Series: A Darker Shade of Magic #1
Published by: Tor Books
Pubilcation Date: February 24th 2015
Genres: Action & Adventure, Adult, Fantasy, Magic, Urban, Witches & Mages, Young Adult
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.
First things first: THIS BOOK IS AMAZING. I hadn’t even heard of it until last month, but once I read the synopsis I had to get my grubby hands on it. It grabbed my attention mostly because it’s set in London(s) — oh yes, plural. MULTIPLE LONDON’S, people. With magic. Like, what? HOW COULD I RESIST? I love it when books are set in the city I live in because it makes me think magic is real… Which it is, really. Don’t even tell me otherwise, I can’t be reasoned with.
This is one of those special books wherein the more I thought about it after finishing it, the more and more I realised how much I loved it. I sat there and appreciated all the many different aspects of the book. I fell in love with the gorgeous writing, the unique take on magic, the special and complex characters, and the extraordinary world building. This is a magical and unforgettable book.
“Are you ready?” she asked, spinning the chamber.
Kell gazed through the gate at the waiting castle. “No.”
At that, she offered him the sharpest edge of a grin.
“Good,” she said. “The ones who think they’re ready always end up dead.”
I’m not going to go into much detail about the plot or anything, because I think it will be more magical for you if you actually read it, but I’m going to touch on what I loved about this book in 3 points.
The Memorable Characters
Just check out that fanart below. JUST CHECK IT. We have Kell, Lila, Prince Rhy, the Dane twins, and Holland. I loved the brotherly love between Rhy and Kell. There wasn’t much romance (if any) in this book, but that didn’t bother me at all – and normally I need my romance. That’s just going to show how much I enjoyed the story itself. Buuuut… I do think everything is just being set up for the next book. 😉 Oh, and, I
WANT NEED KELL’S COAT.
“I apologise for anything I might have done. I was not myself.”
“I apologise for shooting you in the leg. I was myself entirely.”
I really liked Lila and Kell (heck, I liked all the characters – even the evil ones!). They’re both so different but so similar to each other. Lila’s retorts are hilarious. The characters develop so much from the beginning to the end, and they are all incredibly distinguished and intriguing. I kind of wish there were even more characters.
The Unique Concept
There are four London’s, and it isn’t confusing at all. It’s rather glorious. There’s Red London where magic thrives, Grey London where there is no magic (this is probably our London), White London where magic is dying, and Black London where magic is dangerous and dead. Or, as Lila so eloquently put it:
“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.”
The Gripping Plot
It started off a bit slow, but once I was about 150 pages in it was literally nonstop action. The evil characters were evil, and there were so many layers to the plot. So many different things still need to fall into place, AND I HAVE THEORIES. (Don’t I always?) View Spoiler »Kinda obvious, but Lila… Antari? ALSO, will there be a love triangle in the next book? « Hide Spoiler
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.
Why do you want to die?
I don’t, she’d say. I just want to live.
All in all, this is a great read and I’m so glad that the next book is coming out this month so I don’t have to wait ages to read it! 🙂 This book is actually in the “Adult” genre, although there is no sexual content (hopefully that is only for now though *evil laughter*).
|Overall:||4.3 / 5|