Shades of Magic Series by V.E. Schwab

The Shades of Magic trilogy follows Kell and Delilah Bard through the worlds of Red London, White London, and Grey London as they fight unknown evils that are seeking to return power to Black London, a London that has been locked off from the rest of the worlds because it craved magic more than life itself.

(Source: Kelsey Darling)
The Story of the Magic

The world is set up like the pages of a book, and Kell is one of the few left who can travel between the pages. On one end, you have Grey London, that is dirty, boring, free of magic, and has a mad king on the throne. Red London is on the next page, and here magic is looked upon highly, as are people like Kell, who can wield it. And lastly is White London, a place that is constantly in turmoil as the people seek to overthrow the current ruler, and each ruler drains the city of more and more magic. Once upon a time, Black London was on the other side of that, but it was locked away after corruption threatened to take down all of the worlds.

Kell hails from Red London, and lives with the royal family, and has been raised as the king and queens surrogate son. His "brother," Rhy Maresh, is the next heir to the throne, but his laid back demeanor shows that he believes the day to be far away. Kell uses his powers as a traveler to deliver news to the other Londons, which he has respectively named Grey and White, and his own Red, to differentiate between them. Kell is also, unofficially, a smuggler, bringing magical objects to collectors and believers. Although Kell has done this many times, he has finally gotten himself into hot water, and while making a run for it, collides with Delilah Bard, a pick-pocketer with dreams of owning a ship and taking to the open seas. This chance encounter binds Kell and Delilah through a three book saga, filled with love, deceit, magic, power, death, and fantastical adventures that will have you flipping through the pages at a break neck speed.

(Source: Giphy)
The Magic of the Dark and Twisty

A Darker Shade of Magic left me needing more. I liked it, but had the next two books already been in my possession, I don't know if I would have read them. However, the pace in the A Gathering of Shadows picked up and I couldn't put the it or A Conjuring of Light down.

A Gathering of Shadows introduces the Element Games and Alucard Emery, who was my most favorite character. The Element Games provides a round of parties that reminds me of "Masquerade" from Phantom of the Opera.

(Source: Giphy)
By the time I made it to A Conjuring of Light, I was extremely glad that I had the book in my hands and was in a position to read it right away because the cliffhanger from Shadows left me with whiplash. This one was the hardest for me to read though, because the amount of death left me extremely melancholy.

The whole series was unlike anything I'd read before, and was what I was needing at the time. It takes all three books to get to know the characters, and I love that. It made them more like actual people. You don't learn everything about them at one time, it takes days, weeks, months, and years to learn the dark and twisty parts of a person, and that is exactly how Schwab wrote the characters.

Rating: 7/10
Author: V.E. Schwab
Genres: Fantasy, Magic, Young Adult


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