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A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab
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A Darker Shade of Magic (2017)

by V. E. Schwab

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Shades of Magic (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
2,6631663,339 (3.98)144
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» See also 144 mentions

English (160)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (162)
Showing 1-5 of 160 (next | show all)
Great characters and a well paced well told story. I enjoyed all 3 books in the series. ( )
  muwaffaq | Mar 20, 2019 |
A few interesting notions, yet another young girl urban bandit, this one burdened with fanciful notations of being a pirate king that would make her too stupid to live if there was any sense to the novel at all. Since there isn't, and not more than a few crumbs of a good story, it makes no difference. The closer to the end I got, the harder it became to read further. ( )
  quondame | Feb 23, 2019 |
A fun fantasy where four Londons exist in parallel, some magical, some not. Once, centuries before, travellers could pass through the doors from one London to another. Then, one of the cities was consumed by the magic it tried to control, and the doors were shut to prevent the contagion spreading. Now only the Antari can travel between the cities, and the Antari are a dying breed. When Kell, one of the last Antari, accidentally carries something that he shouldn’t between one London and the next he becomes involved with Lilla, a girl from our own London of the early 1800’s, and the two must risk everything to put right Kell’s mistake.

This was a fun read, but there were aspects of it which irritated me immensely. If an author is going to set major parts of her story in early nineteenth century London, then surely the language should at least try and reflect that, or at the very least sound British. And the London of our world seemed just as much a fantasy as all the others - just didn’t seem a real place at all. This detracted quite a lot from my enjoyment of the book. I will read the remaining books in the series, but I don’t think it’s one I’ll return to again and again as I do with my favourite fantasy series. ( )
  SandDune | Feb 8, 2019 |
I found this book to be focused upon a protagonist I could not feel sympathy for in a very dystopian world-crossing story. Each world was more depressing than the last. ( )
  Velmeran | Jan 26, 2019 |
TOR books gives away a free book from their back catalog every month. I like being on their list because I can catch up on writers I don't know. V.E. Schwab is one of those writers.

It took me a couple of chapters to get into "A Darker Shade of Magic" but once I got oriented to the Red, Grey, White, Black multiverse London, Ms Schwab's excellent storytelling kicked in.

The book was published in 2015 is followed by two following books with others rumored to be in the works. You can find the plotline on your own.

What struck me more than anything else about the writing is that Kell and Delilah are equals, gendered but equal. There interaction is glorious without being aggressive. There is no "Look at me I am a free agent woman", or "Look at me, I am a good man." No, they are two people who have adventures and face dangers together without making a fuss over gender or sexuality. It's way cool.

If you are reading this review you are interested in this book. I think that it will be worth the investment of your time and money.

I received a review copy of "A Darker Shade of Magic" by V. E. Schwab (TOR) directly from the publisher. ( )
  Dokfintong | Jan 25, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 160 (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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Canonical title
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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)

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