Book review: A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade Of Magic by V.E. Schwab


Paraphrased from Goodreads

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black. Kell was raised in Red London and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand. After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure. Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.


4/5 stars

I really enjoyed this book and I think it’s wonderful! I loved everything about it and am really looking forward to the rest of the series!

I loved the characters in this book. Kell and Lila are great main characters. I liked how they were both kind of mysterious and brooding, but didn’t take themselves too seriously and were fun to read. I love Lila’s sarcasm and wit; she had some of the best lines in this book and genuinely made me laugh. I also like Rhy, and I wished we got to see more of him (but I feel like we will in the next two books). I thought the side characters were also great.

I also really enjoyed how there was very little (basically no) romance between Kell and Lila (like I really, really appreciated it). I really enjoyed their dynamic as friends and hope it stays that way throughout the series. I’m holding out for a ployamorous relationship between Kell, Rhy, and Lila, but idk if that’ll happen so ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

I really enjoyed the plot too. I felt like it was exactly what I was expecting, but I still thoroughly enjoyed it. None of the twists were surprising, per se, but I still didn’t see them coming and was happy with them.

I really liked how this book set up the next two books too. One of my biggest issues with YA series is when they are unnecessarily made into series. But I thought Schwab did a great job of wrapping up the plot in this book but still setting up the next ones. There are some unanswered questions, but no cliffhangers, which I like.

Overall, I really enjoyed and highly recommend this book! I thought it was great and am really looking forward to finishing the trilogy!


Thanks for reading! Let me know if you’ve read this series!

19 thoughts on “Book review: A Darker Shade of Magic

  1. Great review Ally! Glad you enjoyed your read! I love reading this book as well 🙂 Isn’t it rare to have a book with two main characters that can have fun without any romance? I do love that about this book too. I love their humor.

    Liked by 1 person

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