A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

The first book set up the idea of the different Londons: magic-less grey London, vibrant red London, starving and desperate white London, and decimated, dead black London. Each built upon a foundation of London but developed in completely different fashions. Their cultures, religion, speech, manner and being is so unique in each world.

It was a really intriguing way to build the world and immediately fascinated me. Good world building is so important to books because it is immersive, it pulls you in and makes you forget that it’s not real. You are living the story with the characters. She even created languages that were utilized by characters from different places, from the magic language of the Antari to the flowing words or harsh tones of the neighboring lands. It shows a passion for authenticity and true love of what she has created.

I love the characters. Rhy with his charm always brightens the room (or a scene). Lila is cunning, ruthless, ambitious and a thief. She doesn’t need anyone and she would never admit to needing anything. She takes or does what she wants, no matter the cost with no regrets. She is tough as nails and her grit is inspiring. Her first instinct is to protect herself above all.

Many people may not agree with me, but Lila was probably my least favourite of our main characters. She was smart and tough, but a little too ruthless for my taste. Kell was the character that I liked/related to the most, even though he was a powerful magic user he seemed the most down to earth.

Not only does she introduce us to unique main characters, but she brilliantly gives depths to those in the background. There are some supporting characters that at times I liked even more than some of our leads.

Overall the story is more of a slow-burn/build rather than quick action packed scenes. I think that it worked really well for this story and have no complaints. Highly recommended for adult or young adult/teen readers who enjoy fantasy or magic books with characters that have very diverse personalities/outlooks on life and great world-building.

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10 thoughts on “A Darker Shade of Magic – V.E. Schwab

  1. Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews says:

    Omg, yes, I totally agree about Lila. I liked her, yes, and I appreciated the dynamics in her character, but I didn’t love love love her as many others have. I am with you on Kell. He was definitely my favorite. Glad you enjoyed (on re-read, right?), Kyera!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • kyera says:

      Yeah, I don’t necessarily understand people’s deep love for Lila. Maybe it’s just my neutral good (with lawful good leaning) nature, but I just don’t connect to the more anti-hero type characters.

      (Also, my library has been reposting some of my reviews and linking them in the monthly newsletter. Since my original review was of the series as a whole, I just edited it slightly and reposted for them. But really what I’ve been doing is figuring out what book I’m most excited for in a month and having them post my review for the first book in the series to sort of hype it. I’ve hyped Ace of Shades, Finale, and just this morning Furyborn – and people have actually come in to check out the books because they read my review in the newsletter!)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Mandy @ Book Princess Reviews says:

        Ahahahah omg, agreed. Like, I know Kaz is one of the biggest exceptions to the rule for me, but I mean, he’s Kaz? But I totally agree. How did you feel about the Darkling?

        And omg, that is epic. To see it actually working in real life is so cool. I love it.

        Like

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