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A Darker Shade of Magic: A Novel (Shades of…

A Darker Shade of Magic: A Novel (Shades of Magic) (edition 2016)

by V. E. Schwab (Author)

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Title:A Darker Shade of Magic: A Novel (Shades of Magic)
Authors:V. E. Schwab (Author)
Info:Tor Books (2016), Edition: Reprint, 416 pages
Collections:Currently reading

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A Darker Shade of Magic: A Novel by V. E. Schwab (Author)


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Showing 1-5 of 88 (next | show all)
this book is pretty much flawless. it takes some time for things to start happening, but once they do, you just don't want to put the book down. and let me just say, reading this book feels like watching a tv show. it is so well written and i'm so glad that schwab took the time to really develop the world because it just makes the entire thing so much better, it helps you thoroughly understand the magic system and how this world came to be as we see it in the book.
the different londons were all so well-developed, each of them was a different world on its own?? i could clearly imagine how each of them looked. i don't know how schwab came up with this, or how she was able to put in into words so well, but i'm so glad she did.
i was also surprised by how much the book's atmosphere changes as the story progresses? i noticed this in vicious too and it's so nice, it's just very different from anything i've ever read i love it.
and then of course there are the characters. i fell in love with kell instantly, he is just so sweet and nice and i kind of found myself connecting with thoughts and actions which is actually quite rare for me??
and there's rhy, whose name i still don't know how to pronounce, but i pretty much fell in love with him the first time he was mentioned, and it's like you can really see and feel how close the two of them are. i especially love how schwab doesn't just tell us that kell cares a lot about rhy, but she also shows us through his actions, how he would really do anything to save rhy, and that is just mindblowing. i haven't read many authors that do this.
i have mixed feelings about lila. sure, she's a nice character, she's different, i love the way she's written, but i don't love her as a person. and that one kiss towards the end was just really unnecessary.
on a side note, i kind of very much ship kell and rhy together :)
i can't wait to re-read this book it is so fascinating and creative and original and i love v. e. schwab a lot a lot a lot i can't wait to read the sequel.
and apparently there might be a tv show made out of this sometime in the future? I AM VERY EXCITED. ( )
  Banoczi_Henrietta | Jun 19, 2017 |
"Magic bent the world. Pulled it into shape. There were fixed points. Most of the time those points were places. But sometimes, rarely, they were people."

A Darker Shade of Magic was a slow start for me, but Schwab's talent for world building and crafting characters was, as always, masterful and astonishing. Kell and Lila are the perfect pair: proud and stubborn, independent to a fault, but ultimately an indomitable and charismatic team. Kell, raised as royalty in enchanted Red London but never truly a member of the royal family, grapples with his identity as one of only two remaining magically gifted Antari. Lila, scoundrel and wanted thief, has long been an orphan surviving in the streets of unremarkable Grey London, but dreams of a life of freedom and adventure. This unlikely duo inhabits parallel Londons, but their paths cross unexpectedly when Kell finds himself being ruthlessly hunted for a dangerous and seductive artifact. His encounter with Lila and possession of a piece of the mythical ruined Black London triggers a chain reaction that threatens to lead to the corruption of not only multiple worlds, but of all of humanity. A tale of intoxicating parallel worlds, magnificent magic, and the oft irresistible pull of power. ( )
  GennaC | May 9, 2017 |
I liked this. I suspect reading the next one will increase my rating of this one. ( )
  adamwolf | Apr 26, 2017 |
Early on I was expecting this to be a five-star book for me. The initial setup of the novel, where the brilliantly original setting is introduced, where Kell's past and daily life is dolled out in small bits and pieces, was excellent. Beyond excellent, even. Schwab's prose is punchy, economical, and vivid throughout. I fell hard for her words and her setting, but then the actual plot kicks in, and a lot of the magic fades. Ironic for a book that spends so much time talking about magic. Not that it's a terrible plot and I never really stopped enjoying the book, but it was just a bit simplistic, familiar, and predictable to wow me, and a book that doesn't wow me isn't a five-star book. I was ready for something more complex, and certainly ready for something more original to go with the wildly original setting, and I didn't get it. I've heard people who don't read fantasy much deride it as being nothing but macguffin stories, which isn't really true, but with books like this getting popular you can see how someone might get that impression. The trope is certainly common enough to give someone the wrong idea.

One thing I really liked is that Kell and Lilah don't really have any romantic tension. They're just friends on an adventure together. How refreshing! But other than that, our two main characters don't really go anywhere. They don't have much of an arc and, while enjoyable to read, they are fairly underdeveloped if you examine them too closely. Lilah more than Kell, since we at least get a couple of deeper glimpses into Kell's past as the novel progresses. His complicated relationship with the royal family, the things he's done in his youth to protect his step-brother, prince Rhy, etc. Unfortunately they always made me wish I was reading a whole book about that instead. Something more personal, slower paced, with much lower stakes, with more personality and cultural and political flavor to really immerse you in this world and these characters. A magical macguffin/world in peril story is fine for a bit of fun, but I can't help but feel like Schwab wasted her setting on a fairly trite plot that wasn't worthy of it.

Overall a very enjoyable book that didn't quite live up to its potential on the plot and character front, but also a great incentive to get my hands on all of Schwab's other books in the hopes that one of them really knocks it out of the park. Many of the ingredients for a truly top-tier, world-class fantasy novelist are on show here and she's firmly on my radar now. ( )
2 vote ForeverMasterless | Apr 23, 2017 |
Trying to summarize this one is a bit tricky. There's magicians, a thief, four cities that exist in different worlds but are all named London, a plot to alter the very nature of magic, and one truly fabulous coat. Suffice it to say if you like fantasy and any of those elements intrigue you, you should definitely pick up the novel. This is one of those cases where I like the book so much it's hard for me to talk coherently about it. I adored the book from the first page, fell in love with the characters and the worlds, and seriously, I desperately want Kell's coat. ( )
1 vote MickyFine | Apr 21, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Schwab, V. E.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crossley, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Staehle, WillCover artist and designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
For the ones who dream of stranger worlds
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Kell wore a very peculiar coat.
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Book description
Haiku summary
Kell and Lila lead
a roller-coaster ride through
three different Londons.

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)

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