Review: A Darker Shade of Magic

darker-shade-of-magicA Darker Shade of Magic by V E Schwab. (This is one of my Discoverability Challenge books.)

I seem to be incredibly lucky in my choice of books at the moment. I’m mostly taking recommendations from others, and this one was thrust at me by @vicorva with a “you have to read this, it’s amazing!”

She’s right, it is amazing.

The characters are vivid, likeable, hateable, human. The cities are all different, drawn with beautiful and vibrant strokes. The plot is fast, gripping and wonderful; I was gripped from the start, wanting to know what happens and wanting to know more of the character’s secrets. The relationships between Kell and Rhy / Lila are brilliant; I love Lila! And the characters wind brilliantly into the plot. I love the magic system; different yet understandable. I love the quirks and the problems. I love that Schwab doesn’t have – or need – to tell us things, that there’s secrets and half-told stories.

I was originally sad that there wasn’t a sequel, but also wasn’t sure I wanted one; I wanted to leave the characters with their imagined adventures. However, there is a sequel! Whee!

Ps. I have read the sequel, A Gathering of Shadows…however, I’m not going to review it, because it’s a ***ing cliffhanger. I’m waiting until the follow-up is out in June to do a review of them both!

Author: kate

Kate Coe is an editor, book reviewer and writer of fiction & fantasy. She writes the sparkpunk GreenSky series and blogs at When she's not working, she fills her spare time in between writing with web design, gaming, geeky cross-stitch and DIY (which may or may not involve destroying things). She also reads far fewer books that she would like to, but possibly more than she really has time for.