Currently on NetGalley is a 150 page preview of A Darker Shade of Magic. I would usually avoid these kinds of things as I hate starting a book and not being able to finish it instantly (if I love it), but I made the exception because I’ve followed Miss Schwab on Twitter for a while now and I was really interested in reading something of hers. So, I picked up the excerpt and you can find my thoughts on it below.
Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab
Published: February 24th 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Length: 150 pages*
*for excerpt only
Book Blurb (via Goodreads):
The first 150 pages available on NetGalley as a sneak peak.
From V.E. Schwab, the critically acclaimed author of Vicious, comes a new universe of daring adventure, thrilling power, and parallel Londons, beginning with A Darker Shade of Magic.
Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes—as such, he can choose where he lands.
There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, ruled by a mad King George. Then there’s Red London, where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne—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, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, 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—a dangerous hobby, and one that has set him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations, who first robs him, then saves him from a dangerous enemy, and then forces him to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—and that is proving trickier than they hoped.
Wow, I feel the need to say right off the bat that this sample has the perfect cliffhanger ending to hook you right in!
Schwab introduces us to four Londons: Red, White, Grey and Black. Though they share a name, that’s about all they have in common. Magic is alive in one, while dead in another. Ruthless rulers in one, peaceful monarchy in another. It’s startling to see the differences between each of the worlds. Only the Antari can travel between them, magical beings that have powerful magic. Kell is an Antari with a fantastically magic coat – turn it inside out in different ways and it becomes a different kind of coat!
I loved this glimpse into A Darker Shade of Magic and it’s definitely made me want to keep reading, so I’ll be eagerly awaiting the 24th when I can get my hands on a copy!
There’s magic, mystery, pirates, and more in this exciting fantasy world. I can’t wait to find out what happens next.
About the Author
Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say “tom-ah-toes,” “like,” and “y’all.”
She also tells stories.
She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.