A Darker Shade of Magic Review – Buddy Read with Namitha @ Teen Memoir

Synopsis from Edelweiss:

Prepare to be dazzled by a world of parallel Londons—where magic thrives, starves, or lies forgotten, and where power can destroy just as quickly as it can create.
Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands.

There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, with one mad king—George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered—and where Kell was raised alongside Rhys Maresh, the rougish heir to the throne. White London—a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London…but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, he’s a smuggler, a dangerous, defiant hobby to have—as proven when Kell stumbles into a setup with a forbidden token from Black London.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, who first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

About: A Darker Shade of Magic is a young adult fantasy novel written by V.E. Schwab (aka Victoria Schwab). It was published on 2/24/2015 by Tor Books, an imprint of Macmillan Publisher. The genres are fantasy, young adult, fiction, historical, and magic. This is a series of 3 books: book 1 is A Darker Shade of Magic, book 2 is A Gathering of Shadows and book 3 is A Conjuring of Light. Another book by this author I read was The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. According to the publisher’s website, “Tor.com is a site for science fiction, fantasy, and all the things that interest SF and fantasy readers. It publishes original fiction, art, and commentary on science fiction and related subjects by a wide range of writers from all corners of the field; both professionals working in the genres and fans. Its aim is to provoke, encourage, and enable interesting and rewarding conversations with and between its readers.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.

Buddy Read Q&A with Namitha @ Teen Memoir

Questions from Namitha:

If you had to describe this book in three words, what would they be?

Namitha: captivating, awing, and gorgeous

Jasmine: mystery, intense, and kickass

Which character would you choose to be between Kell and Lila and why?

Namitha: I would choose Kell because I would like to travel between worlds and live in Red London.

Jasmine: I would choose Lila. Despite her rough situation, she has a positive attitude. She doesn’t give in to being weak and scared. She puts forth a strong image and takes care of herself. The ambition to wanting something more and doing something to obtain it shows her drive to succeed. I’m curious to find out what she discovers.

What do you think about blood magic?

Namitha: I thought blood magic was a cool and different concept. It does seem painful to cut ourselves every time we need the magic to work though.

Jasmine: I’m not going to lie, I do cringe every time it’s being used.

My Questions:

Which London would you like to live?

Namitha: I would like to live in Red London – it seems like an ideal world to live in with all the magic, flowery scents and beautiful sights.

Jasmine: I would like to live in Red London. I like flower smells and to be able to use magic.

What do you like most about this book?

Namitha: Blood magic and Antari magic is something that I found really intriguing and unique. I also enjoyed the relationship between Kell and Lila.

Jasmine: I love the banter between Kell and Lila.

What do you think of the villains?

Namitha: I thought the villains of the novel brought villainy to a whole new level. The powers that they possessed and their wicked thinking was intense and different from what I’d seen before.

Jasmine: The villains has cool powers. I like the power to take over the body of another person.

My Experience: I started reading A Darker Shade of Magic on 4/24/17 and finished it on 5/8/17 at 12:18AM. I’m fortunate to have the opportunity to buddy read this book with the awesome Namitha @ Teen Memoir! Please follow the link to her blog to read her thoughts on this book! I love the fantasy and the writing in this book! I like that it’s unlike any other fantasy I have read. The blood magic, to be honest, makes me cringe every time it is being used, but it’s different and I welcome the change! I do like the world building and I absolutely love the humor in this book!

“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”

In this book, readers will follow the point of views of Kell, a magician who can travel between worlds and Lila (Delilah) Bard, a cutthroat and a thief who is looking for freedom. The world building is a bit complicated at first, but as the story progressed, it became clearer. There are 4 Londons: Grey, Red, White, and Black. It’s in a row where Black London has dark magic and Grey London is lacked of magic. Kell is mysterious in this book because he doesn’t know his birth parents. He likes to trade and collect forbidden objects with collectors seeking objects from other Londons and at one point, he ended up with a dangerous magic that he must take it upon himself to get rid of. The mission is nearly impossible to achieve because powerful bad guys are after him for this dark magic and he has to die trying to prevent it from getting into the wrong hands. At the same time, the dark magic is calling to him, and at times, he is cornered to utilizing the magic himself in order to stay alive. This dark magic, however, is looking for a host and Kell has to fight against the magic before it controls him. It’s intense reading this book because it seems like Kell is at a dead end.

“I apologize for anything I might have done. I was not myself.”
“I apologize for shooting you in the leg.” said Lila. “I was myself entirely.”

I love the two main characters in this book, Kell and Lila. I enjoy their bickering a lot! I really like Lila because she’s so independent and badass. I like her positive attitudes, confidence, and self-reliant. She lives alone and has to be a thief to survive. She lives in Grey London but always wanted something more. For whatever reasons, she ended up crossing paths with Kell and it brought her the adventures she’s least expected but fully embraced. It’s really awesome following her train of thoughts. There may be no romance in this book but the fun banter makes up for it. I also enjoy Parrish and Gen’s third person point of views of the happenings out on the town when the black magic was spreading. I am so excited to read the next book and find out what Lila is up to. I highly recommend this book to everyone!

Pro: mystery, suspense, humor, intense, adrenaline rush, magic, fantasy, page turner, fast paced, action packed

Con: a bit complicated in the beginning

I rate it 5 stars!

Buy here for free shipping: Book Depository

About the Author:

Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say “tom-ah-toes,” “like,” and “y’all.”
She also tells stories. She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.
Victoria has stated that books published under V.E. Schwab are adult releases and those under Victoria Schwab are YA.
(Photo & info obtained from Goodreads).

***Disclaimer: I bought this book with my own money and my opinions are honest.


29 thoughts on “A Darker Shade of Magic Review – Buddy Read with Namitha @ Teen Memoir

  1. Melissa @ BookNerdMomo says:

    I’m so so so happy you ended up loving this book, Jasmine! It hasn’t even been that long since I read it and your review makes me want to go back and reread it now. I love how you said you want to be Lila because I would want to be her too. She’s completely badass, isn’t she? I loved her reckless side and how she wasn’t afraid to go for what she wanted. And the Antari magic also made me cringe at times. It was pretty cool but I couldn’t see myself voluntarily hurting myself for magic. Also, the second quote you included! That’s one of my favorite parts. 😂😂 Anyway! I can’t wait to see your thoughts on the next two books. You get a lot more Lila in book two so I have a feeling you’re going to be happy about that. 😁 Great review as always!!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jasmine says:

      Thanks Melissa 🙂 Lila is definitely badass haha.. I really like her reaction when she reached White Throne and finally feel scared haha.. I do love her confidence and her love for a good suit instead of pretty dresses got me smile haha..

      Liked by 1 person

      • Melissa @ BookNerdMomo says:

        You’re welcome!! 😁 I loved her reaction in White London too. It was definitely nice to finally see something freak her out because it added a more realistic aspect to her character. And I loved that she choose a suit instead of a dress too. The whole part with Calla and the Night Market was one of my favorite parts. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. snowlyramble says:

    I’m so glad to hear you liked this book! I only heard about this series since joining the blogging community, but it is a good one! The banter is definitely the highlight of this book, and Kell is my favourite 🙂
    I hope you enjoy the rest of the series!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jasmine says:

      Have you read them all? Blogging is definitely the place to get info on new books. I do intend to read the whole series this year and may even branch out to the author’s other books haha..

      Liked by 1 person

      • snowlyramble says:

        Yeah I have! The whole series flows really nicely- it definitely feels like one big movie! This was the first series of Schwab’s that I have tried, although I have bought another of her books- ‘This Savage Song- which I look forward to giving a go!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Reading Tounwind says:

    Great review! I love a book with a good banter back and forth I feel like the characters then immediately fit in with one another if they can go back and forth! I am glad the complicated beginning worked out for this book!!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. raistlin0903 says:

    You just keep adding new books to my Goodreads list lol. I really love this concept about the Blood Magic and the parallel universes. This novel has now become an absolute must read for me. It sounds seriously cool. Maybe I should just spent a month not watching movies and catching up on some novels. That might be a good idea. Still, thanks for sharing your thoughts for this one. It looks very cool 😀

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jasmine says:

      Yes! Take a movie break! hehe.. And it’s a good time to start reading this series because all 3 books are available. No need to wait a year for the next one. The whole series is composed of 3 books! It’s a must read 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    I’m so glad you finally got a chance to read this book!! Will you be buddy reading the whole series?

    I agree with you about blood magic making me cringe. I got a bit numb to it by the end of the series, however. It’s a cool world building device. Particularly in the next book when you learn more about the other types of magic. 😄 great review, Jasmine!!

    Liked by 2 people

      • Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

        Actually, I gave this book 4 stars and the next two in the series 5 stars (I really need to publish those reviews…). For me, character development is key to my enjoyment of a story. And these characters are all brilliant. I felt like book one really hooked me, but I wanted more. I definitely got it in A Gathering of Shadows!

        Liked by 1 person

  6. namitha says:

    Yes! It was a really great decision😊
    And I loved the way you described the stone and its powers…. it was a pretty difficult thing to understand and you have executed it in a really precise way 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jasmine says:

      Aww.. you are making me blush 🙂 No two reviews are alike and I’m glad you bring up the third person point of view. I do really like that in this book. I also like that you point out about the writing & descriptions. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • namitha says:

        ☺️ I’m glad you liked that point… I wasn’t sure about adding that because I thought it would make my review a lengthy one 😅 but removing that part wouldn’t have made that big a difference 😅😂

        Liked by 1 person

    • Jasmine says:

      I haven’t read her other books but I will be after I go through this one. Thanks Bentley! I hope you will get to read it soon and I’m looking forward to read your thoughts! 🙂

      Liked by 2 people

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