Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: February 24, 2015
Date Read: 3/16/15 to 3/17/15
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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I. Loved. This. Book. I loved it so much, that I did not put it down once on my plane trip back from Hawaii. I don't even care that I bothered the people around me with my overhead light. A Darker Shade of Magic was seriously THAT good. The fact that this book is already going through it's fifth printing in a little over a month should prove that.
A Darker Shade of Magic features Kell, one of the last of his kind, who can travel between three different worlds as long as he has a token from each one. These worlds are all connected through coincidence, all having a city name London and a river. The worlds used to always be open to one another, but after Black London, everything has been closed off. Magic only flows in Red London now, with Gray London having no (barely) any magic, and White London struggling to control magic.
I loved the portrayal of how alive and mysterious magic is in the book. I loved the aspect of traveling between four different worlds. And I loved, loved, LOVED, the different characters. Kell is, no surprise, freaking awesome. Since the first chapter where they described his coat of infinite layers, I fell in love with his character. I COULD NOT RESIST.
Also, I did not expect a companion in this book! Lila, from Gray London (Our London) kind of appeared out of nowhere, and I thought I would hate her, but it didn't turn out that way. She's not whiny and neither is she too dependent on others to save her. I love how she basically forced Kell to take her along with him.
I CANNOT STOP TALKING ABOUT THE CHARACTERS. They are just all so complex and different and all throughout the novel I was feeling all the feels because man this plot is well thought out. There is seriously nothing else I can say except for READ THISSS. READ THISS.
I have absolutely no gripes. This was amazing. I would read this again, and again, and again, and again, and again, again, again.