highly recommend it and can't wait to continue the series. :)


message 18: by Bonnie (new)

Bonnie Shores another great review, destiny! :D


destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries] @Bonnie thank you! 💕


message 20: by Camile (new) - added it

Camile Souza (This Chamber of Books) Definitely agree


destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries] Ice Cream & Pizza wrote: "Definitely agree"

Thanks :)


Megan (Under the Book Cover) I really need to read this series at some point!


destiny ♡⚔♡ [howling libraries] Megan wrote: "I really need to read this series at some point!"

Oh yes, definitely! I can't wait to continue it!


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