Publication: February 24, 2015, by Tor Books
Genre: Adult Fiction, Fantasy, Time Traveling
Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.
Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.
Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her 'proper adventure'.
But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.
Magic is shady. Magic is crazy. And I'm pretty sure that you and I both agree that we don't want to associate ourselves with any kind of magic whatsoever. V.E. Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic was unpredictable, filled with a fun plot that will get your insides excited and time traveling... something we see a different look at usually in fantasy novels. It's a great book if you would enjoy a flair of fantasy from an adult book's perspective with an easier blast of info at one's face, and I find that everyone would adore it somehow.
I expected to hate this book a thousand more than I ever imagined. I read Schwab's book in the past, The Near Witch, and DNFed it without ever looking back... paranormal romance with witches was never my thing. And then when this came around and the crowds seriously went wild, I decided to get my fantasy flair excited and actually go for this. Thankfully, I wasn't too disappointed. Schwab delivers a heart-racing story—it really is heart racing and I still can't get it out of my head. She formed remarkable characters, a nice twist on romance and THE BEST ROMANCE EVER. I cannot be more excited than I am at the moment.
"And Antari could speak to blood. To life. To magic itself. The first and final element, the one that lived in all and was of none. He could feel the magic stir against his palm, the brick wall warming and cooling at the same time with it, and Kell hesitated, waiting to see if it would answer without being asked." (34)Kell and Lila had chemistry. Schwab hadn't produced some weird, random romance that didn't make sense—it fit perfectly with the nice world making and plot overall, and I just couldn't get enough of the Kell/Lila talk. Their kisses didn't make me squirm, instead they made me cheer and giggle, and I fell in love with their story. The plot formed well with everything else and I just was head over heels for it all. Remember that this is also a very quick read, the time you'll spend reading it will go by in a jiffy. *snaps quickly*
This is a great book, once again. There are a few flaws, like disappointment in the ending and all of that unnecessary stuff... but the most important thing is that it was a great story overall. I recommend it sincerely to lovers of Sarah J. Maas's writing, as well as to those who are looking for a new look at romance in a different culture, where everything is "London-ized." It's great to see how life changes and how it's completely different for a person in the future.
I really, really enjoyed this book. There's not much I could say about it other than that it could be for you, or that it could not exactly be for you. Kell and Lila will be your ultimate ship ever, and you will just fall in love with the whole story and everything it provides. Being the type of read to read beside a windowsill on a winter day, or at the beach, Schwab will just take you on the adventure with the characters and make YOU part of the story. Fall in love, devour, whatever you call it.