A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

This is one of those books that I noticed is blowing up so I figured I'd move this towards the top of the reading list and I wasn't disappointed. This is the first magic-themed book I've read that I couldn't connect to Harry Potter in any way (which is truly impressive because fantasy has really changed with HP, in my opinion). This is a dark story about a magician who can travel between different worlds by the power of blood. Kell is tricked and given a mysterious package that turns out to be a huge threat to all three travel-able London's and it seems to have come directly from the (presumably) destroyed Black London.

The plot is a little obvious at some points but there are some others were you sit straight up out of shock. I have touched very little Sci-Fi and this is an excellent start if you're on that same boat.

-- Josh

— From Josh H. Staff Picks

The premise: a world where there are four Londons, each with varying levels of magic in them. Our hero Kell is one of very few who can travel between all four. What follows is an utter blast to read, full of characters you will love, and love to hate. Once you read this, be prepared to read absolutely everything else V. E. Schwab writes for the rest of time.

-- Haley

— From Haley P. Staff Picks


A Darker Shade of Magic, from #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab

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 has all the hallmarks of a classic work of fantasy. Schwab has given us a gem of a tale...This is a book to treasure."--Deborah Harkeness, New York Times bestselling author of the All Souls trilogy

Shades of Magic series
1. A Darker Shade of Magic
2. A Gathering of Shadows
3. A Conjuring of Light

About the Author

VICTORIA "V.E." SCHWAB is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including the acclaimed Shades of Magic series, This Savage Song, Our Dark Duet and Vicious. Her work has received critical acclaim, been featured in the New York Times, Entertainment Weekly, Washington Post and more, translated into more than a dozen languages, and has been optioned for television and film. When she's not haunting Paris streets or trudging up English hillsides, she splits her time between Nashville, TN and Edinburgh, Scotland and is usually tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up monsters.
Product Details
ISBN: 9780765376466
ISBN-10: 0765376466
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: January 19th, 2016
Pages: 416
Language: English
Series: Shades of Magic