A Darker Shade of Magic

*The images are from Pinterest.

Title: A Darker Shade Of Magic (Shades of Magic # 1)

Author: Victoria Schwab
Rating: 5 STARS!!!
Published February 24th 2015 by Tor Books
ISBN:  0765376458 (ISBN13: 9780765376459)

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.

Source: Goodreads

The world was made of give and take, and magic could be strengthened and weakened, but it could not be manifested into nothing. 

A Darker Shade of Magic entails the idea of four Londons. Red, White, Black and Grey London. All of those are picturesque. The citizens of each London are not aware that the other version of London exists. But the thing is, no one knows how and why four versions of London started to come alive. Each version of London have their own rules, language, and culture. The beauty of it is that only an Antari can travel into another London. As all of Londons are entwined by magic, it is essentially by magic also on how a character can travel into it.

Antari is a term for a person that is blessed by magic. Which means from the day they were born, magic is already their calling. They can easily manifest any elements without much effort or chant. An Antari calls unto the magic the way a person can easily unlock a door. It was dangerous and exciting from my perspective. Kell Maresh is one of the Antari of the Red London. Another is from the Black London - Holland.

Kell is the messenger of Red London in which he was assigned by the King. He travels through Londons and delivers the message to the another ruler of London. In both ways, Kell only wanted to follow the rules but at some point, there are rules that are inevitable to be broken. On the course of reading ADSOM, I was really astounded the way the characters and the Londons are pictured. The culture and language of different Londons is one of my favorite. It is the best of both worlds, you get to see magic in both harmonious and disastrous way.

Another character that I loved in ADSOM is Delilah 'Lila' Bard. She's one of the bravest and most fierce female character that I will infinitely adore for the rest of my bookish life! I was so in love with the way the story gradually comes into a dangerous adventure of a seemingly an ordinary human and an Antari. ADSOM pushed Kell and Lila to risk themselves to save the important people in their lives. Even the dangerous characters are endearingly charming. They have their own ways to broke people and still keep them in their hands fully functional yet insane on the inside.

Once you have started on reading ADSOM, you will definitely fall in love with the characters and its setting. This book brought a lot of not only magic but it will take you to a dangerous adventure that you will surely grip on until the end. Next thing you know, you're hungry for the sequel.

About the Author

Victoria “V.E.” Schwab is the NYT, USA, and Indie best-selling author of more than a dozen books, including Vicious, the Shades of Magic series, and This Savage Song. Her work has received critical acclaim, been featured by EW and The New York Times, been translated into more than a dozen languages, and been optioned for TV and Film. The Independent calls her the “natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones” and touts her “enviable, almost Gaimanesque ability to switch between styles, genres, and tones.”