Better than a Carribean cruise: Travel this winter with “A Darker Shade of Magic”


Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Author of “A Darker Shade of Magic,” V.E. Schwab, at 2018 Phoenix Comic Fest.

Haley Holz, Reporter

Welcome to London. Or, should I say, Londons?

“A Darker Shade of Magic,” by #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab, is a new and original fantasy novel that should be on everyone’s “to-read-list,” especially if fantasy books are your cup of tea. This is the first book of the “Shades of Magic” trilogy and is a spectacular read from the first page to the end. It is actually the first adult novel by V.E. Schwab and will definitely not be her last.

“A Darker Shade of Magic” is set in not just one London, but four alternative Londons. The book starts off in Red London, a London with magic spilling from its seams. Living in this London is an Anatari, or very strong magician, named Kell who serves under the Maresh Empire protecting the Crown Prince Rhy. He travels between the Londons exchanging letters between the rulers and smuggling trinkets that he then sells for his own profit.

Delilah Bard, on the other hand, lives in Grey London. Grey London has no magic and Delilah, a cross dressing pick pocket somehow always finds herself in the middle of a fight.  She dreams of being a pirate and going on the adventure of a lifetime, but sadly for her, she is stuck in her small little world.  That is— at least for now.

When Kell and Delilah meet, their worlds turn upside down and Delilah finally gets the adventure she has always wanted. Together they travel throughout the Londons and form a friendship they will never forget.

With fight scenes, humor and descriptions that make you feel like you are sitting right there with the characters, this book is sure to please any reader with a love for magic.

After reading four of her books (the entire “Shades of Magic Trilogy” and the first book in her Villians series) I can confidently say that V.E. Schwab puts a boat-load of work into buildings her worlds. Her worlds almost become characters with the amount of detail that she puts into them, making them as alive as you and me. Setting is important with fantasy books and V.E. Schwab does not disappoint.

This book is four hundred pages of pure exhilarating adventure and is a perfect book to read over the upcoming long winter break. Be prepared to enter a world that won’t let you go until the very last page. If you love the book and are dying for more, the second book is titled “A Gather of Shadows” and the third is “A Conjuring of Light.”

“A Darker Shade of Magic” is sure to keep you guessing at every turn and is impossible to put down.