Kell is one of the last Antari, a rare magician who can travel between parallel worlds: hopping from Grey London — dirty, boring, lacking magic, and ruled by mad King George — to Red London — where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire — to White London — ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne, where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back — and back, but never Black London, because traveling to Black London is forbidden and no one speaks of it now.
Officially, Kell is the personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see, and it is this dangerous hobby that 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 take her with him for her proper adventure.
But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save both his London and the others, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — a feat trickier than they hoped.
Add it to your TBR here
A Darker Shade of Magic is everything everyone said it would be. Anti hero characters, A magic system that is well explained and has it’s limitations, multiple worlds with fantastic world building and descriptions for all of them, oh and kickass characters.
A Darker Shade of Magic takes place in a world where there are multiple Londons and the Antari are the only people that can open a door to another version of the world. Rather then the worlds being layered upon each other they are side by side, allowing for the Antari to step through doors they have created.
There are 4 Londons or as Lila our MC puts it:
“There’s Dull London, Kell London, Creepy London, and Dead London,” she recited, ticking them off on her fingers. “See? I’m a fast learner.”
Red London (Kell London)
Is where Magic is the strongest. Anyone can have magic but the people with the least are the poorest and neediest. Magic isn’t passed on by bloodlines allowing anyone to advance or drop down in societies food chain. Red London is also fantastically red. The river that flows through the city is red as well as the doors of building and roofs of houses creating some amazing imagery.
Gray London (Dull London)
Gray London or as Lila puts it “Dull London” is London as we muggles see it, normal and with no Magic. Gray London has long forgotten about Magic and has survived because of it.
White London (Creepy London)
White London, the closest London to Black London was sealed off by Red London to prevent evil from seeping into the other worlds, White London was the strongest but the magic there has turned bad, leaching the colour and life from everything in it. The animals have all gone and the people are fading fast as magic sucks all the life to survive and tyrant king and queen rise to the throne time after time.
Black London ( Dead London)
Black London has been gone for a long time. Black London was power in itself, people believing that magic wasn’t to be asked or motivated to do something but commanded, the people made into gods when to much power was unleashed.
Not only was the world building and plot just amazing but the characters are some of my favorites.
Kell and Lila’s diologue is the BEST, THE ABSOLUTE BEST banter I’ve heard/ read in forever
“Kell managed an echo of her smile, and Lila gasped. “What’s that on your face?”
The smile vanished. “What?”
“Never mind,” she said, laughing. “It’s gone.”
Delilah Bard is one of my all time favorite characters now and I loved every word that came out of her mouth
“I’m not going to die,” she said. “Not till I’ve seen it.”
Her smile widened. “Everything.”
This book is just so well done and you really have to read it for yourself I highly recommend it to anyone that loves fantasy!
5 out of 5 stars