Synopsis from Edelweiss:
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, ambassador 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.
About: A Darker Shade of Magic is a young adult fantasy novel written by V.E. Schwab (aka Victoria Schwab). It was published on 2/24/2015 by Tor Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publisher. The genres are fantasy, young adult, fiction, historical, and magic. This is a series of 3 books: book 1 is A Darker Shade of Magic, book 2 is A Gathering of Shadows and book 3 is A Conjuring of Light. Another book by this author I read was The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. According to the publisher’s website, “Tor.com is a site for science fiction, fantasy, and all the things that interest SF and fantasy readers. It publishes original fiction, art, and commentary on science fiction and related subjects by a wide range of writers from all corners of the field; both professionals working in the genres and fans. Its aim is to provoke, encourage, and enable interesting and rewarding conversations with and between its readers.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
Buddy Read Q&A with Namitha @ Teen Memoir
Questions from Namitha:
If you had to describe this book in three words, what would they be?
Namitha: captivating, awing, and gorgeous
Jasmine: mystery, intense, and kickass
Which character would you choose to be between Kell and Lila and why?
Namitha: I would choose Kell because I would like to travel between worlds and live in Red London.
Jasmine: I would choose Lila. Despite her rough situation, she has a positive attitude. She doesn’t give in to being weak and scared. She puts forth a strong image and takes care of herself. The ambition to wanting something more and doing something to obtain it shows her drive to succeed. I’m curious to find out what she discovers.
What do you think about blood magic?
Namitha: I thought blood magic was a cool and different concept. It does seem painful to cut ourselves every time we need the magic to work though.
Jasmine: I’m not going to lie, I do cringe every time it’s being used.
Which London would you like to live?
Namitha: I would like to live in Red London – it seems like an ideal world to live in with all the magic, flowery scents and beautiful sights.
Jasmine: I would like to live in Red London. I like flower smells and to be able to use magic.
What do you like most about this book?
Namitha: Blood magic and Antari magic is something that I found really intriguing and unique. I also enjoyed the relationship between Kell and Lila.
Jasmine: I love the banter between Kell and Lila.
What do you think of the villains?
Namitha: I thought the villains of the novel brought villainy to a whole new level. The powers that they possessed and their wicked thinking was intense and different from what I’d seen before.
Jasmine: The villains has cool powers. I like the power to take over the body of another person.
My Experience: I started reading A Darker Shade of Magic on 4/24/17 and finished it on 5/8/17 at 12:18AM. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to buddy read this book with the awesome Namitha @ Teen Memoir! Please follow the link to her blog to read her thoughts on this book! I love the fantasy and the writing in this book! I like that it’s unlike any other fantasy I have read. The blood magic, to be honest, makes me cringe every time it is being used, but it’s different and I welcome the change! I do like the world building and I absolutely love the humor in this book!
“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”
In this book, readers will follow the point of views of Kell, a magician who can travel between worlds and Lila (Delilah) Bard, a cutthroat and a thief who is looking for freedom. The world building is a bit complicated at first, but as the story progressed, it became clearer. There are 4 Londons: Grey, Red, White, and Black. It’s in a row where Black London has dark magic and Grey London is lacked of magic. Kell is mysterious in this book because he doesn’t know his birth parents. He likes to trade and collect forbidden objects with collectors seeking objects from other Londons and at one point, he ended up with a dangerous magic that he must take it upon himself to get rid of. The mission is nearly impossible to achieve because powerful bad guys are after him for this dark magic and he has to die trying to prevent it from getting into the wrong hands. At the same time, the dark magic is calling to him, and at times, he is cornered to utilizing the magic himself in order to stay alive. This dark magic, however, is looking for a host and Kell has to fight against the magic before it controls him. It’s intense reading this book because it seems like Kell is at a dead end.
“I apologize for anything I might have done. I was not myself.”
“I apologize for shooting you in the leg.” said Lila. “I was myself entirely.”
I love the two main characters in this book, Kell and Lila. I enjoy their bickering a lot! I really like Lila because she’s so independent and badass. I like her positive attitudes, confidence, and self-reliant. She lives alone and has to be a thief to survive. She lives in Grey London but always wanted something more. For whatever reasons, she ended up crossing paths with Kell and it brought her the adventures she’s least expected but fully embraced. It’s really awesome following her train of thoughts. There may be no romance in this book but the fun banter makes up for it. I also enjoy Parrish and Gen’s third person point of views of the happenings out on the town when the black magic was spreading. I am so excited to read the next book and find out what Lila is up to. I highly recommend this book to everyone!
Pro: mystery, suspense, humor, intense, adrenaline rush, magic, fantasy, page turner, fast paced, action packed
Con: a bit complicated in the beginning
I rate it 5 stars!
Buy here for free shipping: Book Depository
About the Author:
Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say “tom-ah-toes,” “like,” and “y’all.”
She also tells stories. She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.
Victoria has stated that books published under V.E. Schwab are adult releases and those under Victoria Schwab are YA.
(Photo & info obtained from Goodreads).
***Disclaimer: I bought this book with my own money and my opinions are honest.