Review: A Darker Shade of Magic (#1) by V.E. Schwab

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Goodreads | Waterstones

Most people only know one London; but what if there were several? Kell is one of the last Travelers – magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel Londons. There’s Grey London, dirty and crowded and without magic, home to the mad king George III. There’s Red London, where life and magic are revered. Then, White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. But once upon a time, there was Black London…

Apparently I’m on a morally grey character kick at the moment, but I’m so glad I finally picked up this book. I actually tried to read this one a couple of years ago, but I got around 60 pages in and realised it wasn’t quite the right time for me to pick it up. I’m so glad I waited, as I definitely enjoyed it more now I’m reading more fantasy as I understood it a lot easier!

There’s definitely something so unique about Schwab’s stories and I loved the concept of having multiple London’s that each had their own features. I read this one with Alex and I read the sections so quickly each day. I read a mixture of physical reading and listening to the audiobook, which was a mixed experience. The audiobook was good, but the narrator didn’t quite fit for Lila’s parts and I did prefer reading it physically.

I’d rather die on an adventure

The plot was super quick to get through and full of action and adventure which I loved. I can already tell this series is going to be a quick and entertaining one to read as we go on! I really like the characters as even though they’re very morally grey, I like the portrayal of their vulnerabilities and they seemed very real to me.

I like how the romance didn’t take centre stage in the story and didn’t feel very lovey-dovey, but I did miss a sense of tension that might have come with the closeness of the characters. I feel like one of the only things missing out of this book was the stakes sometimes feeling lower because of it.

than live standing still.

I’m super excited to see where this series is going to go and I’m so happy to be reading something else by V.E. Schwab!

4 out of 5 stars


May your shelves forever overflow with books! ☽

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6 thoughts on “Review: A Darker Shade of Magic (#1) by V.E. Schwab

  1. Great review, Beth! I’ve been curious about Schwab for a while now but still have yet to read any of them. This appears to be a ‘you’ll either love it or hate it’ author so.. it should be interesting.
    Thanks for sharing and happy reading!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wonderful review. I’m glad you enjoyed this! I’ve tried to get into it but I just can’t. I think I want to try it again soon. I’m not sure if it’s the writing style or because I was in a huge reading slump when I tried reading it the first time. I’m hoping I’m in a better mindset for it when I attempt again 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: January Wrap-Up – The Books are Everywhere

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