A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic review

*All of my reviews are spoiler free*

This was a REread for me!

I first read this book at the very beginning of 2015 (I think) and loved it the first time round, and since the second book is being released later this month, I decided it was about time I Reread this beauty. So now when my Pre-order of A Gathering of Shadows arrives, I’m all set to jump right in!

PS. I spent WAY too much time taking the review photo (below). I had the idea with the hand and black stone, and wouldn’t give up on it. So the results are as you can see. And yes, the black stone thing is actually relevant to the story – people who have read it should understand ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

A Darker Shade of Magic

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic

Author: V.E. Schwab (otherwise known as Victoria Schwab)

Publisher: Titan Books

Series Status: The 1st book in a series

Number of Pages: 384

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars!


(Copied from back cover – Click here to see Goodreads Page & different synopsis)

Kell is one of the last travellers – magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city. There’s Grey London, without magic and ruled by the mad King George III. Red London – where magic is revered, and where Kell was raised alongside the heir to the empire. White London – where people fight to control the remaining magic and magic fights back. And once there was Black London…

Officially Kell is the Red traveller, carrying letters between the monarchs of each London. Unofficially he is a smuggler, a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences. His escape to Grey London leads to a run in with Delilah, a cut purse with lofty aspirations, who forces Kell to take her on a proper adventure. But perilous magic is afoot, and an adventure becomes a mission to save all of the worlds.


As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve already read this book and loved it. Well, it seemed even better the second time round!

I do have a soft spot for this story. I’ve been waiting for the second book for over a year and it seems like a lifetime…but it’s finally nearly here. And let me tell you I made a great decision about REreading this book.

The first thing I have to mention is the world. In this book Victoria Schwab has not just created one world – but four parallel universes all connected by one city: London. Each of the four London’s are VERY different, and despite them all being called London, the story never becomes confusing. Victoria has this way with words, where she manages to change the entire atmosphere of the story depending which setting you’re in. So the entire thought process behind the world is easy to follow, being cleverly woven together to create a convincing history.

I found the idea of magic being really interesting. In most books, magic is a power someone has, where they manipulate it to do as they will. But in this book, magic is a living thing. It exists, and how it effects the people depends which London you’re in. I just found this idea really unique; I at least haven’t read anything like it before.

The story itself is addictive. With so many twists and turns, it’s so hard to put the book down. Especially once Kell’s and Lila’s paths meet – oh boy did I love it!

Speaking of Kell and Lila…I’m pretty sure everyone loves them. As the main characters of the book, they’re both so full of life and personality, it’s incredible. Both have strengths and weaknesses, making them realistic and also lovable. But I’ve got to say my favourite character by far is Lila. She’s so adventurous and honest – which might sound strange considering the synopsis says she’s a cut purse – but I mean honest with her words. She always says what needs to be said, and doesn’t hide behind sugar-coated words. And with that I really relate to her. I mentioned on twitter that there was one quote that really stuck in my mind, and this was one of the times when Lila just said things as it is…

“You have a house if not a home,” she spat. “You have people that 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.”

For some reason that quote just stuck with me and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. I know it’ll stay with me for a while, that one.

ย And to sum up just how much I love Kell and Lila, I even made aesthetics for them – which became quite popular on twitter once Victoria retweeted them!

Anyway, I’m pretty sure I’ve raved about this book enough now. Well, that’s not true because I’ll never rave about this book enough. I’m pretty sure that when I get my hands on A Gathering of Shadows, it’s going to end up on my favourites shelf, because if the story gets any better, there’s no other rating higher.

Please, if you haven’t already, go and read this book!

Rated 4.5/5 stars!

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Order from Amazon!

Let me know what you think!

Have you read this book? Who’s your favourite character? Have you preordered A Gathering of Shadows?

Or if you haven’t read it yet, are you planning to? (I highly recommend you do!)



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