Flashback Friday: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by VE Schwab

» 22 July, 2016 » Reviews » 4 comments

Flashback Friday: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by VE SchwabA Darker Shade of Magic by VE/Victoria Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic #1
Published by Tantor Audio on April 21st 2015
Genres: Adult, Fantasy
Pages: 416 pages
Format: Audiobook, Paperback
Narrator: Steven Crossley
Source: Library, I Own This
Length: 11 hours 37 minutes
Goodreads | Amazon | Book Depository
5 Stars

Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once 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 royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her '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 — trickier than they hoped.

Flashback Friday!

Flashback Fridays are reviews of books I’ve read before and loved! I re-read these favorites and my reviews discuss both I how felt the first time I read it as well as how I feel after the reread!

It hasn’t been all that long since I first read A Darker Shade of Magic and the sequel released in February. VE Schwab was in my area for the A Gathering of Shadows tour and I was able to get a personalized copy of ADSOM. I loved meeting VE Schwab – it was so cool to hear her and the other authors talk about their writing experiences (Marie Lu was also there!). I vlogged the experience and I’m hoping to get a post up about it soon!

The Audiobook

Needless to say, after leaving the event I was dying to reread ADSOM and get started on AGOS as soon as possible. I’ve really been in an audiobook mood and I wanted to reread ADSOM via audio – so I did! Overall I probably read about half of it and listened to about half of it. The narrator wasn’t quite as good as I had hoped. My main complaint about his narration was that the voice he used to Kell made him sound old! The narrator obviously could do younger sounding voices because both Lila and Rhy sounded their age. Eventually, I got used to his voice and still loved the audiobook overall.

The Reread

I was surprised at how much of the plot I had forgotten a year! Once I’ve gotten my thoughts out about a book out of my head and into a book review, I tend to forget out it! How I feel about the characters usually sticks with me but plots blow away like the wind. My terrible book amnesia is why I prefer to binge series when I can! 🙂 I remembered a lot of the first half of the story but I had apparently completely forgotten the whole end of the book! (In fact, I had made a completely different ending in my head LOL)

This book was just as good on reread as it was the first time around. The world building is fantastic – one of the reasons I loved the book in the first place – and the characters were just as endearing. VE Schwab’s writing is just fantastic. I was completely drawn into this world and coming back to it felt like coming home. The characters she has created have such unique personalities and I’m very excited to see where the story goes. This whole past year I’ve been daydreaming about the plot of the sequel (based on my terrible memory of what I thought had happened), only to realize upon reread that the second book is probably not at all what I thought it was going to be about. Whoops! 😛

In Summary

This book did not disappointed on reread! I highly recommend this book to any YA or Adult fantasy lover out there – the world and the characters are so well done. If you enjoy audiobooks, I say give it a try but the narrator might not be for everyone – especially if you already have a voice for Kell established in your head. I’m so excited to read AGOS now and I’m hoping to pick it up very soon.

Have you read this series?

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4 Responses to “Flashback Friday: A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by VE Schwab”

  1. Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover

    I’ve not read these books, but I’m currently reading Vicious right now, and I’m really liking it, so I’ll most likely be wanting to read these books when I’m finished. And I, too, prefer to binge series because otherwise I will completely forget what happened. This is a great way to review re-reads!

    – Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover
    Lefty @ The Left-Handed Book Lover recently posted…Lefty’s Lowdown: Psi Another Day by D.R. RosensteelMy Profile

  2. Valerie

    Hahah I love that you made up an entirely different ending, what did you think even happened??? Also I am so excited for you to read AGOS! And of course I’m super jealous that you got to meet V. E. Schwab. That must have been really exciting!
    Valerie recently posted…Review: NevernightMy Profile