|A Darker Shade of Magic |
by Victoria Schwab
Just when I thought that there was nothing new under the sun, I stumbled upon “A Darker Shade of Magic” by Victoria Schwab. At first glance, this fantasy has many elements that might be familiar to readers of the genre: invented languages, magic, a large cast of characters, and political drama. However, dig a little deeper and you might find, like I did, a novel like no other. Unique, is not a word that I use lightly when describing a book, but this one has earned it.
Picture four different parallel worlds, each with a city named London. There is Red London, where magic flows freely, bringing beauty and laughter. There is Grey London, where magic has been gone for so long, no one believes it ever existed anymore. Then there is White London, where people and magic are in a constant fight for control. And then there is Black London, but no one speaks of it any more.
Once upon a time, any one with some magic in them was able to cross from one world to another using magical doors and pathways. But then Black London happened and the doors were closed forever. Only Antari magicians have the power to travel between worlds.
Kell is the adopted son of the King and Queen of Red London. As the only Antari in Red London, Kell serves his adopted family by carrying messages between the royals from each London. When a series of unfortunate events have Kell fleeing into Grey London, he crosses paths with Delilah Bard, a pickpocket with a hunger for adventure. She first robs him, then saves his life, and then forces him into taking her with him because in her own words, Delilah would “rather die on an adventure than live standing still”.
And Lilah might just get her wish when a lost relic from Black London resurfaces that threatens to destroy everything and everyone.
I loved, loved this book. It was a fantastic read filled with interesting and colourful characters, adventure, and an imaginative world unlike anything I’ve read before. Schwab has a way of presenting fantastic things in such a manner that even the unbelievable becomes believable and relatable. I recommend this book for those readers who want adventure, some excitement and even a bit of danger in their books.