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Summary

A Darker Shade of Magic is the incredible first installment of the Shades of Magic series, from number one New York Times best-selling author V.E. Schwab.

Most people only know one London; but what if there were several? Kell is one of the last Travelers - magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel Londons. There’s Grey London, dirty and crowded and without magic, home to the mad king George III. There’s Red London, where life and magic are revered. Then, White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. But once upon a time, there was Black London.... 

©2015 V. E. Schwab (P)2015 Tantor

Critic reviews

"A Darker Shade of Magic has all the hallmarks of a classic work of fantasy. Schwab has given us a gem of a tale...." (Deborah Harkeness)

What listeners say about A Darker Shade of Magic

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

A Darker Adventure

A man with a most unique coat who crosses worlds meets a most unique woman who can and will fight anyone who holds her back.

A trigger warning for self harm, as the power to cross worlds comes relies on blood to activate.

The magic system is fantastic to witness and easy enough to follow and the way it works in each world adds a wonderful flavour. Schwab's world building is brilliant and her language flows readily.

Any snags you may find are ironed out in the following books.

7 people found this helpful

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Loved everything about it.

First time listening to the audible version. it's was great! the narration really brought it to life.

3 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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A Drabber Schwab of Meh...

Well, that was ... there. YA fantasy that takes a good idea about parallel Londons and goes nowhere with it. I bailed out shortly after the two unengaging protagonists finally meet; maybe the book gets better after this but, if so, then I'll never know. It's rather Pullman-esque in aspiration, but written in a bland, low-calorie style and without the conviction. Ironically, C. S. Lewis did something similar but much better in 'The Magician's Nephew' a lifetime ago. Oh, and one of the leads is definitely not called Lyra.
The narration is competent but inappropriate to the material; it all sounds a bit 'Dad', especially when voicing the teenage Lila.
I don't think this was really meant for me, and I'm probably just being mean but, yeah, wasn't feeling it.

2 people found this helpful

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Very interesting read

Im normally not very into fictional magocal books, but this one had me hooked. Cant wait to read the other two books!

2 people found this helpful

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interesting characters

I thought this book was interesting. I found all the characters very intriguing apart from the main character, which is a shame.
The reader in my opinion did not suit the tone of this book.

2 people found this helpful

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I think fantasy isnt for me

V.E. Schwab is an extremely skilled and talented writer. The way she is choosing her works is mesmerising. I struggled to follow along with the story, I think my brain isnt analytical enough to comprehend high fantasy stories. The last 6 hours of the book I listened to ×3 speed. I want to read more of her work, just not something so heavy with fantasy.

2 people found this helpful

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A good read

The story starts slowly but gradually builds into an enthralling flow. Lilia's accent got on my nerves sometimes and for me, her character could have become more rounded as the story developed. On the whole a good way to spend a cold rainy weekend.

2 people found this helpful

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Not for me

The story has promise but it doesn’t seem to ever take off properly. I could not get on with the character of Lila at all - this may be down to the narrators voice for her a little though.

1 person found this helpful

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narration overdone

I like the story very much, but not the narrator. it almost out me off finishing. he makes all the women speak with high petulant voices

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A slow start but gets better

It took a while to get "into" the story, however it does get good. I enjoyed the general ideas of the world this book painted, however I didn't get enthralled as I would in other fantasy books.