book review

Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

This is one of those books that has been on my TBR list forever. In fact my partner bought me the whole series for Christmas 2019 and I’ve only just now picked it up.

So how to summarise this book. Kell is one of only two people that can pass between worlds. He hails from Red London where magic is abundant, and he is little worse than a Prince. But Kell has a secret that only his adoptive brother knows – he smuggles things between the three London’s. At an inn that sits in the same place in Grey London, Red London, and White London Kell makes his trades. But one trade in the dangerous White London had him smuggling something different, something from the forbidden, long sealed off Black London. The ensuing chase leads Kell to cross paths with the adventure seeking thief Lila but much more than just their lives are held in the balance as a sinister plot is revealed…

This was such a good book. Kell is such an interesting protagonist and I really enjoyed getting to know him though I feel like this book only scratched the surface. I found the three different London’s easy to keep track of and I loved how, even with so little time spent in each, they were still built up into a very vivid picture.

Lila was my absolute favourite character. I love ruthless, morally grey characters and, while she certainly has a heroic streak, Lila definitely fits the bill. Her and Kell together have such good banter.

The plot to this book was really interesting and it certainly didn’t unfold the way I thought it would. The multi-perspectives give a good picture beyond what just Kell and Lila are experiencing, and it really upped the tension.

This always happens when I have a book that I enjoyed – I can never think of what to actually write in the review. I gave this book a 4.5* rating and that was only because the start was perhaps a little slow. It was really good to build up a picture of Kell and Lila independently before they met but I would have preferred more time spent with them together because that was the part that I really loved.

I’m highly anticipating reading A Gathering of Shadows, I definitely think this series has 5* potential for me and I’m so glad it lived up to the hype.

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