Book Reviews

Fierce Female Reads February – A Darker Shade of Magic Book Review

Book Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab
Genre: Fantasy
Target Audience: Young Adult
Publication Date: Feb 2015

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Love doesn’t keep us from freezing to death

Why I chose this?

I have chosen this as my book review for Fierce Female Reads February. I have chosen this because I feel anyone who is able to travel through parallel universes is strong in my book.

But if the main character is a man why have you chosen it for fierce female reads? It’s because of the author. I have heard a lot about this V.E Schwab and people are happy in the way she writes, I have also heard things about Lila and how badass she is.

In addition, I don’t understand people who won’t by a book written by a woman. Why should female authors go under their initials for these people? It is ludicrous.

What it’s about

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)

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, travelling 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.

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)
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First Impressions

I have got to admit I love the cover. it well and truly sticks out amongst the others on my bookshelf. My other books on it are either white black or purple, then you look at the front and it just looks amazing and you can see the different parallel Londons.

I also like the description of Kell and I’m looking forward to reading about him.

What I Thought

Well, I for one am completely jealous of Schwab and her imagination.

From the blurb, I thought I would really like this book but once I had a few chapters under my belt I started to feel a little sceptical. I knew there would have to be some build up and character revels but this was a little longer than I anticipated.

Kell wasn’t exactly the person I expected him to be, Kelly seemed extremely out of his depth for being the protagonist which for me seemed a bold choice and surprising. Schwab made it work for him, Kell isn’t opposed to using a dark force for his own selfish gains nor does he show guilt. He’s proud and it’s not something anyone can take away from him.

Lila, on the other hand, was probably one of the most black and white characters I have come across this year, she knows what she wants and will stop at nothing to get it, even if it means doing something completely stupid. The way I see her is that she sees something in herself that she knows she can’t tap into until she meets Kell that is.

What I like about her is that no matter what was thrown at her she still managed to be herself throughout. She is definitely what I would consider being a fierce female, she is an orphan but instead of letting that being her defining feature she claims herself and makes herself an armour out of humour and quick-wittedness (is that even a word?). She won’t take crap from anyone and she has this air of bravery that we don’t see as much in Kell which is unusual to me. She is also the one that Schwab chose to have the best and well-known quotes in my opinion and I do think that Kell would not succeed in his let’s call it a mission without her.

The idea of this book is certainly original as far as I’m concerned and I loved the idea of the parallel universes that only certain people can cross and needed tokens from there. I loved that the only thing these places truly had in common was the basic outlines of the streets and the position of the Thames (or whatever the other London’s call it) and I probably won’t be able to see the start of Eastenders in the same way (not that I watch it but it’s not something you can really escape from.

I think Schwab is a really likeable author and has an imagination like no other and I would certainly consider reading her other works. Including her YA books penned under Victoria Schwab. I still find it ridiculous that a woman has to use her initials when writing a book so that it would appeal to a wider audience like JK Rowling and would like to see this stopped.

Star Rating

What did you think of A Darker Shade of Magic? Let me know in the comments

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3 thoughts on “Fierce Female Reads February – A Darker Shade of Magic Book Review

  1. It always makes me so happy to see that someone else has enjoyed ADSoM! It really is something special, and Schwab does AMAZING things with her words. Leaves me super jealous too. ❤

    Btw, it’s actually not YA! It has A TON of crossover appeal, but V has actually talked a fair bit about it not being YA before. I think she even talked about it on Twitter within the last few days if you want to poke around her profile.

    1. Crap. I knew that part about YA but forgot to change it. Thank you for pointing that out to me.

      It is definitely something special and I will be reading more of her work

      1. No problem!

        I highly recommend the Villains series if you want an adult comic book feel without the actual comics, the Monsters of Verity duology if you want super dark YA with a genius concept, and The Archived if you want slightly less dark YA! All are brilliant bc that’s what she does, but they’re very different, so it’s a matter of taste which one to choose next.

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