Original Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Year Published: 2015
Published by: Titan Books
Number of Pages: 400
First Sentence: “Kell wore a very peculiar coat.“
Goodreads Rating: 5/5
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.
I absolutely LOVED this book. I didn’t think I would love it as much as I did, but holy hell it is just so good! Brilliant from the first to the last chapter. I loved everything about it, from the characters all the way to the writing. Such a great read.
Kell, a “prince” of Red London, is also a traveler, one of the few who can travel between the different Londons. He feels slightly out of place in the world, considering the fact that he is both adopted and one of a kind (well, two of a kind). Lila, a thief in Grey London literally stumbles into Kell and then steals an artefact from him. Lila is badass and a great character. Throughout the book we get hints that she isn’t all that she seems, not even to her own eye, and towards the final chapters it is easy to figure out where Schwab is going with all those hints. It only adds to the amazingness. We also get to meet several minor characters that are also absolutely amazing and really spice the plot up.
The world of this book is just absolutely fantastic. We have 4 different Londons, all very special in their own way. Grey London has hardly any magic left, Red London thrives on its magic, White London is draining its magic and Black London is no more because of magic. I loved the different Londons and how they were described. I also loved how “The Pub” existed in all of them at the same location, like a connection between all 4 Londons.
The writing is superb and it was easy to follow along and keeping track of all information that was given throughout the book. It was overall very entertaining and I absolutely loved it. It was an amazing adventure and I can’t wait for the sequel!
Do I recommend it?
HELL YEAH! GO READ IT RIGHT NOW IF YOU HAVE IT AND IF YOU DON’T THE GO BUY!