Sunday, March 8, 2015

'A Darker Shade of Magic' by VE Schwab


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 love the characters. They are interesting and have great backstory. 
Kell is fascinating. Really. He is part of the royal family, but he also isn't related. He is outcasted by everyone because he's Antari. (Even by the other Antari.) He doesn't belong. This is an emotional struggle in the story that isn't always present. But is interesting nonetheless. Kell has a good personality. He has a strong personality. He is brave and caring. He does what he can to help his friends and loved ones. (Ehem. Rhy.) He has a strong presence. I would hang out with Kell. I would trust Kell with my life. 
Lila is a great character. She has backstory. It's never told, though. Which allows for the reader to wonder about her personality and why she does what she does. She is bright and vivacious. Lila is a brave girl who doesn't take no for an answer. She does what she wants. But beneath this bravery and valor, she cares about people. She cared about Barron and Kell. She protects her friends but also doesn't get too close. Her heart is blocked off. Perhaps she had it broken. I wonder about her parents. And the glass eye! That as well. 

The world building is great. We get these three worlds that each give off their own feel. They are all different. They are distinct and special. Red London. White London. Gray London. Red London is bright and full of life. The London that suits Lila if you ask me. White London is dreary and dangerous. Devoid of color and life. Gray London is normal. Boring. They were all amazingly built. 
The magic is fantastic. You typically have the elemental magics. That's expected. Then we get the curveball of blood magic. It's an interesting magic. There is also one guy who has bone magic. Bone magic. That's just amazing. I want to know about the blood magic. I want a list of those commands.  And the symbols used to access the different doors. The way the people use magic is amazing. They ravish in it, using it for decoration and entertainment. Wow. Just wow.
Talking about magic...what does White London use? I'm confused. It is a type of magic. A rugged, raw magic. But it seems odd. An unnatural form of magic. I've never read anything like it before. It was captivating, though. The magic Athos and Astrid could use. Possession? Awesome, right? 

The plot is exciting. We have action everywhere. Almost every scene Lila is in is an action scene. She seems to just find trouble. She isn't bad at fighting either. You can rely on her during a fight. 
We have some really good fight scenes. I enjoyed the one between Athos and Kell. Wow. That was a good scene. It was pulse-pounding and heart-wrenching. You're clinging to the book, cheering for Kell. You want him to win. And when he's in a position where it doesn't look like he's going to win, you're squeaking in protest. The other fight I loved was the one between the two Antaris. They aren't matched in skills. Holland is much better. You can tell that. Holland has used his magic more. And he knows how to fight. This doesn't mean Kell is at a disadvantage, though. Kell can fight. And he does fight. He isn't bad at fighting. He's just not the best. 
Kell is actually not the best fighter. He's clever, though. He can fight. But he uses his mind more than brute strength. Not that he has much brute strength. When he fights, he uses his magic to win. 

I didn't like the ending. I wanted Lila to stay! As much as I didn't like the ending, I'll admit it was a pretty good ending. It doesn't seem like an ending is needed. I do want to see the other countries in Red London. That would be amazing. How similar are they? I don't know. I want to know, though. 
Where will Lila go? I hope I learn that in the next book. She is a wild spirit. Adventurous. She has wanderlust, I think. Not that it's a bad thing to want to travel. She's a great adventurer also. 
There also seems to be something with Black London. I'm not sure what exactly. There's something sinister going on with Black London. Even if the black-eyes demons are expunged. 
Even though this book ended on a good note. That doesn't mean I don't want more. That shows how good this book is. I want more even though the ending is good. 

Sunny with a light fog

No comments:

Post a Comment