A review by readingreverie
A Darker Shade of Magic, by V.E. Schwab

3.0

A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC follows Kell, a magician with the rare ability to transport between worlds, of which there are four. Kell is from Red London, brimming with life and living in harmony with magic. Gray London sits behind, drained of its magic long ago, while White London sits in front, ruled by Machiavellian twins hungry for power. Black London is a desolate waste-land having destroyed itself in an as yet unknown cataclysmic event. Its been closed off from the other Londons until Kell happens upon a relic that threatens to open its borders.

I’m always wary of London-based fantasy simply because the genre is so saturated, but I thoroughly enjoyed this one. The magic system in particular was a delight to read, and the characters enjoyable to befriend. The story does employ a few tropes I’ve become tired of—Lila Bard is “