Review | A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab

Amazon | TBD | Goodreads

413 Pages

Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.

Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.


This is one of those that has seemed to be eternally on my TBR. When I realized that Bookcon was coming up and that I was going to meet Schwab, I felt like I needed to get around to it.

There’s not a ton to say here other than that I’m absolutely addicted to her writing. I love how every time I’ve read one of her books, I never really know what to expect or who to trust.

I understand that this is a trilogy, and I do plan to read the rest of them. However, I do appreciate that the story in book one seems to wrap up pretty tightly by the end, so I can get around to reading some other things before picking up book two.

Amazing characters. Amazing story. These type of books remind me why I love fantasy so much.

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VICIOUS by V.E. Schwab | Review

Amazon | TBD | Goodreads

Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong. 

Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end? 


I found myself at the end of my sophomore semester in college having nothing to read, and I was having a stroll around the library and decided to pick this one up. For as long as I can remember, this has been on my TBR, and I’m glad that I decided to pick this one up!

I found myself actually liking Victor’s motives, and I understand this is supposed to be like a “villain v villain” type of story, but I actually felt sympathy for him, while having absolutely no remorse for Eli.

While I really enjoyed all of the stories and characters, my one critique would have to be the extremely short chapters. While I prefer short chapters over extremely long ones, I just felt that the short chapters in this one made it hard to really get into the story. The story just seemed chopped up so much.

But, overall, I really enjoyed the story and would recommend picking this one up if you haven’t already.

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