A Darker Shade of Magic

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

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

I enjoyed getting immersed in this fantasy world. The concept was really interesting and I found every character to be enjoyable for various reasons. It definitely felt like only the surface of a truly epic story and I look forward to continuing the series.

Full Review with Spoilers

This book was a really fun journey. The entire concept of this fantasy world was engaging and interesting. The concept of several worlds existing at once and only certain people being able to travel between them opens a huge opportunity for vast stories. The world building felt huge for these reasons. With the world having so much possibility, this story felt small by comparison. That, in no way, is meant in a bad light. It felt very clear that this book was intended for a series. Several elements were brought up that didn’t see a resolution, like Lilah having dormant magic and a glass eye. It very clearly points to something that was not addressed in this book. The solid world building has pulled me into wanting to continue the series.

In addition to the setting, the characters were fantastic. Main character Kell was a good blend of compassionate and being closed off. He was very likable and his personal journey was engaging and felt believable. I did however completely adore his counterpart through the story, Lilah. She was witty and tough and a ridiculously fun character. I loved how well she balanced Kell and her skill set as a thief and her street knowledge was the key to many turning points of the book. As mentioned, I was happy to see there is much more to her character that I assume will be explored more through the series. The secondary characters were also enjoyable. A few characters like Kells brother Rhy and the rulers of each of the Londons were well developed and I genuinely felt they added substance. Several others were very brief and got just enough time to understand why they are mentioned without feeling like time was wasted.

I did feel like the epic fight with Athos and Astrid Dane went a bit quickly. I did understand that that Kell was given, against his will, power that would help him fight, but it felt a little too easy in a way. I expected a little bit more struggle and when it was over I kind of felt cheated. There was so much build up and the Danes were the cause of so much chaos that I just thought the fight with them would have been bigger. For the most part it was fine and it had some good moments. It just seemed too easy.

Overall, it was a great book and I can’t wait ton continue the series so I can see what happens with Kell and Lilah. These two character really carried the story.

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