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A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
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A Darker Shade of Magic (2015)

by V. E. Schwab

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Shades of Magic (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,2871403,974 (3.99)124
  1. 10
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    majkia: Not entirely sure why this book reminded me of Uprooted, perhaps because neither is really YA IMO
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  3. 01
    Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (LongDogMom)
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» See also 124 mentions

English (138)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (140)
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)
Fast and clever and fun; not too dense but not fluff either. Heavy on the elemental magic and pride as weakness. Great heroine and hero/heroine interactions. Well developed characters/relationships. Very enjoyable and looking forward to the next. ( )
  ThatOneLibrarian | Aug 18, 2018 |
As a blood magician, Kell is one of two people in any world who can travel between the worlds - magic-less Gray London, Kell's own Red London, power-hungry White London, and unspeakable Black London. As such, he is tasked with carrying letters between the rulers of the different Londons, but he also has a side gig - smuggling small trinkets across the borders to sell as souvenirs. Until one day he is tricked into smuggling a dangerous artifact right into the grasp of White London's tyrannical twin rulers, and the fate of all the Londons is in peril. Meanwhile, a young scoundrel named Lila runs into Kell and gets caught up in his predicament.

I really liked this book - the world building was well-thought out and every character from Kell to the bar owner was compelling.
I see lots of praise given to the major female character, Lila, but as you can see from my description I did not actually find her to be very important to the plot. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the character, and nothing wrong with the book for having Kell as the lead and not her, I just wanted to mention that. I did like her character and enjoyed the chapters from her point of view. I am hoping she has more relevance to the story in future books, which I expect she will because she's clearly got something going on with that fake eye.
A very enjoyable book and I do plan to read more. ( )
  norabelle414 | Jul 31, 2018 |
From the beginning, Kell's life traveling between alternate worlds captured my imagination. Pretty quickly there is a mystery to figure out and a quest to go on and an unlikely partner shows up in the form of Lila. Kell thinks he has all the answers and furthermore, feels sorry for himself because he isn't truly a member of the royal family that he serves. But he efforts to protect the other Londons from the danger of Black London draws him out of his narrow view of his life and shows him just how many ties he has. ( )
  tjsjohanna | Jul 13, 2018 |
I cannot find a flaw in this book. It was simply perfect. Lila, Rhy, and Kell were wonderful to read about. I want more of them in my life. The magic, the worlds, the villainy, everything was so perfect. And so many deaths! I have so many questions left unanswered. I just hope the next book is as good as this one. ( )
  AdrianaGarcia | Jul 10, 2018 |
Wow.

That's really all I can say about this book. It's simply extraordinary. I knew it was supposed to be good but I did not expect it to be this good!

This story is most definitely worth five stars. It is so unique and completely inventive that readers can't help but feel mind-blown. I also think the divisions of the book helped it run more smoothly. I don't know how necessarily but they made it easier to read.

The only real problem I had with the book was one of the main characters. It sounds really weird, but I loved Lila as much as I hated her. While I found her strength and curiosity wonderful, I also was shocked and annoyed by her intrusive nature and blatant rudeness. She can be so funny and so brave at times, but she can also be so rude and insensitive. I found myself rolling my eyes at her, but I somehow still loved her???? I have no idea. She's annoyingly likable. I didn't know people could even do that.

I found the other lead, Kell, quite endearing. He had his moments where I wanted to shake him out of the book for acting so rashly, but his unwavering love and loyalty to his brother made me root for him even when he was acting stupid. My favorite character (and probably aspect of the book besides the coat) was Rhy because not only was he funny but it was absolutely clear that he loves his brother as much as his brother loves him.

Overall, a tremendous book! 5/5 stars!!!

( )
  spellbindingstories | May 24, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 138 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Schwab, V. E.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crossley, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Staehle, WillCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weinberg, MiriamEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
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People/Characters
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Awards and honors
Epigraph
Such is the quandary when it comes to magic, that it is not an issue of strength but of balance. For too little power, and we become weak. Too much, and we become something else entirely. ---- Tieren Serense. head priest of London Sanctuary
Dedication
For the ones who dream of stranger worlds
First words
Kell wore a very peculiar coat.
Quotations
Last words
Disambiguation notice
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Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
"Red London is rife with magic. Grey London has none at all. White London may soon destroy itself in its attempts to steal the powers of its rivals. (And Black London? Well, that city no longer exists except as a cautionary tale to magic abusers.) Traveling between these very different dimensions is Kell, ambassador for Red London's royal family. However, unbeknownst to his employers, he's also a smuggler, transporting forbidden artifacts from one world to the next. When his illicit activities land him in serious trouble, Kell must depend on street thief Delilah Bard if he wants to survive and save his home world from destruction." - NoveList Plus description by Gillian Speace
Haiku summary
Kell and Lila lead
a roller-coaster ride through
three different Londons.
(passion4reading)

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765376458, Hardcover)

From V.E. Schwab, the critically acclaimed author of Vicious, comes a new universe of daring adventure, thrilling power, and parallel Londons, beginning with A Darker Shade of Magic.

Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, 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 the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a 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—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:37 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

"From V.E. Schwab, the critically acclaimed author of Vicious, comes a new universe of daring adventure, thrilling power, and parallel Londons, beginning with A Darker Shade of Magic. Kell is one of the last Travelers--magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes--as such, he can choose where he lands. There's Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there's Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne--a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, 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 the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see--a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a 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--and that is proving trickier than they hoped."--… (more)

» see all 9 descriptions

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