A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Synopsis: "Kell is one of the last Antari, a rare magician who can travel between parallel worlds: hopping from Grey London — dirty, boring, lacking magic, and ruled by mad King George — to Red London — where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire — to White London — ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne, where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back — and back, but never Black London, because traveling to Black London is forbidden and no one speaks of it now.
Officially, Kell is the personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see, and it is this dangerous hobby that 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 take her with him for her proper adventure.
But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save both his London and the others, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — a feat trickier than they hoped."
Review: The creativity of this book is absolutely infinite. Victoria Schwab has literally left my brain turning and speechless. There has rarely been a book where I have been completely enthralled and didn't have any romance (in fact it's already pretty rare to just find any young adult book without romance). The only romance is my love of this book. Everything was so vibrant and detailed and I can't stop thinking about it. Initially I just saw tons of pictures of this on bookstagram and then, without even reading the synopsis I went on to get this book from the library and I couldn't be happier because this book really lived up to its hype.
Let's start with Kell. Kell is such a perfectly described person (or Antari) but I really felt like I knew him while at the same time he was able to keep this mysterious presence throughout the story. From the smallest gold button to his magical blood and his darkened eye everything about Kell was known and unknown and truly a character I really enjoyed unfolding by reading more.He seems cold yet ready to help everyone, especially his beloved brother/prince, Rhy.
Then there's Lila. When Lila was first introduced I honestly had no idea what to do with her and how she would be relevant, it turns out she was VERY important. I loved how Lila was portrayed. She reminded me a lot of Elizabeth Bennet (sorry reading Pride and Prejudice for school right now) in that she knew what she wanted and did anything she could to achieve it... hmm now that I think about it she could pretty much be like all the other incredible strong female leads in recent ya novels!.However Lila is different in her own quirky way.
PLOT TWISTS WERE PRESENT. To be fair.. I really couldn't predict almost any of the novel due to it being so different from what I usually read, but STILL some of these plot twists were CRAAAYZY. (but amazing!!!) At some points I literally just gasped out loud... However I also found that I had a TON of questions throughout the book, but I guess the answer for all could just be magic...
ADSOM honestly was not what I expected but still such an incredible novel. I loved being able to see this whole different place form in front of me. I feel like this book really taught me or at least pushed me to be more adventurous and love harder. However this book is not really over! Yep that's right now I'm headed off to go and read A Gathering of Shadows to catch up more on Kell and Lila and just maybe learn some more of the Londons and some life lessons mixed in! I would really recommend this book to and fantasy/ adventure lovers out there, but I think this book is really great for anyone so go and check it out!
Cover: ★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★★ (UM FREAKIN GORGEOUS)
Favorite Quote: " 'Some people steal to stay alive, and some steal to feel alive. Simple as that.'
'And which are you?' asked Kell.
'I steal for freedom,' " - pg 266
(not really a quote but I LOVED THIS LANGUAGE) " 'As Athera. To grow. As Pyrata. To burn. As Illumae. To light. As Travars. To Travel. As Orense. To open. As Anasae. To dispel. As Hasari. To heal.' " - pg 257
A fan of anything fiction, furry, & fun.