Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.
I was nervous about reading A Darker Shade of Magic since I’ve read another book by Schwab and didn’t really like it. The writing in A Darker Shade of Magic was surprisingly great! For the most part, whenever I sat down to read more of the novel the writing was wonderful. There are great descriptions of everything, and I could easily differentiate between the different points of view.
“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”
What intrigued me most about this novel was Kell and his magical coat. Seriously. That’s why I wanted to read the book — to find out more about Kell and his Jacket. Even though the part about his Jacket is fairly short, I wasn’t disappointed! The rest of the book is very interesting as well.
There are multiple points of view in A Darker Shade of Magic, even though the most reoccurring POV’s are from Lila, and Kell.
Kell is the first point of view we read from, and I wish that there was more of him in A Darker Shade of Magic. There’s already a lot of chapters that has Kell’s POV in it; I just really like Kell’s view on things.
Lila has so much potential to grow as a character in the next books (if she’s even in them). Even though we don’t really get to know of Lila’s background, we do find out that Lila is one badass lady! What I like most about Lila is that she (Lila) isn’t a High and Proper Lady. I like that Lila is just herself. I honestly really enjoyed reading from Lila’s point of view.
“Some people steal to stay alive, and some steal to feel alive. Simple as that.”
There are a few other characters that I really liked, even if we only saw them a few times. I was sad to see them end up the way they did. Saying that, I’ve got to admit that there were some point of views that I didn’t like, but they did add to the story so I’m not going to complain too much, haha.
The world building behind all the different London’s was incredibly thought out. And I loved the fact that the different London’s were explained in a way that didn’t make me feel like an idiot. So, thank you, Schwab, for not making me feel like an idiot. I also really enjoyed reading about the different magics in this story. Maybe the next book, A Gathering of Shadows, will have more of a history of the world and the magic that runs through its’ veins.
I like that by the end of A Darker Shade of Magic, the characters have a good ending to this book, but I also liked the fact that theres the sense of more to this novel. That maybe we’ll see Lila, and Kell, and maybe a few others as well in the next book. In my opinion you could definitely read A Darker Shade of Magic as a standalone.
I gave A Darker Shade of Magic 3.5 of 5 stars on Goodreads. — I’m definitely going to try and read the second book.
Have you read A Darker Shade of Magic? What did you think?