A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab

This review only covers the first five chapters of V.E. Schwab’s new novel, A Darker Shade of Magic.

A Darker Shade of Magic

There are four Londons. Grey London is the one we know. Red London is full of magic. White London is a brutal place that’s dying. Black London was cut off centuries ago, taken over by magic. Kell is one of the few people who can walk between the Londons and he’s employed as a royal messenger. Kell is also our guide as we learn about the four Londons and their dangers. The five chapters I read of A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab, made me very curious about what was going to happen next. 

There’s not much plot and anything I might say about the overall shape of A Darker Shade of Magic would be a guess. Hints in the novel, the cover, and the title lead me to think that Kell and the other characters will somehow end up in Black London. Red, Grey, and White London are not all sunshine and roses. Schwab gives her characters real stakes to play for.

If A Darker Shade of Magic is written with same sort of innovation (and I have no reason to think it’s not) that Schwab’s first novel, Vicious, this will be a wonderfully original read. Vicious was a dark and philosophical version of a superhero story. A Darker Shade of Magic isn’t in the same genre, so I can’t pick up any clues about the direction of the book that way.

I’ve clearly been spoiled by NetGalley and Edelweiss. I hate haven’t to wait for publication day to read a book like this one.

I received a free copy of this preview from NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. The book will be released 24 February 2015.


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