ABOUTTitle: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab
Series: A Darker Shade of Magic #1
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: February 24th 2015
Get it Here: Indigo Amazon B&N BookDepository
Source: Chapter sampler via NetGalley
From V.E. Schwab, the critically acclaimed author of Vicious, comes a new universe of daring adventure, thrilling power, and parallel Londons, beginning with A Darker Shade of Magic.
Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands.
There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—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, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, 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—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, who first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a 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—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.
I received a chapter sampler through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This fact in no shape or form affects my review. Except for the existence of the review itself. I received no compensation for this review in any way. This is my honest opinion of the work.
I would like to take this chance to say that V.E. Schwab is one of my favourite humans ever. She's hilarious and super cool. She also is strangely similar to one of my close friends. So there's that.
A Darker Shade of Magic is one of my most anticipated novels for 2015. This sampler certainly did not disappoint. It simply left me THIRSTING for more, because the sampler ends on a cliff hanger. *silently screams into the void*
In this sampler, we are introduced to Kell, who is from Red London. He has the special power of being able to travel between the worlds because he is an Antari. He works for the royal family of Red London and he also introduced us to the magic system in ADSOM, because as an Antari, he is able to use blood as one of his magical elements, aside from the usual fire, water, earth and air. Kell also has the coolest coat EVER. He just flips the coat a certain direction and ~* tadah *~ he has a new coat.
We are also introduced to Lila, a female thief who lives in Grey London (the magic-less world). She steals from the rich and has a dream of becoming a pirate and sailing the seas. She also cross dresses as a man to help with her thievery. And finally, we are also introduced the other Antari, Holland, who works for the ruthless twin rulers of White London.
I really really enjoyed the world building in this sampler. It's done in a way where it's not an info dump and rather it's a gradual unraveling of the multiple Londons and the magic system as Kell travels between worlds and as we learn of his past. I really love all the characters already. V.E. Schwab has this talent of creating really interesting and complex characters. So much so that even when the characters are supposed to be bad, there's something about them that you can't help but love.
There's always something magical with Schwab's writing style and it's no different in ADSOM. Her writing style really makes her novels a pleasure to read and some of the dialogue (especially with Rhys, the Jack Harkness & Prince Harry hybrid) is witty and laugh-out-loud worthy. There's some really beautiful lines that I'd love to share from the sampler:
"Blood was magic made manifest. There it thrived. And there it poisoned."
"The bodies in my floor all trusted someone. Now I walk on them to tea."
I seriously can't wait for this book to release. I NEED MORE. Y'all need to read this okay? Okay.