Joint Review | A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic, #1)

For our first joint review, Alyssa and Christina have teamed up to talk about A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab, which was essentially one of the most perfect books either of us has had the privilege of reading.

Reviewers: Christina & Alyssa
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Age Group: Adult
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 400 (hardcover)
Format/Source: Paperback, Birthday gift from self (what?) / Hardcover, Borrowed from library
Find the Book: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | or look for it at your local indie!

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.

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Waiting on Wednesday [2] | A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic, #1)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, where we bloggers get a chance to feature upcoming releases that we can’t wait for!

Find the book: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Release Date: February 24, 2015

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.

I NEED this book for several very good reasons, despite the fact that it’s an adult title and therefore not what I usually read:

The author. Although V. E. Schwab is the name she goes by for her adult books, Victoria Schwab is also the author of The Archived, which was one of my favorite reads of this year and ALL TIME. (Because I’m awful at getting my hands on books, I have yet to devour The Unbound, but mark my words, I will.) Her sharp, gorgeous writing style is genius, and the way the magic bleeds into the very fabric of the story – ugh, it’s so inspiring and breathtaking and jealousy-inducing.

The premise. Victoria herself has stated that A Darker Shade of Magic will contain magic in heaps, pirates, parallel universes, cross-dressing thieves, crazy kings and queens, fight scenes, and angst. I mean, I like every single one of these elements when they’re alone. But together? It sounds almost too good to be true.

The setting. Um, it’s London. Actually, it’s several Londons. Let’s try that again. LONDON. Need I say more?

The cover. If you don’t think this combination of an amazing red-black color scheme, wickedly cool typography, and detailed, expressive art isn’t an absolute work of genius, I really don’t know what to say to you.

Okay, there. Now that I’ve explained myself, you won’t have to think me odd whenever I practically salivate at every mention of this book, yes? And we only have to wait… six more months! *cries inwardly*