A Darker Shade of Magic | V.E Schwab | Review

“Magic was a living thing – that, everyone knew but to Kell it felt like more, like a friend, like family. It was, after all, a part of him (much more than it was a part of most) and he couldn’t help feeling like it knew what he was saying, what he was feeling, not only when he summoned, but always, in every heartbeat and every breath”





Welcome to London, or London’s. Four London’s in fact. Red, Grey, White and previously Black. Kell is one of the only surviving Antari giving him the advantage of complex magic whilst also being able to travel into whichever London he desires. In essence Kell fills his days as a smuggler, moving through the different London’s sneaking objects that belong to the other. That soon backfires and Kell finds himself in possession of an artefact that appears to be more trouble than its worth. Meet Lila, a wanted thief from Grey London, an unexpected encounter leads her to join Kell on its adventure. Can they return the troublesome artefact before it destroys all that they know?


THIS BOOK GUYS. This book was truly fantastic. I absolutely loved the world building in this, the magic system is brilliant and I absolutely love the character building. My experience reading this book was phenomenal. I am really struggling to put my thoughts into this review because I just loved it so much.

My thoughts on the characters are as follows: Kell is a babe. Lila is a queen. Astrid and Athos make me angry and are practically Cersei and Jaime Lannister. And Holland .. Oh Holland .. WTF Holland.

Honestly, I don’t think I’ve felt such raw emotion for characters since I read Harry Potter for the first time many years ago. I love the contrasting personalities between Kell and Lila, the banter and the relationship was just perfect. My opinion of Holland literally changed so quickly, Schwab snuck that one upon me and I did not expect it at all.

I have said it before and I will say it again, I absolutely love Schwab’s writing style. I am yet to find a book of hers that does not immediately draw me in and leave me wanting more. Again, I finished this book in less that 24 hours as I did not want to put it down and when I did put it down I could not wait to pick it back up again. This book was so fast paced and it had so many twists and turns I just constantly had the need to know what happened next. This continued throughout, and even at the end I needed more and I cannot wait to pick up the second book in the series.

I really liked the time and effort that was put into the world building for this book. I find that a lot of fantasy authors throw as much information at you as possible in the first few chapters and I really struggle to get to grips with the world and magic system until the middle. However Schwab spoon fed all the different key elements of world building and the magic system so that by the middle of the book I had a strong understanding that I could carry through with me for the rest.

Honestly, I could go on about this book forever but I’m going to leave it here mainly because its eating into my time to read the next book. Pick this book up, every single one of you reading this. I am sure you will not regret it.

As Travars


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