My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I’d rather die on an adventure, than live standing still.
V.E. Schwab is a master at her craft – A Darker Shade of Magic is nothing less than a masterpiece. We follow Kell who is our main protagonist through different parallels of London: Grey, White, Red and the dead ‘black’.
Grey London is much like our own, with hardly any magic and a normal realistic setting. Black was overcome with the power of magic, leeching from its nearest neighbour White London, and Red is the fruit of them all. Magic thrums through the city, humming between people and through everything. Red London is where we are predominantly set. We follow Kell, one of two of the only Antari left in all of the worlds. Antari have the ability to communicate through blood and to walk into other ‘worlds’ or, as we see, other Londons with rare and powerful tokens. When one of his travels goes slightly wrong Kell is left with one of the most powerful tokens known, but it doesn’t belong in his London. With the help of Lila they must try to take it to a place where the stone can not be a danger to anyone. But as with all adventures, they are never as simple or as safe as they seem.
Kell was a fantastic character with his many coats, and his love for smuggling between the Londons. He had wit, he had emotion and he really cared about Rye- and I couldn’t deal with how much love he had for him at one point, my heart ached. UHGFGJHGJFDGHFDKGH
Lila was also a fun character to read, a fierce heroine yes, and one who I admired A LOT. She wasn’t your conventional heroine either, and one of my favourite moments of her was when she had the choice of dresses for the masquerade, and went straight to the fitted men’s jackets! – THIS IS HOW IT SHOULD BE. Sweet baby Rye was beautiful and sweet, and ugh so charming. He can definitely flirt with a rug and still progress.
Plot wise, oh god it was tragic, and painful. Death lurked around every corner, but Schwab’s descriptions were on point. It reminded me of pain far more realistically than other books I had read, so wounds or deaths felt more prominent and hard-hitting. Excellently executed- ehgh 😉
I was so pleased with how much I enjoyed this book, again another adult fantasy for the table- which didn’t hold back! I am straight onto Amazon now, ordering the second, because I need it in my life.
And from the cliffhanger left with Lila- I definitely want to see where she sets sail to.
Remember, hesitation is the death of advantage….