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

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic

Author: V.E. Schwab

Series: Shades of Magic #1

Age: Adult

Genres: Fantasy

Publication Date: February 24th 2015

Publisher: Titan Books

Source: eBook

Purchase: Hardcover | Paperback | Kindle | Audible | B&N | Kobo | Play Store | iBooks 

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 cut-purse 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.

My Rating: 

Quote(s) I Like:
"Thieves were fools to stay in slums. The poor kept up their guards. The rich strutted around assuming they'd be safe, so long as they stayed in the good parts of town." - Lila Bard

"The thing about people is that they didn't really want to know. They thought they did, but knowing only made them miserable. Why fill up a mind with things you can't use? Why dwell on places you can't go?" - Kell

"A life worth having is a life worth taking." - Lila

"He might have been several pints along, but greed was a sobering thing." - Booth

My Thoughts:
Wow...this was my first ever V.E Schwab read and man was it good! I truly loved everything about this book. It was fantastic, action packed, magic throwing, cute snippets of a romance and the charters were all funny in their own ways.

The story centers around Kell who is one of two last Antari. Antari are people who have the rare ability to travel between the four Londons and can use blood magic. He is from Red London and is known as the black eyed prince since he raised by the royal family. Kell is a complex man. Very intimidating, but at the same time he has a sweet heart underneath that hardcore exterior. Kell is very snarky and I enjoyed it so much.

Lila Bard is a thief from Grey London. All she desires is to be a pirate and leave her Grey world. Lila is a girl that sees life different from others. She knows how to play the world and how not to get played. I loved her boldness and how she went after and took what she wanted. The way she interacted with Kell gave me so much life!

The romance was pretty much non-existent which I did enjoy, but the few hints thrown in about it were so darn cute! I loved everything about Kell and Lila together. I hope they grow in their relationship down the line in the other books.

Holland, like Kell, is an Antari, but he belongs to White London. I felt so sad for him. The things he had to endure at the hands of the Dane twins was insane. I can't believe how much pain he had to go through. However, he was ruthless as all hell. I'm not sure if it was the control done by Athos or just how he really was. I enjoyed him nonetheless.

The Dane twins -- Astrid and Athos -- of White London were some twisted and ruthless people. They pissed me off! They were both sadists through and through. I can't believe all the things they did to their own people, let alone tried to do with the other Londons. Their demise made me happy!!

The world building was phenomenal. I loved seeing the four different Londons: Red, Grey, White and Black. They were all so different and drew me in different ways. I am highly interested in seeing more of Black London as the book focused more so on Red, Grey and White London. Excited to dive into the sequel and find out what's next for the Kell and Lila.

Have you read this book?