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A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – Review




A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC (Shades of Magic #1)

Author: V.E. Schwab

Publisher: Tor Books

Format: Hardcover, 400 Pages

Published Date: February 24th 2015

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(Click Picture or underlined title to add on Goodreads)

Kell is one of the last Antari, a rare magician who can travel between parallel worlds: hopping from Grey London — dirty, boring, lacking magic, and ruled by mad King George — to Red London — where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire — to White London — ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne, where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back — and back, but never Black London, because traveling to Black London is forbidden and no one speaks of it now.

Officially, Kell is the personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see, and it is this dangerous hobby that sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to take her with him for her proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save both his London and the others, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — a feat trickier than they hoped.


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adri's review


This is book is one of the most creative books I’ve ever read. It’s just so CLEVER and neat. Schwab’s writing was a pleasant surprise; she’s amazing, and I’ll be picking up her other books soon because I love her writing.

I think this book deserves an even better rating on Goodreads. If you’re well aware of the hype but feel cautious about reading it, trust me and pick it up. It’s a smart read with an incredibly interesting set of characters in a beautifully-built world. Magic is the main thing throughout this series and if you’re a fantasy-lover like me, you’d think you’ve seen it all in regards to magic, but this book will prove you wrong. The magic system is unlike anything you’ve ever seen, the way it works and the way it weaves through the story.

Some thought magic came from the mind, others the soul, or the heart, or the will. But Kell knew it came from the blood.

So basically, there are four londons (now three). There’s the dull, magic-less Grey London, the creepy and desperate world of white London, the rich, prospering Red London- and then there’s (or there was) Black London- a long forgotten world which was consumed by its own magic.

If red was the color of magic in balance—of harmony between power and humanity—then black was the color of magic without balance, without order, without restraint.

The only people who can move through these worlds are the Antari, feared and revered magicians with two toned eyes, one of which is completely black. Kell, one of our main characters, is one of the only two remaining Antari. He’s a complex, interesting character. He frowns a lot and is a bit lonely and melancholy at times, but can be snarky and amusing, and not at all boring. Did I mention he has a coat that has more than two sides. Basically, his coat is more than one coat. Definitely not boring.

His dynamic with Lila– the cross-dressing, conniving, sassy, sword-obsessed thief and aspiring pirate, is perfect. From the moment they cross paths, you’re immediately drawn to their conversations and dialogues.

“What are you?” she asked.

“A monster,” said Kell hoarsely. “You’d better let me go.”

The girl gave a small, mocking laugh. “Monsters don’t faint in the presence of ladies.”

“Ladies don’t dress like men and pick pockets,” retorted Kell. Her smile only sharpened. “What are you really?”

“Tied to your bed,” said Kell matter-of-factly.

Despite the fact that these two characters are addicting, my favorite is actually Rhy Maresh. A spoiled, flirtatious and cheeky prince. You’re probably rolling your eyes, thinking that you’ve had enough of the flirty, two-dimensional characters. Rhy is not like that at all. He’s caring and kind, but not without his faults. He has chemistry with both Kell and Lila, he isn’t simply a ploy to incorporate funny lines into the story. We don’t get much if him in this book (not half as I would’ve liked) but I completely devoured every page he appears in. I just love him.


“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.”

Rhy broke into his perfect smile. “I like this one,” he said to Kell. “Can I borrow her?”

“You can try,” said Lila, raising a brow. “But you’ll be a prince without his fingers.”

So we have the black-eyed Antari, the danger-attracting pirate-to-be and the sexy prince. Could there be more? Oh hell yes… Honestly, the best part of the story, for me, were the creepy, pale twins. They gave it a horror-like touch, to say the least. They still give me the shivers.


Every part of the journey, from meeting the characters, to learning more about them as we go, to following them on the race to stop a notorious certain thing from destroying their worlds was incredible. I loved every info on magic and its workings, I loved the slightly political insight to the different worlds, I loved the rulers and their londons. I loved this book.


(Click on Cover or Underlined title to add on Goodreads)



Author: V.E. Schwab

Publisher: Tor Books

Format: Hardcover, 512 Pages

Published Date: February 23rd 2016

Buy At:  Barnes & Noble  Amazon logo  bookdepository logo


  Adri's review (box)  Copy of Copy of Copy of My Rating(1)



A-Conjuring-of-Light-SchwabA CONJURING OF LIGHT (Shades of Magic #3)

Author: V.E. Schwab

Publisher: Tor Books

Format: Hardcover, 512 Pages

Publish Date: February 21st 2017

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about author

ve-schwabV.E. Schwab also publishes under Goodreads Author, Victoria Schwab
Victoria has stated that books published under V.E. Schwab are adult releases and those under Victoria Schwab are YA.

“I am the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, I have been known to say “tom-ah-toes”, “like”, and “y’all”. I also suffer from a wicked case of wanderlust, made worse by the fact that wandering is a good way to stir up stories. When I’m not haunting Paris streets or trudging up English hillsides, I’m usually tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up monsters.” (

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8 thoughts on “A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – Review

  1. I LOOOOOOVE THIS SERIES SO SO BAD. omg. I’m completely addicted. ❤ And I also adore Rhy!! I mean, I still think Kell is my favourite (precious moody cinnamon roll) but Rhy is hilarious and luckily there's more of him in AGOS. ❤ And I love those quotes you mentioned. omg I want to re-read it so badly now heheh.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. IKR! I love it too. I’m currently reading AGOS and I love Rhy even more. And again there’s Alucard…ughh I love ALL of them, even Holland lol. Thanks 🙂 quotes are one of my favorite things about books.


  3. I’ve been putting this book off for months now since I first heard about it on BookTube, and I think you just made me put it in my August TBR! 🙂
    Excellent choince on the quotes, can’t wait to find more like those.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The excerpts you gave of the book were excellent! If the premise hadn’t convinced me to read this book, those definitely did. I love fantasy books like this and I will certainly be checking this book out. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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