A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Victoria wowed me last summer with This Savage Song, and ever since I have been craving more of her writing. A Darker Shade of Magic represents what can happen when an author is truly dedicated.
Schwab beautifully constructs each world, from the already familiar Grey London, the vibrant Red London, to the lifeless White London. The worlds are presented to us through a considerate narrative that avoids the dreaded ‘info dumping’ of key information by revealing details through essential scenes.
The story features a fully fleshed cast of characters, a cross dressing thief with high aspirations, a magical, brooding red head with the ability to travel between worlds, a charming Prince that will make you swoon, and an intriguing magic system that plays a character of its own. The third person narrative perspective primarily follows Kell and Lila, two very different characters who become unlikely allies. While the perspective occasionally shifts to other characters, allowing for further exploration of the world and the peripheral characters that you come to care for immensely.
Schwab masterfully demonstrates the importance of showing, not of telling. Concluding the story in a satisfying yet open manner. This book is definitely going on my list of Favourite Books of All Time.
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