Thursday, 12 April 2018

A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E Schwab

''Do you trust anything?' he countered, rubbing his wrist. 'Or anyone, for that matter?'
The queen considered him, her pale lips curling at the edges. 'The bodies in my floor all trusted someone. Now I walk on them to tea.''

Hello again!

Daniel got me this book in London last December!! I wanted it because it looked and sounded exciting, and it definitely turned out to be that way too. And it's also set in London, sort of.

A Darker Shade of Magic is a pretty complex book, so bear with me. The main character, Kell, is one of the last Antari. The Antari have magic powers that allow them to travel between Londons: White, Red, Grey and Black. White London is a powerhungry country torn by civil war, while Red is Kell's homeland, where magic still thrives. Grey is 'our' London, without magic, and Black London has been destroyed by magic. When Kell makes a foul trade and meets pickpocket Delilah Bard in Grey London, they have to fix things and save all of the Londons from dark magic.

This book was a little heavy to get into because of all the lore and how the story spends a lot of time at the beginning establishing all of it. When I did get into it, it was a very innovative and unique take on this kind of a magic fantasy story. I don't know if the beginning could have been handled somehow a little better, since later on I regretted not paying enough attention to the little details that were thrown at me early on.

Lila Bard was a great character, and probably one of the most relatable female characters I've ever read of. She was both strong and weak and proud but also honest, and it was easy to imagine I would do the same things, if I were in her shoes. She's also the kind of female main I'd write in my story too.

Kell himself was also a well-written and quite balanced character. The 'one of the last magical beings' -thing could easily get a little overpowered, but he didn't feel that way to me. He doesn't flaunt his specialness around. A side mention also to Kell's brother Rhy's, the heir to the throne of the Red London - he was just such a precious character and I want good things to happen to him.

The thing I'll mark this down for is the heavy beginning, and also the fact that I didn't necessarily fall in love with this book as heavily as I could have. Also, there was a plot twist I think I foresaw that didn't happen yet - that's going to bother me until I read the sequel. I will read the sequel, though, so that's saying a lot!

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