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A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic (2017)

by V. E. Schwab

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Shades of Magic (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
3,5061832,512 (3.95)180
"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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» See also 180 mentions

English (181)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (183)
Showing 1-5 of 181 (next | show all)
I didn't find this story to break much new ground. I did like the premise of multiple London's, each with their individual characteristics. But the characters and events fell short as the plot progressed. Bad guys with overwhelming power chasing good guys, catching them on a few occasions and nearly killing them. Yet, the good guys keep finding a way to win through despite the obstacles in their path. Really, the plot is pretty much by-the-numbers. The only thing the author did was fill in the details. That was done in a competent enough manner but, after all is said & done, this falls squarely into the 'Forgettable' category for me. I won't be continuing the series. ( )
  ScoLgo | May 25, 2020 |
------------- READING PROGRESS -----------------

upon opening the first page

Okay, I'm really excited for this book! I've been procrastinating on this one for 3 years
so I proudly announce that finally picking it up *hands in the air* yaay !


Oooh interesting world, built around 1800 and devide in four by coulor, well three active ones for the time being.

Red London - Grey London - White London - Black London

clearly there's a lot of world building and information to absorb about this world, really liking it so far..


I smell trouble here "Possessed"

& Ha! Famiiilyy Dramaa *sing song voice*

"Worse he suspected that the king and queen themselves had sanctioned it."

-------------13.5 %-------------

Helloo there Lila Bard Quote:"If a thing is worth having, it was worth taking." - SIDE NOTE : I get excited when a character has a name that resemble mine - and she seems like a really bada** girl and I love it

a few pages ahead Quote:"why do you want to die?" "I don't" she'd say "I just want to live" interesting way of thinking, wanting to live in a constant sate of danger, adrenaline and risk every second of the day- hmmmm...

-------------50 %-------------

stopped reading it, for the moment, not because I didn't enjoy it. it just that I am not in the right mindset to read...

  Leila.Khouane | May 24, 2020 |
I finally finished it! Yay!
The only way I can describe this book is Narnia meets Venom 😂
I hope I can finish the series by the end of the month ( )
  Alevis | May 17, 2020 |
Schwab has written an historical fantasy that is indeed dark. The story is relentlessly paced with some chilling scenes and quite evil characters. The main protagonist, Kell, is engaging and the eventual sidekick, Lila a mischievous, strong-willed girl who perseveres in the most daunting escapades.

The storyline was a bit of a trope for its evil rulers and the antagonistic Holland, a counterpart to Kell. At this moment in time, such a tale didn't agree with my reading preferences. While the plot ran the gamut of "chase and be caught, grievously wounded, and prevail" it was not enjoyable and did not provide a narrative in which to lose oneself. Further to distancing the reader, were the rather flat portrayals of the prince (Rhy) and his parents. My curiosity as to where Kell came from plus wanting to know what happened to Lila (not that I was much rewarded for my patience) were the main reasons I even finished the book. However, for those who love the gothic-horror vibes and 'magic gone rotten', you'll not be disappointed. ( )
  SandyAMcPherson | May 3, 2020 |
I love Rhy. He needs to be more in this book, as he is awesome. I need the next book ASAP ( )
  Linde1 | Apr 30, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 181 (next | show all)

» Add other authors (5 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Schwab, V. E.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Crossley, StevenNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hiddleston, TomNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Staehle, WillCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weinberg, MiriamEditorsecondary 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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Wikipedia in English (1)

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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.

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Average: (3.95)
1 8
1.5 2
2 39
2.5 7
3 148
3.5 73
4 391
4.5 41
5 230

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