A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab ☆

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“You don’t know anything about these worlds,” he said, but the fight was bleeding out of his voice. “Sure I do,” countered Lila cheerfully. “There’s Dull London, Kell London, Creepy London, and Dead London,” she recited, ticking them off on her fingers. “See? I’m a fast learner.”

Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab
Why you should read this book: Because it’s magical, a magical book with the magical power of making you fall in love with it.

Kell, one of the two last Antaris, magicians who can travel between the 4 Londons that coexists in different dimensions, has the job of passing royal correspondence between the various Kings and Queens. He has a side hobby of smuggling trinkets from the various Londons and that illegal hobby is used against him when he is set up and accused of treason. He has in his hands a really dangerous token, one that can destroy the peace they have now. During his personal quest to get rid of this dangerous thing he is robbed of it by Grey London’s thief Lila Bard. Lila will force him to take her with him in his adventure because there is nothing she wants more than being free and see “everything”.

“Looking for trouble, he’d say. You’re gonna look till you find it. Trouble is the looker, she’d answer. It keeps looking till it finds you. Might as well find it first.”

Loved this, it has everything I love in a story: magic, a strong girl who can rock males’ clothes, different dimensions, weird languages, cute guys and cruel villains, the ones that want you deader than dead.

There are 3 Londons, Red, White and Grey, 3 different worlds with different cultures, different languages and, it seems, different smell? There were 4 Londons before: Black London abused magic and it consumed them and started spreading like a plague through the doors to the other worlds. Red London sealed its doors and White London had to fight hard and now they are a world that it’s fading. Grey London has almost forgotten about magic and Red London has the perfect balance, it’s the best place to live in it appears.

Kell, our wonderful main character, is an Antari, someone who was born with blood magic. One of his eyes is completely black as a result of this. Antaris are the only ones that can open doors through the worlds and after the latters were sealed they started to disappear leaving only two still alive, the other Antari being Holland from White London.
Kell is sweet, maybe a little too grim sometimes, he thinks he doesn’t deserve what he has, he doesn’t deserve the love he is being given but the King and Queen of Red London and he doesn’t think he deserves being seen as a Prince. He can be very stubborn but his love for his brother Rhy will prove essential to his quest. Kell is a cute little guy, he feels older than he really is but at times he feels little, a little lost boy, maybe because he is almost the last of his kind and because he doesn’t know who he was before he was 5 years old. That’s a mystery I hope will be explained in the sequel.

The other Antari is Holland. He serves the twisted evil Dane twins, Athos and Astrid of White London. They crave power and magic and compelled everyone into obeying their evil desires. I don’t like them but as villains they are perfect, deeply evil and merciless. I wanted to punch them every single time, that’s how evil they were, they made me violent. Mission accomplished twins, you are evil enough for me to hate you!

“The bodies in my floor all trusted someone. Now I walk on them to tea.”

Lila, our not-so-damsel-in-distress-but-a-wannabe-pirate is exactly what Kell needed to keep him from joining the dark side. Go away from the dark light, Kell, it’s baaaad! Lila is a thief, she pickpockets in order to eat and live. She is all by herself dreaming of being a pirate with shiny boots and her own ship. Captain Bard! She has a very strong will and is very brave. She doesn’t only want adventure, she wants her freedom, to be able to be what she knows she deserves to be. I was always cheering for her, she is lovely!

“Lila Bard lived by a simple rule: if a thing was worth having, it was worth taking.”

Rhy, the flirtatious prince of Red London and Kell’s kind of step brother. They love each other so much it hurts. I had heart-shaped eyes all the time they were together or thinking of each other. What a wonderful time to be alive!! I want to see more of Rhy, we got to see only a little bit but I already fell for him. I fall for everyone so maybe it doesn’t really count but Rhy is special, he is cute, cuddling and loves his brother. There’s nothing more you could want in a guy. His smile lights entire cities!

“He’s … charming and spoiled, generous and fickle and hedonistic. He would flirt with a nicely upholstered chair, and he never takes anything seriously.”

The way the story is written keeps you glued to the pages. If I wasn’t very fond of sleeping I would’ve finish this in one day but sleeping is one of my favorite activities and I do it so well.

I fell in love with the author, what a woman, I am so glad I got to meet you and your fantastic books. This is my second and of course it won’t be my last. Keep them coming and I’ll keep buying and reading them.

Read it and let it fill you with magic!
Do you smell flowers? Because I do.

Do I recommend it? Yes, it is pure magic.
Rate: 5+++/5
☆: It made my “favourite books” list

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