Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V. E. Schwab
Publication Date: 2015
Publishing House: Macmillian Publishers
A Darker Shade of Magic is the first book in the Shades of Magic trilogy. You can breathe a sigh of relief because all three books in the series have been published already. I loved this book the moment I started reading it and finished half in one sitting.
There are parallel Londons: Red, White, Gray, and once upon a time: Black. Only those known as the Antari can move between the worlds. Kell is one of the Antari, he works as an ambassador for the Red London but he has a habit. He smuggles items between the Londons, a treasonous act. When a smuggling goes wrong Kell runs to Gray London, the London with little magic remaining, and is robed by Delilah Bard. Bard is a thief looking for her adventure. Together these two run from London to London trying to avoid friend and foe alike to destroy the thing that can destroy their Londons and all the others.
This is a fast paced book that gets your heart pounding as the heroes fight to stay alive. Schwab creates intriguing worlds each with their own beauty, even if it is deadly. Each London has its own perception of magic: those that don’t believe, the London where magic lives in harmony, one where magic is meant to be ruled, and the London where the magic rules.
Kell tends to invite trouble and that fault makes him fascinating. He likes danger, even if he knows he is acting unwisely, but only when it means potential trouble for himself. When the danger is direct towards those that he cares for and loves then the stakes are changed and he has to decide what he is willing to do to protect them.
Lila has always done what is best for herself. Robbing those that do not guard their pockets closely enough. Killing to protect her life. She wants to survive and find her odyssey. You will have to see if her selfish nature shifts and if she finds something worth of being called an adventure.
A Darker Shade of Magic is a book worth reading, worlds worth loving with characters that are relatable for all their power and differences. Book two, A Gathering of Shadows is definitely on my to read list.