A Darker Shade of Magic
by V.E Schwab
After reading Vicious I had to pick up her high-fantasy series and I was not desapointed. Victoria Schwab makes music not with mathe and notes, but with words and letters. creating a beautiful symphony that makes you look back at the classics and at the same time forward with original plot and atmosphere.
Schwab created a multi universe, where there are four London existing simultaneously. The boring, non-magical Grey London,ruled by one mad King---George III. Kell's Red London, where he was raised along side with Rhy, the heir to this flourishing magical empire. White London, a corrupted city where magic is power, and the one to willed it are draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London, dead, sealed off from the rest, where magic had took evil form and consumed the city and its people.
The only people capable of travelling between on London to the other are the Antari. Kell is one of them, ambassador of the Maresh Empire, he carries the correspondence between the royals of each London.But mail is not the only thing he is carrying in between worlds. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, bring small object to willing to pay for a glimpse of the world they will never see. A small innocent hobby, until he smuggle something he shouldn't have.
He will soon cross path with, Delilah Bard, who will rob him, than save him and in the end force Kell to bring her with him to another world for a proper adventure.
"I'm not going to die," she said. "Not till I've seen it."
Her smile widened. "Everything."
The plot flows like a river, perfectly. Every word is chiseled to fit in a larger scheme, it's crafted perfection. Beautiful.
The world-building is genius. Simple and a complicated, the concept of four London is not nearly as confusing as I thought, everything explains it self while reading it. And while I usually find some plot-holes in this alternate reality kind of plot, This time I couldn't find any, it's totally bulletproof.
The characters, are close to perfection. And here I'm repeating myself , but I simply can't find any other words to describe it. Perfect, perfect and perfect!
Kell is mysterious, a darkish character without exaggeration; while Lila stuck me for her badassery, and her energetic personality despite being surrounded by violence and cruelty. A life-force. But what I loved even more where the interactions between them: no insta-love, no insta-friendship, everything is built on the evolution of needs and opportunity.
Victoria Schwab is for sure one of the most talented fantasy writer I ever read (with Leigh Bardugo, of course).
To celebrate the final installment of her trilogy that come out this month I'm doing a FREE GIVEAWAY : a paperback copy A Darker Shade of Magic. Read the rule to enter ----> HERE.