Four Londons, One Tale : A Darker Shade of Magic Book Review

You want your mind blown don’t you? This is the book for you!

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Author: V. E. Schwab

Publisher: Tor Books

Format/Source: Physical

From GoodReads: 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.

The Book Nerds break down….

…the plot…

Crazy Cat Lady: This book has intimidated me for quite some time. I regret waiting so long. THIS BOOK! I am completely blown away by it. I have read Schwab before, so I knew she was good. SHE IS FANTASTIC. She intricately wove such an amazing story and made it easy to follow and understand. Four Londons… FOUR! And our main character can cross between them. The magic system is what I want for in our world. It is built so well, and I feel is so unique as well. I’ll be moving to Red London immediately.
Kell has so much to accomplish in this book. He fights his way through and has his own secrets as well.
Book Dragon: Hmmm. Now, that’s not a bad HMM.. but it’s a Hmm.. all the same. This plot was intense. It was very well developed, entwined and detailed. I knew it would be an intense book, but I really had NO idea how intense! I just recently began my dive into Schwab’s worlds and this left me reeling and ready for more. I honestly could not believe the thought that the put into each of the London’s, their societies, their values. It was mind blowing on many levels. Each world was just that, a brand new world that you were entering – each one with dictitions that you can feel and explore. I started it off with a HMMM bc it’s also very hard to pin down. If you miss one piece of the puzzle, you miss a lot — and that was frustrating at times for me.
Over all, the plot was brilliant and fast paced – something I’d easily get lost in again.

…the characters…

Crazy Cat Lady: Um excuse me Victoria, who said you could create Miss Delilah Bard? I love her and I claim her as my immediate bestie for life! She’s my favorite. I would trade Kell for her in a heartbeat. She’s so damn witty and does not care at all. I love Kell too. I won’t lie. He’s a jerk, like a real honest to goodness jerk. He’s also a big ole softy when it comes to his self proclaimed brother.
I won’t speak of the villians in this story, because I could wring their necks. Please go read it and then you will understand.
Book Dragon: Ah, the beautiful creature that is Lila. I cannot get over her. She is everything I’d ever want and more in an antihero. She is not a Mary Jane – and she is not a damsel in distress. She is the solver of problems, the creative thinker, and the girl who will tear your heart to shreds. I would gladly accept that fate from Miss Bard. Schwab created a character full of sass, grit, and spite. She is an aspiration on so many level.
Kell, on the other hand is a douche. That’s all.

…the writing…

Crazy Cat Lady: MAGICAL! Literally no other words describe Schwab. She is a writing Goddess.

Book Dragon: With prose that could rival the best of the world’s writers, Schwab shines again in her introduction to the Shades of Magic trilogy. The pace, flow and continuity is stunning. Its easy to get lost in the world, as she weaves us into a magical blanket of words. There is nothing left to say than go read her words.

…final thoughts…

I can’t believe it took me so long to pick this up. I am in love with ADSOM! It’s rare I can recall the smallest details from a book a month after reading it. This story is THAT GOOD!


Victoria Schwab is one of the best writers of our day, and ADSOM proves this to be true. The world and magic are unique, not only in her genres, but in writing in general, and built so anyone can und enjoy them. The Characters come alive, from the heroes who aren’t quite heros and villians that make your skin crawl. A Darker Shade of Magic is like no other story. From dozens of quote worthy lines to character development that rivals no other, her words are more than words – they are a passage to an adventure – to those willing to endeavour.

About the Author:

Victoria “V.E.” Schwab is the #1 NYT, USA, and Indie bestselling author of more than a dozen books, including Vicious, the Shades of Magic series, and This Savage Song. Her work has received critical acclaim, been featured by EW and The New York Times, been translated into more than a dozen languages, and been optioned for TV and Film. The Independent calls her the “natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones” and touts her “enviable, almost Gaimanesque ability to switch between styles, genres, and tones.”

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