My Rating: 4 hearts
Thoughts on the Novel: After reading a bunch of less than stellar books, I was more than looking forward to reading Victoria Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic with Christina from Christina Reads YA because the reviews that I had seen for A Darker Shade of Magic had all been positive. Moreover, I had really enjoyed Schwab’s debut novel, The Near Witch, when I read it a few years ago.
Like with The Near Witch, I really loved the worldbuilding in A Darker Shade of Magic. Originally, I was worried that I would get confused by all the different Londons Kell kept talking about, but Schwab did an exemplary job of showing how they differ from each other in the present and explaining how they diverged in their history with regards to magic.
Although the character development wasn’t as strong, I really liked the characters. Kell is one of only two Antari, magicians able travel between the Londons. A Red Londonder and an adopted member of the royal family, Kell is also a smuggler. Meanwhile, Lila is a Gray Londoner who has learned to survive on the streets by being great at pickpocketing. You just know that when Kell and Lila meet, they’re going to get more than they bargained for!
I didn’t get hooked by A Darker Shade of Magic until about a third of the way in; but after that, there was so much action and adventure that I had to keep turning the pages. Since I have a copy of the sequel, I’m hoping to read it soon!
Comments About the Cover: I don’t particularly like or hate it.