Author: V.E. Schwab
Number of Pages: 400 (preview was about 100)
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: February 24, 2015
“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.”
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC ebook of A Darker Shade of Magic from NetGalley that was a preview of about 100 pages in exchange for an honest review.
I have never read anything by V.E. Schwab before, but I have heard so many amazing things about her work that I finally decided to give it a try. I received an ARC preview of this book from NetGalley, so it was only a section of the actual full novel. However, I can already tell that this is going to be an awesome book!
One of the most tricky things about fantasy stories is building up and fleshing out the fantasy world in which it takes place. If the author includes too many details all at once it will slow the pace of the plot down, but not enough information in the beginning can lead to confusion. It’s a difficult balance to achieve, but Schwab reaches it and maintains it throughout this part of the novel. After the first ten pages or so I felt quite comfortable in Schwab’s fantasy world, and I better understood who the characters were and what roles they played. Well is a great main character, and I love learning more and more about him as details of his past are slowly leaked.
The whole idea of the different Londons all being kingdoms that have conflicting views on magic is really fascinating to me. I love when authors take something real- London, for example- and add a fantastical twist to it. The real elements make it seem almost realistic, even though you know there’s no way it could actually be true. I can already feel the tension between the different colored Londons, and I can’t wait to see if any conflict arises between them.
Overall, I already have a really good feeling about this novel .It’s unique, captivating, exciting, and unlike YA fantasy novels I’ve read before. Since I haven’t read the entire book I’m not going to rate it, but if the story maintains this level of awesomeness then it will definitely have a high rating in my eyes. I’m so excited to read the rest of the novel, and as of right now I’ll definitely be adding more of V.E. Schwa’s work to my TBR list!
Stay tuned for my review of the full novel!