I'm super late to the V.E. Schwab party. I finally read A Darker Shade of Magic. It was Aaaaamazing! It's familiar and captivating in a way I haven't felt in a while. This is a series of events kind of book, or at least that's the way I felt about it. I didn't feel a huge story arc; just the need for more when it was over.
Kell is an Antari, a blood magician. He can hop from realm to realm (White London, Red London, and Grey London) without much effort more than a scratch. He has the power to control all the magics available, bone being the most powerful. His adoption into the royal family of Red London has given him privilege and honor, earning him looks of appreciation and some of fear in the streets. But honor and loyalty only reach so far when someone so powerful and young gets bored, and the temptation to drag things from realm to realm becomes too much. Kell's bad habits finally get him into more trouble than he expected, but can a young thief help, or hinder him, in fixing things back to the way they were?
- The characters are a little predictable, but I really couldn't help but like Lila and Kell. There was some menace missing from their personalities though. Both have killed, and not necessarily when they had to.
-The world is vibrant and slightly reminiscent in some areas of Harry Potter, especially in Red London. It has an exotic feel so you don't forget where you are though.
-The story is a mix of dark pirate tale, poor thief's struggle, and political intrigue; all mixed together to make something familiar, yet foreign. I've been looking for it-I just didn't know it.
-The story felt, not slow, but the story arc didn't spike almost until the very end. I kept looking at the pages wondering how she was going to do it or if I was going to be left with a huge cliffhanger.
-Astrid and Athos-Eh. I wasn't scared of them. I honestly feel with the information given to us that Holland probably would have won a fight against them for the White Throne.
-I really wanted some kind of salvation for Holland at the end. I can tell you that he isn't dead though. Putting that giant magic rock from Black London on his chest and sinking him into the ground wasn't the smartest of ideas that young Kell had. Antaris are hard to kill, remember?
-I wish we had gotten to hear more about Black London. It was super fascinating. Not a lot of its impact was explained on White London either. I neeeeeed more of that. I have a feeling the rest of the trilogy will take care of my wants though.