Book: A Darker Shade of Magic by Victoria Schwab
Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.
Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.
Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.
But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.
There isn’t a gif or relatable meme that can possibly come close to describing how I feel about ADSOM. It was
so. darn. good. potentially feels-threatening left me huddled in a blanket for an hour FABULOUS.
I remember there was a lot of hype when the hardback edition came out and I was DYING to read ADSOM. Victoria is one of my favorite authors and I couldn’t wait. Pirates, Londons, and a kick-ass color scheme? Heck yeah!
She’s already got plot covered. It’s fast-moving and so full of unexpected things that you’ll end up huddled in a ball on the floor wondering who you are and how you got here and why you aren’t in London.
As for the characters, Kell and Lila are my precious darlings.
Lila is one of those characters who you immediately bond with, like Inej from Six of Crows. Though the two them as a team would be a little frightening. She’s a survivor, endlessly cunning, and very, very intense. But she’s also got her flaws, which I’ll leave you to discover because SPOILERS.
Kell is so hard to describe because there are so many sides to him, just like his coat. (Great fashion in this book too) I wish I could say more but he’s so unique aghhh.
Kell and Lila’s interactions are AMAZING. They’re funny, they’re sad, they are my new OTP. It’s like watching a dance with swords or the thrill of being at the top of a rollercoaster before the drop.
This is a not-so-coherent review because that’s how I still feel, days after finishing. This is a book that spins you around several times before sending you off into the hedge maze from the third trial in the Triwizard tournament.
Rating: 5 stars