Thursday, February 12, 2015

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab


A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
A Darker Shade of Magic
(Shades of Magic #1)
by V.E. Schwab
February 24, 2015
400 pages


Goodreads Summary:
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.




Review
 
Wow this book! I was so incredibly lucky and fortunate to have received an egalley of this book. Even now I still can't believe I read it. I read A Darker Shade of Magic! *cue my own flailings* I have one word for it, MAGICAL!

Victoria Schwab's writing is beautiful. Flawless. Every word, every sentence, every paragraph, every chapter was hypnotic. There was no escaping, not that I would want to anyways. If there was a chance to jump inside those pages, I would not hesitate. The world-building was spectacular. Each London was distinct and so appropriately named. Schwab took care to introduce each London to us. Grey London has an ominous vibe, Red London feels grand, White London gives us the shivers and Black London sounds dreadful. Yet, I loved every moment we got to spend in each place. Magnificent I say! Usually I'm not a big fan of multiple POVs. They get messy and confusing but none of that happened with this book. Every person's voice was clear and concise and we do come to realize why their POV was present. This book had no shortage of deaths. The intense battles between the multiple sides had me expecting casualties but I was still surprised by a few. Quite the thrilling ride~

Kell is our Traveler who possesses the rare ability to walk between the worlds. Even though it's not unique to him, as far as we know, he's one of the last two alive. Hence he's important. Native to Red London, Kell grew up with the crown prince inside the palace. Normally that would make anyone giddy however for Kell, he feels something missing. Despite being loved, he feels like a claimed prize. His life is burdened as the messenger between the leaders of the universes so, as a measure of comfort, he smuggles relics between the worlds. Naturally that's strictly forbidden and he gets into big trouble when a transaction out of his ordinary routine happens. As he tries to correct his mistake, he meets
a clever thief by the name of Delilah Bard. She's super sassy. Being from Grey London, Lila hasn't seen much excitement in her whole life. Which is why when she literally bumps into Kell, with trouble trailing behind him, she jumps at the chance to experience more. "I'd rather die on an adventure than live standing still." (p.199). Her snarky sarcasm was super entertaining and she's definitely got the right attitude to succeed in her adventures ;)

My absolute favourite thing about A Darker Shade of Magic was seeing Kell and Lila work together. I wouldn't exactly call them friends but they had the ultimate partnership. Obviously they bickered in numerous ways and clashed on countless occasions but they had each other's back. Surprising since one's royalty and one's a thief and that combination doesn't exactly shout out friendship. Even if they don't admit it to each other, they made a pretty awesome pair. There's really no romance in this book but the hint at one was more than enough to sustain the romantic in me. Hopefully something develops in the sequel. Please, Ms. Schwab? :D

The villains were downright creepy. The evil Dane twins took pleasure in pain and torture. I couldn't help but cringe at some of the things they did. You had to be quite bloodthirsty and possibly pure evil to concoct and carry out such a sinister agenda. Ironic that both Astrid and Athos were destroyed by the very things they sought to wield and control. I do have sympathy for the duo though. White London's state didn't exactly scream mental stability. In a place where it's basically survival of the fittest, you had to exhibit cruelty to be in control. They just seem to enjoy it a wee bit too much. Their poor victims :S

I want to ramble a bit about something highly spoilery so this part will be hidden under cut :P OMG could Lila really be an Antari too? What would that mean for her and Kell? Since Kell doubted Lila could pass through the portal without the black stone, does he now suspect something seeing as she made it? I need to see how they'll meet again ahhh.

This first book wrapped up very nicely and clean. Fans of Victoria Schwab will surely not be disappointed and all booklovers should give A Darker Shade of Magic a go!! It's seriously brilliant! And have I mentioned it's MAGICAL? ;)

5 Cats
*I received an eARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinion are my own and not affected in any way. Quote was taken from the eARC I received.

16 comments:

  1. Well darn it, I haven't heard of this yet but now I can see that I must read it!
    Wonderful review. Your excitement for this is contagious!

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    1. YAY~ I'm so glad to hear that! I hope you'll love it as much as I do ;) *sends more excitement*

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  2. I've never read anything by Victoria Schwab, but I've heard so many good things about this book. Your review makes me want to read it that much more. I'm glad you liked it, hopefully I'll enjoy it too!

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    1. I'm really happy to hear you say that!!! I love Victoria Schwab's writing! You should definitely give her books a try~~ Do let me know what you think after :D

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  3. An extra kitty?! That's definitely saying a lot about how much you loved this one. You're so lucky!

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    1. I love it so much I wish Ripple could read it lol! You should try requesting too. You write beautiful reviews :D I was really surprised when I received the eARC. I'm so thankful for it~~

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  4. OH DEAR!! THE EXTRA RIPPLE IS THERE FOR THIS ONE!! I'm so so happy to hear that! I read the sampler and loved it and I'm so happy you loved it too!!
    Great review Eileen!!

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    1. Thank you Pili~ YOU MUST READ IT!! I'm just hopping with excitement to talk to someone about it lol!

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  5. I don't think I have seen one rating or review less than five stars anywhere for this book! I am still trying to win one, but I will definitely buy the ebook if I don't..No going to the library for this one because even though it is a new to me author, I think I am safe buying yhis one. Thanks for the review. :)

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    1. Good luck~!!!!! I hope you win because this one is a definite keeper!! Thank you for reading my review :DD

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  6. I'm so glad you enjoyed this!! I came home yesterday to find a package from Tor with this book inside!! I was so excited and seeing how much you loved it makes me even more excited :) Lovely review <33

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    1. What an awesome surprise! I'm excited that you're excited yay!!!!!

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  7. DUDE I LOVED THIS ONE SO MUCH!! It was my first Schwab read, so I'll be looking out for more of her books. I'm so glad you loved this book as well, Eileen! I don't think I've met anyone who hasn't :D

    Excellent review!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

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    1. Thank you Alyssa :D You must read her The Archived series!! I'm praying so hard for a third book!!!

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  8. Wow, I am so glad I pre ordered this! I haven't read anything by Victoria Schwab yet, but clearly I need to fix that situation! I love that Ripple needs to read it too, that is a very good endorsement :) Lovely review, I cannot wait to read this book!!

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    1. Hehe Ripple definitely approves :D I can't wait to hear what you think. Hope you'll love it as much as I do~!!!!

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