“A Darker Shade of Magic”, by V.E. Schwab

So.. I’m a terrible blogger. But I’m trying to change that, I swear. I mean, writing words down is better than keeping them bottled up inside, right? That’s one of my many faults, but we’ll leave that topic to another time.

Today I couldn’t help myself and decided I just had to write this review. I recently read, “A Darker Shade of Magic” by V.E. Schwab, and to be quite honest, the book cover caught my attention more than anything. I love how it looks!

FullSizeRenderAt the time I bought it, I could only afford the ebook for my ipod, considering I’ve lost the charger for my kobo.. I usually don’t buy digital books unless they’ve been reduced, there’s a student offer (which I can sadly no longer claim, as a graduate!) or if I have a handy Amazon voucher, which I love.

But I was in a desperate mood to read something fantastical with adventure, and maybe some magic. When you’re travelling constantly in this miserable English weather, I feel like normal things that make you happy no longer do. I just really wanted something that would lift my spirit up a bit.

Having said all that, and moving on to an actual review now, I bought the ebook. Read it. Loved it.

It might help if you knew what it was about, so here’s the blurb as posted on waterstones;

Most people only know one London; but what if there were several? Kell is one of the last Travelers – magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel Londons. There’s Grey London, dirty and crowded and without magic, home to the mad king George III. There’s Red London, where life and magic are revered. Then, White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. But once upon a time, there was Black London…

In all honesty, that didn’t sell me immediately. I was mildly interested, by the magic aspect, but the pick pocket? How would that ever be interesting?

It turned out, that it was a good idea to take a chance on this book. I find that blurbs are honestly hit and miss for me. This book being a case in point. It wouldn’t have captured my interest on the regular, but because I was bored and desperate for a decent read, I just went for it. Plus, the cover is ridiculously stunning.

I’m glad I bought the ebook. The story is very intriguing, adventurous and heart racing. I loved every character. Even the antagonists, (I gotta say, evil and cruel Queens are so far in between, why not have more female monsters?!) the royalty of different London’s, the desperate characters which you honestly cringe at usually with how much an author makes their desperation and neediness evident, but this was different. Schwab didn’t make me cringe with the background characters, her writing was so rich, it blew me away.

Kell, our protagonist, was a delight. He was so human and real, never have I fallen in love with a character so mysterious and wholesome. Holland, I pitied and admired for his strength, whom I didn’t despise once, not until he did something very bad which upset me greatly. Lila, who I ended up loving so fiercely, I desperately want to know her story – I felt this ended too abruptly here, I needed more to tide me over. We hardly got enough of Lila’s character, but then again, this could also be a reader’s greed.

I loved the world building, the atmosphere created was wonderful, the varying world’s were so vast and different, I was afraid and excited all at once. I do believe however, whilst the characters and world were created excellently, the story seemed to rise steadily, then ascend with a climax, only to reach a conclusion shortly thereafter. Which is all well, but there are many things still unresolved.

Who are Kell’s parents? Where did he come from? Who is he?

It seemed like there was a main plot with only a few hints at a sub plot, which we didn’t even get the grasp off. That’s why it felt so neat and tidy, nicely resolved and packaged away. It was great to read, I loved the world created, and everything about it. I just wish there was something more, I felt like I had one of those bite sized brownies that leave you wanting more and not entirely sating your much needed sugar and chocolate fix. There wasn’t much going on about it, there seemed to be a single goal in mind, that was achieved and all was well.

There were no layers within the story, which isn’t always bad, it just makes the book a light read. I certainly finished it in a day’s worth,  I was enraptured; it was such a quick and easy read. It’s homely.

Hopefully the author creates a sequel of sorts!

I definitely recommend the book, I rate it a 7.5/10. I am going to buy the physical copy, actually, because hey, it’s beautiful and I feel like I might want to pick it up again, sometime.


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