Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: A Darker Shade of Magic

Blog readers, meet my new obsession. Or, as I should say: meet your new obsession. If you, like myself, have neglected to read this fantastic book before now: fix your mistake. Cast off all responsibilities until you’ve read this book! I promise it will be the best decision you’ve ever made.

The Summary

Grey London. Red London. White London. Black London. Four separate universes, though closed to each other, remain irreversibly tied via magic and the name of one common city name. Only Antari can travel between the worlds, and Kell is one of only two remaining. When his ill-advised magical smuggling between borders puts him in contact with a stone bafflingly connected to a world thought to be lost (Black London), Kell is sent on the most dangerous, whirlwind adventure he ever could have–but wouldn’t have–imagined for himself. And along the way, fate puts him in the path of Lila, a self-centered pirate-pickpocket in need of a bit of magic and adventure.

The Analysis

What can I possibly say to put to words how much I enjoyed and adore this book? It feels impossible to convey my new but sure-to-be-everlasting love for this book. (And series.)

The concept of four Londons, one of which is the very one with which we know, is unique and surprisingly captivating. The descriptions are rich and contrasting. To make one of the Londons our own was a stroke of brilliance that grounds the reader’s ability to compare the multiple fantasy worlds.

The plot. Oh the plot. It moves at a breath-taking speed from start to finish. I clutched my Kindle tightly from start to finish. It’s daring and adventurous, and so unlike any other magical tale.

The book is full of snarky quips, and contains a dash of romance. (Just enough romance that it didn’t break the pace of the story, but leaves you eager for more in the sequels.)

And then there is Lila. My queen. New light of my life. Kell and Rhy are pretty fabulous too. But let’s be real: they pale in comparison to the glory that is Lila.

At first, I thought for sure Lila would be revealed as Anatari. The thought just sounded right. Though that was my initial thought, however, I forgot it. Even as Lila’s magical nature was alluded to before the White London trip, I forgot.

Then it came time for Kell and Lila to return to Red London. I thought for sure Lila would remain trapped in White London. When she then appeared by Kell in Red, I felt an initial wave of disappointment. It was too easy. 

Then it clicked. At a speed faster than light, my brain put it all together and started out-right scream/squealing. Lila has one eye.


As revealed earlier in the story, poor dear Lila’s other eye was removed at a young age. An eye that was probably removed for its unsettling affect on the people of Grey London. Lila may not know it. Kell may not know it. But Lila is Antari.

I can’t wait for what’s next. I’ve never been happier to start a series after it is already finished. It won’t be long before I will read what happens next to my dear Kell, Lila, Rhy and company.

A Darker Shade of Magic is smart, clever, adventurous, shocking, risky, gorgeous. So many amazing, incredible things are contained in this perfect book. It’s one of the best damn books I’ve ever read.

Also, I don’t have to spoil myself on the rest of the books to be sure Holland lives. Surely, he will come back. Right? Right? Who knows what can happen in Black London…

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