Wednesday, 13 May 2015

Book Review: A Darker Shade Of Magic | V.E. Schwab

Most people only know one London; but what if there were several? Kell is one of the last Travelers magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel Londons. There is Grey London, dirty and crowded and without magic, home to the mad king George III. There is Red London, where life and magic are revered. Then, White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. But once upon a time, there was Black London...

This book wasn't sent to me by anyone, this is a book I purchased myself because I have been so excited to read this.

There are many people in this world and we all believe or don't believe in magic in varying levels of intensity. Despite how much of a fantasy it may seem, I do believe in something magical. I simply adore books that have a wonderfully addictive magical element about them and this book by V.E. Schwab is like nothing I have ever read. I have read many a fantasy novel and feel I am well versed on how such a story can be told but this book amazed me. The fact that there are more than one world existing in exactly the same place without one world being aware of the next is a wonderful concept. The darkness that was entwined within this story was utterly captivating and the internal struggles some of the characters were having was a wonderful way to show further depth within the story. This wasn't in anyway a whimsical kind of tale, it was a dark and gritty and utterly satisfying read that kept you turning the pages because you were afraid of missing something.

The two main characters in the book are Kell and Delilah who are not your your typical likeable heroes. The term 'Hero' is used loosely with these two because not everything they do or have done is inherently 'good' or well intentioned. They both come with a past, they both come with flaws and issues that allows the reader to fully immerse themselves in these real characters that aren't your usual fantasy fluff. These are characters with real depth and darkness and that's what made me really relate to them. Delilah is a very strong and fierce woman which is wonderful to see in fantasy literature, It's nice to see strong feminine role models popping up in novels more and more these days. I would have however loved to see a little bit of Delilah's alleged powers and abilities, but this may be something to look forward to in the next books.

The villains on the other hand show a level of darkness that at times became viscous, terrifying and violent. This is not a bad thing at all, the evil in this story is represented in a number of different ways but what is so wonderful is how different levels of power can cause people to go from one side of the karmic scale to the other very quickly. I loved how the darkness was shown as this 'power' that some people fought against and some people embraced, and ultimately how it changed people in many different ways.

The plot and story have been very well crafted and this allows for a very enjoyable reading experience. The word boring cannot be used to describe this book because there was always something happening to keep you interested and there was always a different perspective to get behind that allowed you to be pulled in to the story even further. The chapters were of varying length but ultimately easily digestible, nothing felt dragged out and the pace was kept at varying degrees of intensity and there was always plenty of excitement.

This is an utterly wonderful book and I am super excited for the sequel. This book ended in a wonderful way where it didn't quite leave you hanging but it did leave with an urge to find out what happens next.

A wonderfully dark tale of dark and light, I gave this book a magical 9/10

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Book Depository: Hardback
Book Depository: Paperback

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Happy reading folks.