A Darker Shade of Magic: A Novel (Shades of Magic #1) (Paperback)

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A Darker Shade of Magic: A Novel (Shades of Magic #1) By V. E. Schwab Cover Image

A Darker Shade of Magic: A Novel (Shades of Magic #1) (Paperback)

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Other Books in Series

This is book number 1 in the Shades of Magic series.

Staff Reviews


I know, I know! You're probably thinking, "ANOTHER fantasy novel? Hasn't that been done to death already?", but V.E. Schwab (the author of the young adult novel "Vicious") has put a delightfully refreshing spin on a genre that has been strung out in every way possible. Imagine if you will a world running parallel to this one. The same physically, but with completely different country borders, languages, and the most unusual thing, magic. Magic that flows through everything! The only constant in this parallel world (and the parallel world next to that one, and the one next to that one, so on and so forth.) Is the town of London. An anomaly, London somehow seems to exist in every universe in the exact same spot. These parallel worlds were all connected once upon a time, but after a raw powerful magic started to consume what is known as "Black" London, they were sealed off from each other and left to fend for them selves. The only people who can traverse these different Londons are an ancient race of people known as the Antari, or Blood Magicians. Kell, one of the few remaining Antari, works as an envoy between the royal families of "Grey" London (the London in our world), "Red London"(His home land thriving with magic), and "White" London (a desolate and savage land where magic is running dry). When an unexpected accident leaves Kell injured in "Grey" London he encounters a clever and beautiful street urchin named Lila Bard who nurses him back to health. When all of a sudden a dark and powerful artifact from allegedly destroyed "Black" London appears and Kell becomes a wanted man in every world, He and Lila must race against time to figure out who has framed Kell and Why.  This book was DELICIOUSLY easy to read and left me wanting so much more! If you are a fan of fantasy writing this book is a MUST read!

— Angelo

A Darker Shade of Magic, from #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab

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

Kell was raised in ArnesRed Londonand 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.

"A Darker Shade of Magic has all the hallmarks of a classic work of fantasy. Schwab has given us a gem of a tale...This is a book to treasure."—Deborah Harkeness, New York Times bestselling author of the All Souls trilogy

Shades of Magic series
1. A Darker Shade of Magic
2. A Gathering of Shadows
3. A Conjuring of Light

VICTORIA “V. E.” SCHWAB is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including the acclaimed Shades universe, the Villains series, the City of Ghosts series, Gallant and the international bestseller The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue. Her work has received critical acclaim, been translated into over two dozen languages, and optioned for television and film. First Kill – a YA vampire series based on Schwab’s short story of the same name – is now a Netflix series. When not haunting Paris streets or trudging up English hillsides, she lives in Edinburgh, Scotland, and is usually tucked in the corner of a coffee shop, dreaming up monsters.

Product Details ISBN: 9780765376466
ISBN-10: 0765376466
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: January 19th, 2016
Pages: 416
Language: English
Series: Shades of Magic

Entertainment Weekly's 27 Female Authors Who Rule Sci-Fi and Fantasy Right Now

A Darker Shade of Magic has all the hallmarks of a classic work of fantasy. Its plot is gripping. Its characters are memorable. Its setting in four parallel, powerful Londons is otherworldly yet believable. Schwab has given us a gem of a tale that is original in its premise and compelling in its execution. This is a book to treasure.” —Deborah Harkness, New York Times bestselling author of The All Souls Trilogy

“Compulsively readable...her characters make the book. Just as Kell has layers, Lila is a satisfyingly rich invention...With so many worlds on the map, there's plenty left to discover.” —NPR

A Darker Shade of Magic feels like a priceless object, brought from another, better world of fantasy books.” —io9

“Schwab (Vicious) creates an ingenious set of nesting alternate Londons in this imaginative, well-crafted fantasy. Confident prose and marvelous touches-a chameleon coat, a scarlet river of magic, a piratical antiheroine-bring exuberant life to an exhilarating adventure among the worlds.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review

A Darker Shade of Magic is smart, funny and sexy ... Schwab keeps the excitement coming with roller-coaster plot twists that establish her as, perhaps, the natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones's contemporary fantasy crown.” —The Independent

“Fantasy fans will love this fast-paced adventure, with its complex magic system, thoughtful hero and bold heroine.” —Kirkus Reviews