Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) – V.E. Schwab (Pseudonym), Victoria Schwab

Rating: 4/5 Stars

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy


This is the first book I’ve read by V.E. Schwab. So I started the Shades of Magic trilogy without any expectations. The good thing about no expectations is you don’t get disappointed. But ADSOM wasn’t a disappointment. On the contrary, it turned out to be a wonderful surprise. Once in a while, you stumble across a book that makes it all worthwhile.

Kell was in one word, fantastic. Mysterious, with his faults and strengths, trying to find his place in his world, where he fit in, trying to do the right thing. I liked him a lot from the very start and I was deeply invested in him and his life. Halfway through the book, I was pretty much in love with him.

Delilah “Lila” Bard was another marvelous character. Lila was so wicked cool. Strong, talented as a thief, courageous, reckless. She was a delight. That little glimpse of honor in her made her irresistible.

The world-building, and the plot were superb. The descriptions made it all real for me so I felt as if I could see the story unfolding in front of my eyes and not just in my mind. The writing was beautiful and a pleasure to read.

The ending was a bit anticlimactic because I’d expected a cliffhanger and I was really rooting for Kell and Lila. But this was just the first book in the series and it was really good.

Synopsis: Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black. Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand. After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure. Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.


I'm a die-hard Book Dragon and also an advanced introvert. My blog's about books, books and more books. (yep, that was easy) I might, from time to time, write about life and its vagaries. I like taking pictures of books and doing origami and cross-stitch.

7 thoughts on “Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) – V.E. Schwab (Pseudonym), Victoria Schwab

      1. Yep, I’ve heard of it too but I think it really works best when you know the other person very well and you can sense what him/her thoughts will be on that book. I think it’s a lovely surprise for me to find you reading and enjoying the same series as me 😊


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