The story follows a guy named Kell who is a rare traveler-magician with the ability to jump between parallel Londons in different universes connected by one magical city.
V.E Schwab creates four different Londons: Gray London, Red London, White London, and Black London; each one very different from the others.
Gray London is our London, a London without magic. Red London is Kell’s London, a London flowing with magic. White London, a London that is dying and losing its magic. Black London, a London who was destroyed many centuries back.
Kell is a red traveler and he carries messages back and forth from the different London royals.
On the side Kell is smuggling things back and forth between different Londons, for people who are curious and want to see a glimpse of another London that they will never be able to travel to. During one of these travels Kell finds himself in a bit of trouble when he finds out the thing he is smuggling is dangerous.
He runs into Lila Bard who is a thief and a cross-dressing pirate. After she robs him and then saves him, they joined forces on an epic adventure between Londons.
It is kind of a complex story because multiple story lines are occurring at once, there is Kell and Lila’s adventure, the mystery of Black London, as well as the villain’s plot to bring chaos to all three realms of London.
V.E Schwab does a fantastic job when it comes to writing. As you pick up different details about each London throughout the story you’re able to visualize what they might look like.
My favorite london is Red London. Where life and magic are revered-and where Kell was raised alongside Rhys Maresh, the flirtatious heir to the flourishing magical empire.
Schwab is able to let you, as the reader, fall into the story and truly feel like you yourself are the one in this journey with Kell and Lila as she builds a brand new world that we once used to be familiar with. Through a third person narration and keen eye to detail in her descriptions, Schwab makes it seem that you are part of the team. You are using blood magic and holding on to Kell’s jacket as you pass through the portal to a different London. You are cross-dressing along side Lila in order to rescue Kell.
The pacing of the story at the beginning may seem a bit slow, but it’s worth it to keep on reading and keeping pushing on. You have to allow Schwab take the time be able to
build up this world and suck you in.
build up this world and suck you in.
It was about the 50-page mark when you’ll be hooked and you will not be able to detach your eyes from the black time new roman words that are imprinted on the white pages.
The plot was dark and mysterious, a lot darker than I expected it to be. There is action, violence, blood, gore and guts, murders and abuse in a world that is suppose to be happy and magical. You will feel utter fear run through your veins in certain moments of the story as you pray for the safety of the characters while they fight to survive.
Schwab was able to roll the plot in such a striking away that all the plot twists will blow your mind!
My heart was beating so fast it felt like it was exploding through my chest, because of the intensity of the story. There were two moments where I had to close the book and take a couple of deep breaths. I was so engrossed in the adventure that when my favorite character got severely injured I had to stop and calm down. I told myself, “He is going to be okay…Schwab won’t kill him…oh my god what if she does?! Please be okay, please be okay!”
With 4.3 stars on Goodreads, A Darker Shade of Magic is a book you must run to the library and find immediately so you can follow the thrilling journey with Kell and Lila.
“The world sits in balance,” said Kell, “humanity in one hand, magic in the other. The two exist in every living thing, and in a perfect world, they maintain a kind of harmony, neither exceeding the other. But most worlds are not perfect.”