Monday, April 06, 2015 10:23

Review 221. Victoria Schwab – A darker shade of magic.

23403402Title: A darker shade of magic.
Author: Victoria Schwab.
Pages: 400.
Published: February 27th 2015 by Titan Books.
Sort: A darker shade of magic #1.

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.


Rating:

I already knew that V. Schwab knows how to write an engaging story. I enjoyed both The near witch and The archived. This book took writing to another level. I am amazed by her creative world-building and her fascinating characters. If you are a fantasy lover, I highly recommend this book (and if you are new to the genre, you might want to pick this up too!)

The world-building was a bit difficult to understand at first, with all the different versions of London and some new fantasy names that Schwab created. But, it didn’t take long before I was sucked into this unique concept and her great execution.

The basics of the story are three versions of London and once, people were able to transport between them. The portals were destroyed with the loss of Black London and now only Kell and one other Antari are able to travel between these worlds. He is the messenger of the leaders from these London versions and on one of his appointments he stumbles on Delilah, also known as Lilah, a cross-dressed thief and aspiring pirate.

It was amazing how Schwab created all these versions of London. It was easy to pinpoint out where Kell was at times, because they all have their distinct feeling. I would prefer to live in Red London, where Kell comes from. He grew up in the royal family and he has an interesting relationship with his brother Rhy. I loved Kell and his special talents. Kell has a mysterious air around him and it was interesting to riffle through his different personality traits. He is a very complex character and I have a feeling I don’t know anything about him yet, which makes me so excited for the sequel.

He has a wonderful dynamic with Lilah, a girl who stole my heart from the moment I met her. This girl is fierce and doesn’t take ‘no’ for an answer. Dangerous? Possible chance of death? Lilah is up for it! She also pulls off to make people believe she is a guy and her ambition is to save money to buy a ship, so she can becomes a pirate.

The plot was great, fast-paced and makes sure you get to see every London. Kell has become a pawn in a bigger plot to destroy the world and to change everything. The villains are the perfect examples of characters you love-to-hate. They are sadistic and crazy, completely obsessed with power and magic.

Give me more please!
author image

Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

35 comments:

  1. Yay!!! I'm probably going to read it this week, so so excited! *-*

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  2. Yesss. I'm so glad you loved this book Mel :D I shall also be reading it very soon, I hope. It sounds so good. And you make it sound even better :) So so happy that you loved it. <3 Now thinking that the chance of me loving it is higher, lol. Fingers crossed :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts about it sweetie. <3

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    1. I think you will end up loving this one too Carina!

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  3. I totally adored this book too.... it's one of the best books I've read in a long, long time and I cannot wait for the next book!

    Thea @  Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

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  4. This is definitely one of my favorite books so far of 2015. I loved how creative and different it was. Red London was definitely my favorite as well. I loved Kell and Lilah. I really liked that there was no romance - it was kind of a refreshing change of pace. And the plot was so intricate. I can't wait for more! Glad you liked it!

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    1. Sometimes a book doesn't need romance and Victoria is great for realizing that!

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  5. I still haven't read a V Schwab book, and I'm kicking myself for it. You've made me want to get my hands on this one even more than I already did. Lilah sounds like someone I'd absolutely love. Great review!

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  6. I’m glad you enjoyed it. A lot people did so I kinda had high hopes but in the end it was too…much? for me. But I admired the concept of time traveling and the different Londons. And the writing? Very pretty! <3

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  7. I've been seeing this all over the place, but didn't think it would be something I'd lie. I'll definitely be giving this a try soon!
    Beth x
    www.thequietpeople.com

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  8. I haven't read a Schwab book yet, but this sounds like the perfect one for me. I love the idea of different Londons and the fantasy aspect sounds wonderful. I'm glad this one lived up to expectations - I definitely want to read it!

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  9. I just read and reviewed this, I loved it, too! Schwab is quickly becoming one of my favourite authors ever. Have you read Vicious yet? It's amazing but in a totally different way.

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    1. Not yet, but it's my book club read for this month so I'll be starting it soon :D

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  10. I've read one other VE Schwab book, Vicious and thought it was the most amazing book ever. This one sounds freaking amazing, I love how unique and magical it sounds with the time traveling and everything. The characters also sound really great, with Kell's special talents, Lilah's ferocity. Great review Mel!

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  11. I actually started reading this a couple of weeks ago, but I closed it because I was in a reading slump.. I'm going to give it another go seeing how much you enjoyed it :) Wonderful review <3 Benish | Feminist Reflections

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  12. For the entirety of the week last week, I've been seeing reviews of this book, and most of them are positive. Now I want to read it!! <3 I absolutely love fantasy, and I love how there are different versions of London and all -- it sounds amazing! :) I'm so excited to get my hands on this book! Thanks for the review, Mel! Very insightful :)

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  13. The villains in this book gave me the creeps! (But appropriately so). I loved this one, especially being the fantasy lover that I am. Kell and Lila had an awesome dynamic. I can't wait to find out what happens next!!

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  14. I'm glad you really liked this! I also read this and loved it :) Also, Kell <3 <3

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  15. I'm currently reading this one and am absolutely loving it so far. I'm such a fan of Kell and his great many coats and the world in general. I still have more than half to read, but I'm savoring each moment because it's just so awesome. And I agree, Lilah is something to behold. What a fierce and passionate character she can be with an attitude full of spunk! Can't wait to see them both interact and development as I read along :D

    Faye at The Social Potato

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  16. I am among those who freaking ADORED the Dane twins. I know, I know, they were villains and really nasty and were supposed to be hated, but I couldn't not love Astrid Dane. She puts people in her FLOOR and walks on them to tea. How bad ass is that? Loved her. Seriously.

    Victoria's world building was astonishing. I mean, she basically invented...what, 3 different languages? And they're probably based off of everyday languages we know of now, but they just added something REALLY unique to an already unique story. It's obvious she spent a lot of time nurturing this story into something great, and I think it's amazing.

    Awesome review, Mel! :D

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    1. She is a villain we all love to hate :D

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  17. Wonderful review! I really to read this real soon!

    - Harshitha
    @ A Whimsical Madness

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  18. I am dying to read this book!I've wanted to read a book by Victoria Schwab for a long time,as I've heard that she writes terrific characters.Plus this book carries around a lot of hype,and I am desperate to give it a try.
    Great review Mel!

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  19. I have yet to read a book by this author. I want to remedy that immediately and maybe I'll start with this book. Lovely review! xx

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  20. AHHHHHHH I had this from the library but it was a bad time because I had so much work to do and then didn't feel like reading other stuff and ahhhh mel you're already making me regret it for not like, slapping myself into reading it hahaha.

    I must admit it's her world-building that most intrigued me about the book. All these different Londons and I did read the first few pages -- that coat! So cool. I remember from the Near Witch V Schwab's ability to create distinct atmospheres, so I'm not at all surprised by what you said on each London feeling distinct. And I'd guess with all the praise this book is getting, the main character has to be interesting. Kell sounds really cool -- and literally it feels like Lilah is mentioned by every reader quoting the book on GR, status updates. Cross-dressing wannabe pirate thief sounds like a lot of fun. Can't wait to get back to this one! Have you read Vicious? I'm guessing you will be after this... we should read it together if you haven't already read it!

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    1. Tututtututuuu, that is a shame Christina, I think you will like this :)! I'm reading Vicious this month, I will contact you!

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  21. Oooh,I have yet to see a negative review for this one and that makes me all kinds of excited to read this!! I've only read The Archived of Schwab's but I loved it. And to know that her writing just keeps getting better and better? Amazing. She is such a talent!

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  22. Ohh, your review is killing me! I want to read this so badly! I'm so glad you loved it, Mel. :D

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  23. MEL! I saw your review for this one go up when I was still finishing up reading this one myself so I bookmarked it to come back to once my review had gone up! Gah! I am so HAPPY that we both felt the same way about this one :D I too found the world-building a bit confusing at first but I was hooked in no time! I adored Kell, Lily, Rhy and all the magical, parallel world-hopping fun to be had: Kell's coat, the stone, Red London, the elemental magic...EVERYTHING. I already need more too and to be honest, 2 sequels doesn't sound like NEARLY enough for me - give me a whole series with AT LEAST 5 books please XD

    I've only read Vicious by Schwab so far but I highly recommend it! Oh and The Archived and The Near Witch are both on my tbr shelf (of course)! Wonderful review doll^^

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    1. The Archived was great too, very unique concept :D!

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  24. Of course Red Lindon would be the preferable place to live!!

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  25. AHHH I really want to read this book! This is only the second review I have read (I'm trying not to read too many because I want to go in open minded), and it's another positive one - which makes me very happy!

    I absolutely love the sound of everything you mentioned in your review, Mel, and I cannot wait to get my hands on a copy of ADSOM!

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  26. I NEED THIS BOOK IN MY LIFE!!! I have been seeing amazing review after amazing review and I definitely need to get to it as soon as I can. I need to get paid already so that I can go book crazy on Amazon. I haven't read a Schwab book, but I need to because I've only heard good things.

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