[520]: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab


GOODREADS SUMMARY | Tor Books | Hardcover, 400 pp. | February 24th, 2015 | Adult Fiction | Fantasy | Rating 4 out of 5 Stars

Victoria Schwab is one of those authors who consistently makes book reviewing a difficult job. For one, I have a hard time explaining exactly what it was I just read. And two, I always fall short of adjectives; three, I have a tendency of repeating myself. More often, she confounds me. She has the gift of hypnosis; the kind that would make you fall in love with story elements that you normally wouldn’t. To be honest, the narrative is pretty dry. But I can’t help but enjoy her characters’ trains of thought. Or her train of thought, by extension. Also, I need romance, all right? I need it  like I need a semi colon in a sentence that I’m powerless to end.  This is her second book that didn’t offer a smidgeon of swoon. But for some asinine reason, I dug it.

For those of you who haven’t read this book yet, I will not bore you with what the story was about. Besides, I don’t freaking know where to start.

As you can tell from the title, this book is about magic. I know what you’re thinking. Magic is not exactly a novelty nowadays. But if you’ve ever considered reading this book with every expectations of applying what you’ve read about magic in the past, I’ll say, you’ll be sorely disappointed. More than likely, you’ll be lost. Because this magic is a different beast altogether. Schwab grabbed it by her hands and beat it like it owes her money.

In this world, London is a city that exists in parallel dimensions. They are classified according to colours: Red London, Grey London, White London, and Black London. Each dimension increasingly more perilous than the last. Not a lot of people can travel through these universes. Kell is one of the last Travelers. Because of this ability, he can smuggle goods from one London to another. It is during one of his missions that he was charged with treason.

Kell is one of those closed-off characters. You never really get to know him other than what the author tells us. I mean, I know that’s how characters are made, but in Kell’s case, it’s like you can feel he doesn’t want to tell you much. It’s almost like he resents Schwab for sharing pieces of himself. In a way, Lila is about the same, but where Kell is resolute, Lila at least  humours the readers.  They’re a quirky couple, but don’t get your hopes up. No floating hearts above their heads, I’m afraid.

A Darker Shade of Magic is probably not going to amuse the majority, but if you’re looking for an extraordinary novel about an extraordinary world, look no further than this book. Victoria Schwab  is a fantastic story spinner. Her characters are every bit as compelling as her intricate storyline.



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On the Night Table [14]: Darker Shade of The Collector Solving Galgorithm in a Three-Day Summer.


I’m so excited about my reading pile this week! First, I found my copy of A Darker Shade of Magic in a pile of books meant for the cabin. Second, ARCs of a couple of contemporaries from Simom & Schuster; and third, The Collector by Nora Roberts  to which, I’m more than halfway through (like, like, like).

I’ve also started A Darker Shade this weekend, and I all I can say is,  Ms. Schwab is such a phenomenal story teller. I haven’t started the ARCs, but I can already tell I’m going to love it. Three-Day Summer has a Woodstock vive; and Galgorithm sounds so quirky and cute.


apr 27 on the night

Red Queen was a disappointment and a half. The Shadows was tiresome. The Fearless was relentless. Simon was unbearably cute. Mad About You was hilarious.

Since you didn’t get an update from me this weekend, here’s a couple of pictures of what my weekend was like:


I got my deck ready for summer. So now…


I have a new favourite reading spot!

What was your weekend like?
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On the Night Table [12]: Shadows and Magic


I’m still struggling with the time zone change, so every night, I find myself either tossing and turning or reading. Unfortunately, both are becoming such a bother to my husband. I started reading Sea of Shadows on Friday night. By the time 5 am rolled around, I was more than halfway through. On Saturday, I woke up at 9 am and cleaned the house and kept on working until night time. I’m exhausted, but I refused to take a nap. The last time I took a nap, I slept for 5 hours and was up until 5 in the morning. So, no. I’m not doing that again. Needless to say, I have been spending some late nights reading. This would be nice, but I still need some sleep. Sigh.

This week, I’d planned on reading one book for review and a couple that’d been on my shelf for quite some time. Age of Legends by Kelley Armstrong is a fantasy series. Though I was intimidated to start it, I didn’t have a choice as I needed to read the first book in order to read Empire of Night. Since I’m halfway done, I have to say that this world and the plot is interesting, at least.

A Darker Shade of Magic is one book that I’ve coveted since I got wind of it last year. Unfortunately, I’ve yet to pick it up. Well, this is one book that I’m really excited to read, so here’s hoping it will be everything that I’d expected from Ms. Schwab.

18209344Sea of Shadows [Age of Legends, #1] by Kelley Armstrong
Publication Date: April 8th, 2014

In the Forest of the Dead, where the empire’s worst criminals are exiled, twin sisters Moria and Ashyn are charged with a dangerous task. For they are the Keeper and the Seeker, and each year they must quiet the enraged souls of the damned.

Only this year, the souls will not be quieted.

Ambushed and separated by an ancient evil, the sisters’ journey to find each other sends them far from the only home they’ve ever known. Accompanied by a stubborn imperial guard and a dashing condemned thief, the girls cross a once-empty wasteland, now filled with reawakened monsters of legend, as they travel to warn the emperor. But a terrible secret awaits them at court–one that will alter the balance of their world forever.

21480854 Empire of Night [Age of Legends, #2] by Kelley Armstrong
Publication Date: April 7th, 2015

Sisters Moria and Ashyn are the Keeper and Seeker of Edgewood. Or at least, they were.
Their village is gone. Their friends have betrayed them. And now, they are all but prisoners in court, forced to watch and wait while the Emperor decides whether to help the children of Edgewood, who remain hostages of the treacherous Alvar Kitsune.
But when the emperor finally sends the girls on a mission to rescue the children–accompanied by Prince Tyrus and a small band of men–the journey proves more perilous than any of them could have imagined. With lies and unrest mounting in the empire, Moria and Ashyn will have to draw on every bit of influence and power they possess to unite their people and avert an all-out war.

A Darker Shade final for Irene A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab
Publication Date: February 24th, 2015

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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Reviews for these books will be up this week.

What are you reading this week?
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