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
This was my first venture into Victoria Schwab’s writing and I absolutely LOVED it! I found the world interesting to read about and I loved the concept of the four Londons, which were: Black London (which once existed but now doesn’t), White London (where magic has decayed the world), Grey London (where magic doesn’t exist anymore), and my favourite; Red London (where magic is very much alive and well. I think this was my favourite London because we spent most of the first book in Red London and see a lot of the world throughout the book. I think this is also my favourite as we learnt a lot about magic and saw it grow from the beginning.
This was the first book I finished as part of the #DEARathon (‘Drop Everything And Read’athon) hosted by Catriona and Red on Twitter. I found that the reading sprints were really helpful when it came to finishing this book as I found it motivating.
This book was the introduction to Kell and Lila and honestly their dynamic as a duo was amazing! I loved seeing them interact with each other and how they were both similar and different.
A Gathering of Shadows
Although it took me a while to get into this book, once I did, I loved it! Once everyone was in the same place and the atmosphere surrounding the big event (no spoilers!) started to pick up, I really started to enjoy the book.
The character development in this book was great! I loved seeing the characters more separately in this book and learning little things about them that perhaps the other characters didn’t know about. Talking about characters, I was introduced to one of my favourite characters in the series: Alucard Emery (privateer, not pirate), a ship’s captain. He was such an interesting character to learn about and I love that we didn’t know everything about him straight away. I loved seeing him interacting with characters and learning about his life later on. He was just such a great character!
I powered through a good 180 pages in one day as I was itching to finish the book so that I could continue with the series. I was shocked by the ending of the book (again, no spoilers), and I had to pick up the third book almost immediately. I didn’t have this feeling with the first book, but this book left me on a bit of a cliffhanger. This book takes place months after the first, whereas the third book takes place almost immediately after the second book finishes, which I loved!
A Conjuring of Light
Well. This was an incredible ending to an already incredible trilogy! I absolutely adored this book!
I loved the way this book developed and the way we saw the characters go through a lot of different situations. Again, I’m not spoiling anything for this book, as it is the third book in the trilogy, but I will say that I loved the relationships in this book; family, friendships, romances, enemies, everything. They were so well-written, and I loved the different dynamics that we saw with different relationships, it was so well done and I loved reading it all. I can’t think of a single negative point about this book. I found my opinion of different characters changed throughout the book, multiple times! It was just so good!
I spent all day on Saturday and Sunday reading the last 450 ages of this book, and it was great! I highly recommend reading this series if you’ve not done so already, especially if you enjoy books like Harry Potter, The Grisha trilogy, basically if you enjoy fantasy books, you’ll love this trilogy! This was my first venture into Victoria Schwab’s writing and I’ve since bought Vicious and City of Ghosts to read later this month (or maybe next month now…I’ve just seen the date!)
I highly recommend this series, I’ve rated every book 5/5 stars!
So that’s my review of the amazing Shades of Magic trilogy. Have you read it? If so, what did you think? Did you love it as much as I did? Let me know!