A Darker Shade of Magic – A Book Review

Bad magic, Kell had called it.
No, thought Lila now. Clever magic.
And clever was more dangerous than bad any day of the week.”
Victoria Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic


Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

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.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then 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.



Title: A Darker Shade of Magic

Author: V.E. Schwab

Avg. Goodreads Rating: 4.06/5 stars

My Rating: 4.5/5 stars



There were so many different things that I loved about this book. The characters, the world, the plot, Schwab knows how to write a great, gripping book. To begin with the characters, Kell and Lila were two of my favorite main characters that I have read in a long time. I love that Lila was a snarky, badass female lead and Kell was such a mellow, calculating male lead. The two of them were such perfect opposites of each other and I enjoyed reading each of their chapters. There was never a point when I was sick of one point of view and was ready for the next, I was curious about both of them the whole book.

The world building that Schwab does in this book was absolutely phenomenal. I was so intrigued by the idea of different Londons and what they each included. I’m a pretty simple reader… I really like easy descriptions and Kell’s description of the layers of different Londons was so on-point and easy to understand. I was so intrigued throughout the book any time there was a glimpse into each of these Londons.

The plot of this book was so refreshing for me. Fantasy is one of my favorite genres and Schwab does fantasy justice. White London and all that came with it was so interesting as a villain. The twins, Athos and Astrid and their Antari, Holland were such interesting villains (and not villains in Holland’s case). It felt like there were so many layers to Holland and his relationship with the only other person who is like him.

Jenn’s review was of this book was so beautiful and makes my review nothing in compare to mine, check out her post here!

Have you read the Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab? What did you think of it?


4 thoughts on “A Darker Shade of Magic – A Book Review

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