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A Darker Shade of Magic: 1 by V. E. Schwab
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A Darker Shade of Magic: 1 (original 2017; edition 2015)

by V. E. Schwab (Author)

Series: Shades of Magic (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4,7022531,819 (3.95)203
"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)
Member:KimberleyFisher
Title:A Darker Shade of Magic: 1
Authors:V. E. Schwab (Author)
Info:Titan Books (2015), 400 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
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Work Information

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

  1. 32
    Howl's Moving Castle by Diana Wynne Jones (LongDogMom)
  2. 10
    Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo (foggidawn)
  3. 11
    Uprooted by Naomi Novik (majkia)
    majkia: Not entirely sure why this book reminded me of Uprooted, perhaps because neither is really YA IMO
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» See also 203 mentions

English (251)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (253)
Showing 1-5 of 251 (next | show all)
I really enjoyed this book.

Kell and Lila are facinating characters with flaws and issues. I like that there isn't any romance in this book. Maybe there will be some in the future (they did have a very nice chemestry), but this story really focuses on Kell and Lila getting to know each other and working together. Which made their relationship seem more realistic and I enjoyed their back and forth bantering quite a lot.

The world with the different Londons are compelling and there is a lot of travelling between them. They really feel like they belong too three (or four) completely different worlds. When it comes to the rest of the world we learn very little and I didn't mind that, there is more than enough world building happening trying to distinguish the parallell worlds.

The plot was also interesting with dark magic and evil sorcerers that want more power. This first book feels a bit like an ending, so if you try it out and don't know if you want to continue, then it's probably ok to stop here. ( )
  fantasyaddict | Nov 28, 2021 |
This is the third time I have read this book and I still absolutely love everything about it! The characters, the world, and the magic are spell binding and gripping. I love coming back to this series. Now, onto book 2 once more. ( )
  klcarmack | Nov 12, 2021 |
Brilliant. Absolutely Brilliant! I loved the characters, plot, setting, magic, writing style, everything. I can't wait to see what happens next. ( )
  Kat_books | Nov 9, 2021 |
I really hate adding books to my DNF shelf, but I had to bail on this one at 20%. Just too slow.
  KrakenTamer | Oct 23, 2021 |
In Kell's world there are four parallel Londons, each in its own dimension and each with very different characteristics. Magic, and the city's relationship with it, is the most discriminating factor between them. And Kell is one of a very rare set of people who can travel between the Londons of those four worlds. He's an Antari - magic runs in his very veins - and he belongs to the royal family of Red London, acting as their magician/ambassador between the other three cities. He has, though, a bit of an illegal side hustle, trading magical tokens between worlds. This gets him into some trouble and entangled with a spunky young thief from Grey London.

I had heard so many good things about this series and some folks have even told me that it is very much up my specific kind of street, but I just couldn't ever get into it, try as I might. Kell certainly had the potential to be a fantastic character, but somehow remained flat on the page for the whole book. The world building is inventive and, again, could be really interesting, but overall this one just didn't work for me. ( )
  electrascaife | Oct 21, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 251 (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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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.
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Wikipedia in English (1)

"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. "--

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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.
(passion4reading)

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