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A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab {4 Stars}

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab weaves a fantastical tale of four worlds that intersect over London, one of which has been consumed by magic, one that is starving for magic, one that is in its prime, and one like our own where magic is make believe. The series A Darker Shade of Magic promises to be of truly epic and imaginative proportions and I can’t freaking wait! Loved Mistborn? Read A Darker Shade of Magic!

Note: I received an advanced copy of A Darker Shade of Magic from the publisher.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab {4 Stars}

A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic #1)
Published by Tor Books on Feb. 24th, 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Page Length: 400 pages
How I got my copy: Publisher
Amazon - IndieBound - Book Depository - Goodreads
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Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London - but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby 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 another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — trickier than they hoped.

4 Stars


  • The magic of A Darker Shade of Magic is really the best part for me since I really love magic systems and the worlds they influence ;-). So there are four worlds that all happen to have London in them but are otherwise quite separate. We have a thief and one of the last people who can move between worlds. We have magic that seems beautiful and horrifying all at once. If I haven’t convinced you by now, it just won’t happen.
  • Who doesn’t love some anti-heroes that are on the wrong side of the law but the right side of morality? :D Kell and Lila are a fun pair with just enough knowledge to get them into quite a bit of trouble, hehe.
  • A Darker Shade of magic is pretty much pure plot so you won’t get bored! I easily read it in just a weekend.
  • Often fantasy seems to have a lot of bad breaks for the main characters, so it was refreshing to see kindness in the various non-major characters that showed up along the way. It was a nice sprinkle of positivity and just made me feel happy while reading.
  • Stories just aren’t as fun without really darn creepy villains. I love to fear and shiver when the villain is around and A Darker Shade of Magic does not disappoint with some really creepy twins and spooky magic!
  • It is SO NICE for there to be a male and female main character that don’t fall in love (yet) :D.
  • A Darker Shade of Magic introduced a very intriguing world and teased us with just enough to make me need to know more. There is very fertile ground for some great sequels!


  • In the end, I never connected with Kell and Lila to the degree I wanted. They don’t feel like friends to me, just strangers I met once.
  • There is very little time that isn’t spent focused on the plot driving forward and therefore I ended up feeling that the characters and magic weren’t as developed as I wanted.
  • Perhaps since I never deeply connected with Kell and Lila, I never feared for their life. I was pretty confident things would work out and even if they got a bit hurt, I didn’t much care.


A Darker Shade of Magic is perfect for fans of Sanderson’s Mistborn that need another unique world with spunky main characters to save the world! I think A Darker Shade of Magic is going to be one of the next great fantasy series that we are all dying for the next book in, but you better wait behind me in line at the bookstore for your own safety ;-).

Anya from On Starships and Dragonwings

Have you read this one? What did you think? Are you excited for it if you haven’t gotten to it yet?
– Anya


 A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

© 2015, Anya. All rights reserved.


  1. Ahh I read this in one sitting, which is surprising for me. ADSOM definitely reminded me of Sanderson (yay for Mistborn) and I really loved it. I think I connected with Kell because of my obsession with traveling through dimensions, but Lila was unexpected. I didn’t know she was going to be in the book into I got to that part.

    I’m glad you loved it, and awesome review Anya!
    Valerie recently posted…Nessie Reviews ☆ Museum of Intangible ThingsMy Profile

  2. I can’t tell you just how much I want to read this book. I’ve had my eye on it for ages, and it’s pretty high up on the list of books that I need to buy ASAP!

  3. Everyone is LOVING this. I am going to have to put it on my Library list. It is borderline what I would normally like but I am getting a bit more comfortable with fantasy than I used to be.
    Felicia The Geeky Blogger recently posted…Library Review: Wild Cat by Jennifer AshleyMy Profile


  1. […] even that excellent first book. There will definitely be spoilers for book one below, so check out my review of it instead if you haven’t read it (and go get a copy ASAP). For the rest of you, what can I say […]

  2. […] publication: February 23rd 2016 by Tor) I’m sure most of you already know about the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic, but in case you hadn’t, yey! I’m not sure how I feel about this cover with (I assume) […]

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