A fun read! I give it 3.5 stars.
I was very intrigued by V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic. Most interesting to me was the setting and premise which was refreshing and new. That alone was enough to keep me turning the pages. Some interesting and mysterious characters added to the fun. Set in a London of parallel universes, there are four different worlds or “Londons”. Gray (aka boring) London closely resembles the world as we know it. There is very little magic and in fact most people have forgotten that it once existed. Red London is rich with magic (and by far my favorite London). White London is sick with magic and Black London has already fallen to black magic. Very few people are able to travel between the worlds…actually only two. I won’t say who. 🙂
The main characters are Kell of Red London and Lyla of Gray London. Kell is strong with magic and has a mysterious background. Lyla longs for adventure and quickly finds it when she is thrown together with Kell. After Kell is tricked into traveling with a
forbidden black magic relic, they must together find a way to stop the coming darkness. I found some faults in Kell’s character (he was slightly naive and boring) but Lyla however was strong willed and determined and I was drawn to her for it.
I appreciated the style of V.E. Schwab’s writing. She added characters and sometimes their perspectives in a seemingly random order. She might introduce a supporting character then not talk about them again for several chapters when their true purpose is finally revealed. It was like a puzzle slowly being pieced together. She left me with just enough unfinished business and mystery to encourage me to add the next book to my reading list.
I recommend this book if you love magic and fascinating world-building.
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