A Darker Shade of Magic

by V. E. Schwab
A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) - V. E. Schwab 7.36   57

Prepare to be dazzled by a world of parallel Londons — where magic thrives, starves, or lies forgotten, and where power can destroy just as quickly as it can create

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, with one mad king — George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered — and where Kell was raised alongside Rhys Maresh, the rougish heir to the throne. White London — 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, amdassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, he's a smuggler, a dangerous, defiant hobby to have — as proven when Kell stumbles into a setup with a forbidden token from Black London.

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 Kell 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, they'll first need to stay alive.

Category: Fantasy

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Release date February 18, 2015
Details updated October 27, 2022

Shades of Magic :: Series

Series contains 3 primary works and has 3 total works.

Related series The Threads of Power

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) 7.36   57
A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) 7.70   31
A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) 8.18   23

Community Reviews & Rates

aca
12 ratings
3 reviews
0 posts
August 22, 2015
8 / 10

Good stuff - fun world-building throughout with the multiple Londons divided by magic and colour. I enjoyed Kell and Delilah's interplay and it was interesting to see that she seemed to have a bigger character arc ahead of her than the MC, Kell. (Which is in no way a bad thing either.) Smooth writing and some great minor characters in there too. If I'd wished for one thing from 'A Darker Shade...' it would have been a little more time spent with the villains. But I'll still be grabbing book 2, that's for sure.

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