First Impression Friday: “A Darker Shade of Magic” by VE Schwab

Welcome back to First Impression Friday, where I ramble on about a book that I should probably have read a long time ago but am just now getting around to. This weekly series is hosted by JW Martin.

This week, we’re talking about A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab, and man, I am so far behind on getting into this series but man, am I glad that I finally picked this one up at Barnes & Noble.

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.

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic, #1)Why has it taken me so long to find this series? It’s almost four years old! I was still working at the book store when this series was released! How did I never see it?

However long it took me to find it, I’m so glad that I did. I was hooked from the very first page of this novel. I spent a lot of my time reading magical realism novels for my thesis, and I would say that there are definite magical realism themes in this novel. The basic premise is that there are three Londons (where there used to be four, but Black London long ago fell to their own avarice).

I will say that the description does not do the novel justice. Sure, it gives you a general overview, but I will say I didn’t expect to fall in so deep with these characters after just a few chapters.

I’m expecting this to be a very high rating, so let me shut up for now and keep reading. If you’ve read it, what are your thoughts? Let me know in the comments!

And as always, keep reading.


2 thoughts on “First Impression Friday: “A Darker Shade of Magic” by VE Schwab

  1. I had this book sitting on my bookshelf (my physical bookshelf!) for over a year. I still can’t believe I haven’t gotten to it! 2018 was the year of too many ARCs. 2019 is the year of catching up! Thanks for playing along with FIF!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I had it on my shelf for several months and brought it on a plane ride as my backup book — I started reading it on the plane back and had to be dragged through the second airport because I didn’t want to look up from it 😂

      Liked by 1 person

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