Tuesday, March 17, 2015

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab - Advisible

Schwab, V.E. A Darker Shade of Magic, 400pgs. Tor Books, 2015. $25.99. Language: PG-13 (37 swears 2 “F”); Mature Content: PG-13; Violence: PG-13

Kell is one of the last travelers gifted with the magic that enables him to move between worlds. He moves across three Londons, which exist in parallel universes, each with its own unique identity. Gray London is drab and virtually magic free, Red London is full of magic and vitality, and White London where the magic is at war with the people as each fights for dominance. There was even once a Black London, but it is gone now and best forgotten.
The unfortunate smuggling habit Kell has developed results in horrific consequences that put him on the run. Fleeing into Gray London Kell finds himself in an uneasy alliance with Lila as she seeks adventure and he battles not only to save himself, but his whole world.

This book follows in the wake of many young adult books about magic, however, the talent and creativity of the writer and the originality of the plot keep it from becoming white noise. The characters are compelling including a strong female lead who is flawed, but powerful, successfully avoiding being turned into a cliché. The story is complex, yet accessible and will undoubtedly grip the imagination of every reader.

MS,HS—ADVISIBLE. AEB

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