Author: V.E. Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic #1
Publication: February 24th 2015 by Tor Books
Source: Bought from Fullybooked
Kell is one of the last travelers--magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city.
There's Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King--George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered--and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London--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, ambassador of the Maresh empire, 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. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, 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.
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Why? Why did this book have to dra-a-aaag? I understand, I do, why it had to be slow. To build up the world, the magic, the backdrop.. But it would have been absolutely perfect if it didn't dra-a-aaag. Man, I just got no time. (Obviously *my* issue, not the book's LOL)
Also, the last few parts just got so predictable and easy? I was expecting a bit more struggle but I felt like the fight scenes were staged. It said in the beginning that the antagonists weren't easily defeated but what happened at the end? Don't tell me the protags got lucky? No, no no noooooo. I didn't shell out huge money for this book just to be let down.
But I did shell out huge amount of money for a book that I believe is astoundingly expensive but worth it. (Just borrow it from the library before buying just in case or go for the paperback) ADSOM popped my Schwab v-card and I can say I am impressed. The parallel worlds blew me away, the characters were all given justice and the story was amazing (some parts felt LOTR-ish and HP-ish). I enjoyed walking the different Londons with Kell, meeting Lila the badass (my absolute fave female character after Celaena), Rhy et all and unwrapping mysteries of ADSOM.
Trusting authors to be your ally in this life is a huge mistake because they prey on you. They bait you. And you easily fall for them and made you want to be their bffs then once you start falling for their characters, they brutally kill them off. I had a bunch of what-the-fuck moments in this book, not only because the characters I was rooting for didn't survive. There's also an elimination pattern. It can be easily spotted. It was impressive in the beginning how you would vie yourself that the character would stay alive but then it starts to feel flat by end because they were all the same.
I wish there were more magic spells as opposed to the very limited AS *word*. It wasn't convincing enough for me but they have this very alluring sound when the Kell casts them. (Obviously *my* issue again, not the book's LOL) And my favorites are As Travars and As Hasari.
This review may sound negative which is the tone I am trying to avoid so I'm sorry, I could find the right words. I rated this book 4 stars because a) cover b) there are so many possibilities in this vast world c) IT IS REALLY AMAZING d) Parrish and Barron e) Lila. She's one of the best female lead characters I've ever come acrossed. She's her own hero, independent, achiever, wanderlust, tough, DAMN BOYISH SHE DIDN'T NEED A GOWN TO BE PRETTY FUCK THEM ALL, she's so goddamn witty and ASPIRING PIRATE?! YES TO ALL. Lila is a dream-come-true character and I've been searching for her my whole life. How to be you, Lila?
A Darker Shade of Magic is one hell of an expensive book. It may have fallen short in some aspects but compensated so much more in others! This book is not hard to love at all!
"Hesitation is the death of advantage."
"You have a house if not a home," she spat. "You have people who care for you if not about you. You may not have everything you want, but I'd wager you have everything you could ever need, and you have the audacity to claim it all forfeit because it is not love."
"Love doesn't keep us from freezing to death, Kell," she continued, "or starving, or being knifed for the coins in our pocket. Love doesn't buy us anything, so be glad for what you have and who you have because you may want for things but you need nothing."
"Battles may be fought from the outside in, but wars are won from the inside out."