Another fantasy trilogy for you, this time VE Schwab’s trilogy – A Darker Shade of Magic. I was in Waterstones one day and the bookseller suggested this title to me after I explained I was currently reading the Ash Princess. I was not disappointed!
— Megan Pollard (@m3gjopol) October 17, 2019
We find ourselves in a world with multiple Londons, all controlled with magic in some form. Red London, where our protagonist Kell is from, is full of magic but it seems to bless people with differing strengths. Grey London seems to be our version of London where magic has but disappeared and no one really believes in it. White London where magic still clings on but in desperation it can be stolen from people and the rulers are often replaced and not through natural death. Then Black London where magic took over completely and destroyed the land.
Kell is an antari who is someone very rare. Most magic takes the usual forms of Air, Earth, Fire or Water. Antari are able to control blood magic and this makes them both unusually powerful and able to transport between worlds, as long as they have a relic from that land. This makes them useful messengers as they can go between the 4 (now 3) Londons and send messages between the kingdoms. Kell was taken in by the King and Queen of Red London and raised as a son and brother to the future King, Rhy. Rhy unusually has no great strength when it comes to magic and this is a concern as most royalty do. The current King is a great earth magician with an affinity for steel and his wife is fantastic with water, enabling her to listen across the palace with water bowls placed everywhere. Rhy has the ability to charm and please people, make people love him and whilst not seen as magic, through Kells eyes you can see that this will eventually make him a great ruler.
Kell has a nasty secret. He brings items from other worlds home with him. This is something which is forbidden and we learn this as he brings through with him from White London a strange stone which imbues the holder with magic, Black London magic. This starts a chain of events of which cannot be stopped and leaves Kell and his new found Grey London friend Lila, fighting for their lives and that of Red London.
I thought this book series was fabulous. The characters all had depth to them and you really cared about them all. Each had flaws but they all seemed to work together quite well. The world was believable and adding Grey London as our own world and having Lila come from it, I thought was ingenious as it brings us into this world fully. We could be Lila.
I also really liked the covers on all three and thought they were well worked to make a lovely collection.
The three adjectives you can see on the cover really does sum up these books, they were marvellous, fantastic and captivating. I have never read anything from Schwab before but I certainly will keep an eye out for her future works!
It seems a short opinion section but when nothing really is wrong with the books makes it hard to add great length! 10/10.