Author: V. E. Schwab
Title: "A darker shade of magic"
Book 1 in series Shades of magic
Main characters: Kell and Lila
Ok people... I have to say that all the hype is definitely worth it in this case :) I've been hearing a lot of stuff about this book, and this trilogy in general, because it's the first installment, for quite a while now... :) and pretty much everything I heard were praises... the only difference was how much someone loved them ;) so after checking out the free e-book sample that you can download through Amazon on your kindle... or kindle app like in my case ;) and really liking the writing style, I went ahead and bought all three books... and let me tell you... it was one of my best decisions :) because after finishing the first one, I immediately started the second one :) I will now tell you a bit more about the whole series and the world in general plus some basic informations about our main characters, and then I will jump into all the praises about how awesome this book was ;)
I'm pretty sure that a lot of you may know this already, but for all of you who never heard about these books, here goes :) Shades of magic, the amazing fantasy trilogy, or at least this first book ;) takes place in Londons... yes, you read that correctly... Londons as in plural and everything ;) because it's set in an alternate version of our world a few centuries back ;) and when I said that there are multiple Londons, I actually have in mind number four :) so there is Grey London, which is our London, where magic is nonexistent... we have Red London, where magic is thriving and full of life... White London, where it's dying and Black London... well, there used to be Black London, but something went horribly wrong there and now it's closed off from everything and everyone else... :) sounds super interesting, right? :) w ealso have two main characters in this story... and a few very strong secondary ones, but I will get to them in a second :) Kell and Lila... and I don't mean that as a couple... at least not yet ;) Kell is an Antari... and one of the last ones... :) long story short, it means that he can travel between different Londons, which is impossible for everyone else... his magic is also stronger and a bit different from others... he works for the royal family of Red London as a sort of emissary but that's not all... because Kell has a weakness... he is also a smuggler... and one day things go wrong... it all starts when Lila steals something very important from him when he's in Grey London... because Lila is a thief :) raised on the streets, taking care of herself for a very long time and tough as nails... I loved her :) their paths crossed and then everything got even better ;) trust me, I am trying to be as vague as I possibly can, because I don't want to spoil you certain informations and events, so don't get mad if I'm not making much sense... ;) I am trying here, ok? ;) now that we have some basic info out of the way, let me tell you all about why I loved this book :)
Where can I start... it doesn't really matter, because I adored evrything about this story... ;) so how about we start with the characters? :) I have no idea why some people have problems with Lila... I mean, I guess I can sort of understand their point of view, but I absolutely loved her :) yes, she didn't always make the best decisions... but already in that first book she experienced some character development and I cannot wait to see what will happen with her next :) she was tough, resourceful and no matter how much she wanted to convince everyone around her, including herself, how detached she is from everything and everyone, there were scenes and little glimpses into the much softer side of her... :) not to mention that she is such a kick-ass character :) and Kell... he seems like the better person out of the two, but don't be deceived by that... he is a much more complex character than that... :) which can basically be said about everyone in this book... I am absolutely amazed by how much I was invested into all of them... besides these two, I want to mention one more person by name... Rhy :) he's... well... sort of Kell's brother, but not by blood, and the prince of Red London... and with that juicy teaser, I won't mention anything else about him :) *insert evil laugh* ;) everything else, including naming certain people that made a lasting impression on me, can be considered spoiler-y, because it may clue you in on the fact who exactly can be a major player in the story :) but trust me when I say, that every person I met within the pages of this book was complex, and multidimensional and so vivid... *sighs happily* it was an absolute pleasure to read ;) and not only characters were so interesting... the world itself this author created was amazing... absolutely stunning... it really shows how much thought went into creating this... it's so detailed and intriguing and just... I have no adjectives good enough to explain and express my love :) one of the best qualities of this book, is that there is no info dumping withinthe first few chapters... you know what I mean? there are some books, especially fantasy ones, where in the beginning we get all the informations and you cannot possibly remember all of them, so then throughout the majority of the story you have to go back to that beginning to check things... but here... oh here it was done so masterfully... the informations were slowly teased for us, and before I knew what was happening, I was absolutely hooked... :) turning page after page, wanting... needing to know more about everyone and everything :) and the writing style itself... *sighs dreamily* let's just say that all of her other books are now at the top of my wishlist to buy next :) I am so impressed by her and her ability to craft such entertaining stories... which is actually not as easy to accomplish as you might think :) as a book blogger I read a lot... and there are very few authors who can enchant me so thoroughly like V. E. Schwab did with her book... :) I very highly recommend you guys to check out this gem :) even if you think you don't like fantasy, give this one a try... you will be surprised ;)