I have fallen head over heels for the amazing characters V. E. Schwab has created in this series. They are lovable and they all have flaws that they learn from — an aspect that carries the story beautifully. The characters, on top of the novel's magical fantasy elements, have made this one of my go-to recommendations! Recommended By Brianna B., Powells.com
A tale of urban fantasy that is up there with Gaiman's Neverwhere, it tells the story of Kell, a rare breed of magician who can travel between parallel versions of London, and Lila, a tough and roguish cross-dressing pirate. Recommended By Shayna O., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
A Darker Shade of Magic, from #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab
Kell is one of the last Antari — magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes — Red London — and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive.
"A Darker Shade of Magic has all the hallmarks of a classic work of fantasy. Schwab has given us a gem of a tale...This is a book to treasure." Deborah Harkness, New York Times bestselling author of the All Souls trilogy
Shades of Magic series
1. A Darker Shade of Magic
2. A Gathering of Shadows
3. A Conjuring of Light
“A Darker Shade of Magic is smart, funny and sexy...Schwab keeps the excitement coming with roller-coaster plot twists that establish her as, perhaps, the natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones's contemporary fantasy crown.” The Independent
“A Darker Shade of Magic feels like a priceless object, brought from another, better world of fantasy books.” io9
“Compulsively readable...her characters make the book. Just as Kell has layers, Lila is a satisfyingly rich invention...With so many worlds on the map, there's plenty left to discover.” NPR
About the Author
V. E. Schwab is the author of the New York Times-bestselling Shades of Magic series, as well as The Near Witch, The Archived, and Vicious. The product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing, Schwab has a penchant for tea and BBC shows, and a serious and well-documented case of wanderlust.