A Darker Shade of Magic is about Kell, who is an Antari, a magical ‘being’. There are only two Antari’s in this/these world(s).
Oh, this review is going to be fun.
Let’s start with the world before I delve into characters.
So there are four worlds in this book. We have Black London, White London, Red London, and Grey London.
Black London has ‘fallen’ so to speak. In a sense the society craved power and the magic in that world consumed them until the other world closed off their ‘doors’. Each world is connected, but only an Antari can travel between worlds.
White London has magic, but they’re very power hungry. The crown is always changing. By that, I mean that the king and Queen don’t always stay the same king and queen for long. They get killed and whoever kills them gets the throne. This London has magic, but its scarce and it causes the people that live in the world to be savage when magic is around. Even though Kell is protected by the Red London’s crown, he still has to walk carefully through the streets because people will cut him down.
Red London is the London that Kell lives in. Red London is flooded with magic. In my mind I imagine it to be very bright and cheerful. Colorful even. Everyone has magic in their bones, some are stronger than others, but that doesn’t cause toxic envy between others. Red London is the place I want to live.
And then we have Grey London which is the London we have here on Earth. Delilah (Lila) Bard is from this London.
Kell and Lila are our protagonists. The book is told in 3rd person limited. It jumps from perspective to perspective. We don’t just get these two perspectives though. We jump into many different perspectives and it helps develop the story. It really fleshes it out.
Lila is a thief, and she only runs into Kell because she steals from him and Kell tracks her down because what she stole–a stone–nobody should have. So that’s our inciting incident.
There’s something about the way that Schwab writes her stories that just leave you satisfied. The book wraps up nicely and if you didn’t want to read the rest of the series, it closes up the loose ends that matter. The characters are well developed and stand strongly on their own. I really can’t wait to pick up book two. This world is just so compelling.
ps. I want to hug Kell. I have a feeling he’s a nice hugger.
pps. this book would make a really neat video game.