A review by madmadmaddymad
A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

adventurous dark tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Plot
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated


This is the best book I’ve read all year. I know it’s only April, but wow!

I have a funny story about why I chose to read this book. I’ve been obsessed with ACOTAR for a little over a year, in fact, the first fanfiction I read from the fandom had an author who was also writing fanfiction for this series. I enjoyed their fic so much I figured I ought to check out their other work, but I wanted to read the actual book first. LOL! 

Anyway this book is nothing like ACOTAR. It’s intense, and magical, and mundane, and dark, and spooky, and I absolutely DEVOURED it, because somehow it was exactly what I wanted to read. I love the world building and the characters, Kell, and Rhy, especially Lila! Lila is a treasure, and deserves to be the star of her own show. 

The villains were VILLAINS. I hated them and loved the impact they left on the story. 

Just an incredible plot! Distinct, totally unique world building, and not in a confusing way. It’s kind of like Howl’s Moving Castle meets Marvel’s Dr. Strange with an ounce of The One Ring from LoTR. I love this book and kind of feel like immediately reading it again. 10-out-of-10. 

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