22 Following

Romance and other things


Really enjoyed!

A Darker Shade of Magic - V.E. Schwab


Kell is one of the last Travelers-magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes, connected by one magical city.

There's Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and 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 a flourishing empire. 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, 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.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell 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.




I saw this book recommended during my lurking times at file 770. I always loved the SFF books which portray multiple realities (I love time travel too but this book does not have that, at least not yet) and the idea of multiple Londons fascinated me, so I one clicked.


So cool. Four Londons in this book are located in the same place and even named the same but that's about all the similarities they have - not all of them are the capitals of Great Britain and in some realities Great Britain does not even exist. All of the Londons have some kind of relationship with magic - some live in harmony, some not, and some let the magic consume them. The only connections between four Londons are people like Kel time travelling magic users (Antari) and those people deliver the letters from monarchs of one London to another. Kel also does some smuggling on the side - it is forbidden to bring anything but travelling coins from London to another for very good reasons, but I could understand Kel wanting some excitement. Of course if there is a gun on the wall, it will shoot eventually and his smuggling does get Kel in some trouble eventually (okay in A LOT of trouble), but not only him, of course his London is in trouble too.


And in grey London he acquires himself a companion for his future adventures - Delilah price, unrepentant thief and sometimes killer, but who had her good qualities (some of them anyway?). I did not particularly care for her to be honest - I do not quite get why some authors think that to make strong female character means to give her qualities which would irritate me in the male character too. She wanted adventure, huh? Survival being her motivation for doing unsavory things would have been enough a plenty for me, why did she need to show off some stupidity too I am not sure. But I did not hate her and this is first book so hopefully she will improve later on for my taste. How magic functions in those worlds seemed to be well thought out and I usually really enjoy seeing what authors come up with re: magic.


The adventure was good, one of the villains may have a potential to become an antihero in the next installment, and I kind of miss that ( meaning have not read for a while), so looking forward to that

(if he is not dead that is, but I thought all the signs point to him not being dead - like having a weak pulse when Kel kind of disposes of him)

(show spoiler)



The book is not a romance at all and I hope it won't become one between Kel and Delilah, she seemed kind of interested in Kel's adoptive brother Prince Rhy (what a sweet guy),

but I so want for Rhy to end up with a guy, because throwaway paragraph about him having boys and girls in his bed while needing to look for a mate better not be throwaway.

(show spoiler)