Holy heck, this novel ROCKS! Not with spectacle or a loud tone, but with its brilliant style, the magical use of words and some very well created characters who capture the readers´ heart in their very own way. While reading I noticed that I was literally holding my breath while going through the pages and chapters always eager to find out what I would find next. And there was always some new excitement waiting for me.

A Darker Shade Of Magic
by V. E. Schwab
Shades Of Magic Series #1
Publisher Titan Books on February 27, 2015
Genre Fantasy
Pages 386
Format Paperback
Source Purchased

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black. Kell was raised in Arnes - Red London - and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand. After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cutpurse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure. Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive.
Kell travels between the still existing Londons. Red London, White London, and Grey London. During one of his travels, he is asked to take something to another person in his hometown of Red London. And with that, the trouble begins. Because it is forbidden and shouldn´t be possible for any other person but the Antari to exchange things from one London to the next.

I don´t know why I had that so damn long on my TBR. But one thing I do know: this story is marvelous. Written with a unique style I´ve never seen before and using words in a way that makes this entire book one piece of art. There isn´t only magic in the story itself but also in the way how the author describes things, how she brings the setting and scenes to the reader, and lets us be a part of her very own fantastic world.

I´ve noticed very often that I had a dim feeling in my chest that grew into a much more restricting one, especially when I was reading some dangerous scenes Kell got himself in while trying to help others. I don´t know how many times I was telling myself to start breathing again but wasn´t able to put the book down to make it easier to get my breath back.

It is incredible how many figures were playing together in this story and that without confusing the reader. Each of them with a purpose and created with utmost sensitivity and diligence.

Alone how Holland, another Antari, is acting towards Kell. Both are from the same kind, but different in every way imaginable. One belongs, the other is bound by the magic of the worst kind. And while one does everything to kill the other, one of them is determined to right what went wrong to not only protect his people but also the place he calls home.

V. E. Schwab, you´ve got yourself a new fan. This novel was fantastic. Breathtaking and absolute entertainment. Not in a light way, but in the best way a reader could ask for. Great characters and a well thought through plot round things up. A book I couldn´t put down. Highly recommended.

Happy reading

Victoria Schwab
Victoria Schwab ©Jenna Maurice

Victoria (V.E.) Schwab is the author of the »World Walker« trilogy and the New York Times bestseller series »Vicious & Vengeful«. Born in 1987 she is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Schwab has a penchant for tea and BBC shows and a serious and well-documented case of insatiable wanderlust. When she's not wandering the streets of Paris or climbing any hill in England, she's sitting in the back of a café, spinning on her stories.


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