A Darker Shade of Magic

, #1

Hardcover, 400 pages

English language

Published Sept. 10, 2015 by Tor.

ISBN:
978-0-7653-7645-9
Copied ISBN!
OCLC Number:
902986970

View on OpenLibrary

4 stars (109 reviews)

STEP INTO A UNIVERSE OF DARING ADVENTURE, THRILLING POWER, AND MULTIPLE LONDONS.

Kell is one of the last travelers--magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magic city.

There's Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad king--George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered--and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London--a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, ambassador of the Maresh Empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. …

5 editions

Review of 'A Darker Shade of Magic' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

A Darker Shade of Magic is an enthralling tale set in a world of parallel Londons, each with its own unique magic system. Schwab's vivid world-building and well-developed characters keep readers engaged throughout the story making it hard to put the book down. The only downside is that the pacing can be uneven at times, but overall with this being the first book in the series I’m excited for what’s to come.

reviewed A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (Shades of Magic, #1)

Review of 'A Darker Shade of Magic' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

A breezy, fun adventure with some nice urban fantasy-ish world building on the side. It didn't ever grab me like other fantasy series can, and I felt the supporting cast didn't get as much development as I'd have liked, but it was an overall good time, the magic was fun and I found myself reading more than I intended as the chapter lengths were short and I could easily read one or two more than I'd originally planned before bed.

reviewed A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (Shades of Magic, #1)

Review of 'A Darker Shade of Magic' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

I’m very glad to have finished this book because I was very bored. There wasn’t strong characterization, so I didn’t care about the protagonists. The villains were cartoonishly evil. The magic “system” was full of arbitrary rules that were just there to create obstacles for the protagonists. I thought Holland actually had the most potential to be a complex character, but that doesn’t get explored (at least not in this book).

Review of 'A Darker Shade of Magic' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Well that was fun! I dont have a lot else to say about it though. I don't think I've ever used this phrase before but I think Im going to call this a "popcorn book". I had a lot of fun, I liked the characters, and the fantasy elements were really great, but there's not a lot to think about or linger on. So it's the book equivalent of a big blockbuster movie. Lots of spectacle, not much substance. There were a few moments where characters talked about the use of violence that almost added something, but everything gets wrapped up before that gets very far. I hear there are some interesting things in the other books of the series so I do plan to read on, but for now I'm walking away feeling entertained, and not much else.

reviewed A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (Shades of Magic, #1)

Review of 'A Darker Shade of Magic' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Intriguing premise where worldbuilding is concerned. The characters are likeable, though kind of trope-y. The book's weakest element is its over-the-top, shallow and unrelatable villains.
I listened to the German audiobook (and read some parts of the original in between). If you're looking for an audiobook that's not too demanding and easy to follow, this one works.

Review of 'A Darker Shade of Magic' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Even I didn't know at first I got hooked with the main characters and the possibilities the world(s) the author created, is an fast and easy read (even though it took me a while). I can easily recommend this to anyone how likes fantasy novels, but I'm gonna wait until I read the entire saga, the next book is already on its way.

reviewed A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (Shades of Magic, #1)

Review of 'A Darker Shade of Magic' on 'Goodreads'

No rating

I think what made this book work for me were the relationships between characters.
The first thing I remember hearing about this book was the setting, which was nice, but what made those adventures not empty was the way characters treated each other and were in turn treated by others.
The magic is on the soft-ish side in this one, but it doesn't quite feel like anything could happen, it does have some rules.
I really enjoyed it.

reviewed A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (Shades of Magic, #1)

Review of 'A Darker Shade of Magic' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

I loved how the story is finished in itself but there is a lot of subtle potential for further stories. I often have issues with reading a trilogy whose first book is clearly a stand-alone story and then suddenly the author decided to add some more books because the first issue sold so well. I don't get that feeling here.
I also liked how the story avoided the usual fantasy-tropes like "we're accidentally on a quest together so we have no choice but to fall in love" or "I totally unexpectedly found out that I have high-potential magical powers to save the day, although everyone thought I'm just human" (although I still half expect that to happen further on).

Review of 'A Darker Shade of Magic' on 'Goodreads'

2 stars

Victoria Schwab writes Adult and YA stories and while the pseudonym of "V.E. Schwab" is for adult novels I feel like A Darker Shade of Magic was a little more YA than Adult.

I liked the types of magic introduced and how the story wasn't bogged down with history of each London/worlds. The multiple cities connected together was a great concept and offered a wonderful opportunity to explore additional worlds. Schwab kept the focus small and discuss the London's and some of the properties of the world they resided in.

To me this story was a solid it was okay. I suppose I prefer my books with a bit more grit
or characters with roughness around the edges. Near the end of the book I started to wonder what else I would read and checking out of a series like that is a sign I should give up the …

reviewed A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (Shades of Magic, #1)

Review of 'A Darker Shade of Magic' on 'Goodreads'

3 stars

Actually 3.5* b/c it took me two attempts to finish this one. The exposition in the beginning is just a tad too long and this is what kept me from finishing the first time. After the first third of the book the plot finally gets going ...

I really liked the premise of the different Londons and traveling between them. The world does have a lot of promise with the different cities, one with no magic, one with a lot and one with magic dying out ... and of course the one that was eaten by magic. But of all the people living in these cities only two can travel between them.

I did not like the magic system especially the way it is portrayed in Red London. It‘s all magic words and hand-wavium.



I liked the characters, Lila, Kell and even Holland. I think Lila - who wants to …

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