I have a fascination on the many worlds concepts both in theoretical physics and in fictional worlds. With the goal of reading recently released paperback books (I just usually buy used books released years ago), I picked up A Darker Shade of Magic. I wanted to know how the concept of parallel worlds used in a fantasy setting. Previously, I just read fantasy stories that only have two worlds, the mundane and the magical. Now I get to read four worlds in one.
A Darker Shade of Magic is the first of a trilogy written by V.E. Schwab. This is my first book from her. This book was first released in 2015.
This is the story of Kell, one of the few remaining Antari. They are magicians that can traverse in between worlds. There are four worlds with one thing in common, all have a city that is named London. These Londons are designated by color, Gray, Red, White, and Black. Kell is from Red London. Here he grew up with the royal family but not a part of it. He consider Prince Rhy his brother. Officially, Kell is the ambassador to the White and Gray London. (Traveling to the Black London is forbidden.) Unofficially, he is a smuggler for items only found in other Londons. One day he came across with a dangerous artifact that in the wrong hand can be used to destroy the walls separating the London. He cross paths with Lila the pickpocket from Gray London and together they set things the right way.
Kell is the best written character. Other characters, including the antagonists, not as much. I liked how the differences of the Londons were written. I, as the reader, can easy tell which London is which. The plot lines are tied in the end. I can end reading now or pick up the next books.
I recommend this book for those who like to mix and match their genres. I haven’t read the blurbs of the next books but I will pick them up but not anytime soon.
Next in Shades of Magic series:
I've got a pretty mixed response to this book. I tried it because it was free to borrow from Amazon Prime and I liked the cover. Not sure I actually read the blurb before I downloaded it. I guess I was thinking it would be something along the lines of the Twenty Sided Sorceress books. Not even close. I will admit that having vampires and werewolves and witches and mages and fae all be diluted magic holders is intriguing, since they are so frequently portrayed as immensely powerful. What I had trouble with was the repetition. I got that a Legacy was someone who everyone hated and feared because they weren't diluted and had attempted to destroy all other supernaturals so they could reign supreme. I got that by the second reference, so having it beaten into the story every chapter and a half was annoying. The main characters predominate states were anger that she was hunted, fear that she'd be outed, and lust for the shifter. I'm hoping the range increases as the story goes along. It's a good basic book but doesn't live up to its full potential, which is too bad. It could have been amazing.
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
Del learns she has bigger problems than she thought. Not only does she have to learn to control her powers for herself, but also to keep from taking other demon souls. She released one soul in the previous book, and now attracts other demons to her. The Order of Magica has picked up that a demon has died, but it's soul is still on Earth. The man that kissed her once and now is acting strange has an idea. Roarke has an acquaintance at Cambridge, in the magical University of England, who may be able to help her master her powers. Del agrees to go, with Roarke and her sisters, Cass and Nix.
I've grown accustom to listening to Laurel voice this world. I enjoy the voices she gives the men, and all characters. But the men with accents, yes ma'am. lol. There are accents needed for secondary characters as well, and Laurel voices them to give us a feel as we are traveling in those areas of the world.
Now, this book feels more Del than a Cass remake. Sure, there are similar patterns with the guy, learning her new magic, and soul stealing. We even meet a new character - Horatio - who reminds me much of Professor that Cass talks to for help. But the events around all that are very different and very Del like. I like the death magic associated with Del. It's different yet very believable system. Roarke even has his own system of contacts to call when things are needed.
We learn a secret of Roarke's when Del finally shares her big secret. Yes, the one about his brother. Though, it's a big thing for him and makes him who he is, it didn't feel that weighted as it was told to us. It is a terrible feeling he carries with him though and something that affects his thinking on their potential relationship. Roarke is a wonderful companion for Del. He feels to fit her well with the darkness of the Underworld in him, and Del.
I very much enjoyed this story as we learn about Del and her parents. Though we haven't met them we get a feel for how she grew up. This is interesting and I'm curious to learn more about them, and who they are. I really think they are special.
This book leads us to something (or someone) that will be who Del has to fight. There is a reason for the curse on her, yet no one knows it. This book leaves the hints of a possible next adventure for Del to learn about why the curse from who cursed her. And maybe a big battle with that person.