book reviews

A Darker Shade of Magic

V. E. Schwab

Book cover of A Darker Shade of Magic

When I picked A Darker Shade of Magic off the shelf at the bookstore I was shocked that I had not read it sooner! Fantasy series are my kryptonite and so when I stumbled upon this new series I was ecstatic! And in an even more exciting turn of events, I absolutely loved this novel. It took me only a day to finish A Darker Shade of Magic and then I was rushing back to the bookstore to purchase the rest of the series. It was one of those books that, as I was reading it, I was wishing I could read it slower so that I could enjoy how much I was enjoying it. You know those books, right? They are the best kind!

Right away, I was getting very strong Six of Crows vibes from this story. Maybe that was why I loved it so much (read my raving review of Six of Crows here) but at the same time it is very much its own story. Schwab masterfully creates not just one world, but multiple worlds throughout the course of the series, and each world is just as mysterious and complicated as the next. Instantly, I fell in love with Kell, the inter-world traveling messenger who embodies the peculiarities and intricacies of the worlds he transverses.

There is not much to say against A Darker Shade of Magic. The plot, the world-building, and the characters are all wonderfully written. On a very subjective note, I would have loved to see even more rOmAnCe between some of the characters. It is definitely there, but it is not the center of the story — which makes sense as it is a fantasy novel, not a romance, but, you know, one can yearn! I guess I was surprised there weren’t more intense romantic happenings because A Darker Shade of Magic is considered adult fantasy (rather than young adult) although I am not particularly sure why (publishers, respond?!). My inability to be satisfied with what romance I am given aside, Kell and Lila nevertheless have my heart.

Being involved in the book world, I am perplexed as to why I have not heard about or seen A Darker Shade of Magic appear as often as some other series?? Maybe I need to pay more attention, but I guess I will just have to do my part and rave about it ten times over! In my humble opinion, this novel deserves just as much hype as other series get, like Six of Crows or A Court of Thorns and Roses, and fans of those books would most definitely enjoy this series by Schwab.


I give A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab five stars. I was pleasantly pleased by how much I enjoyed reading this book, and it is always an exciting thing when books catch me off guard like that. If you are looking for constant tension and non-stop adventure, read this series, I promise it will not disappoint! I love the world Schwab has designed, and the characters she has developed within the worlds are just as compelling, which makes for an excellent book, and one that you should add to your bookshelf!

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Have you read A Darker Shade of Magic? Tell me what you thought about it in the comments!

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