I’ve been wanting to read A Darker Shade of Magic since I heard it was about a magician who can travel through multiple London universes – cause come on that Sounds Awesome.
This book is such a unique take on high fantasy – it’s a breath of fresh air. It’s such a complex fantasy which I love – all these intricate details blending together to create an awe inspiring read. I love the idea of layered worlds each with varying levels of magic depending on how far away from the source your world is. There are four London’s – Grey, Red, White and Black – I love the way Lila explains it “There’s Dull London, Kell London, Creepy London and Dead London” which pretty much sums it up perfectly.
I’m going to say something that’s probably going to piss off every A Darker Shade of Magic lover out there…. It took me forever to like Lila – through the start and middle of this book she honestly annoyed me so much. I love a kick ass heroine and she has that in spades – a cross dressing thief, who has a dangerous thirst for adventure and a life dream to be a pirate – but at times I felt they were outweighed by how rude, arrogant, callous and emotional closed off she could be. She had some redeeming moments throughout the book but my opinion of her didn’t change till the last 150 or so pages of the book. After that, my negative feelings towards her took a positive spin and instead of finding her rude and arrogant I thought of her as spunky and fiery and instead of callous and emotional closed off I thought of her as fiercely loyal to those she cares about even at the expense of others. By the end of the book I seriously love Lila – it just took me a while to get there.
I didn’t have that problem with Kell however, I loved Kell from beginning to end! Kell is an Antari meaning he is a dying rare breed of magician which can control all five elements – water, fire, air, earth and bone. Antari’s all so have a superior grasp on understanding magic then everyone else. Kell is so loyal, probably to a fault, willing to put himself on the line for the people he loves again and again. He goes through a change in perspective throughout this book of thinking he’s pretty untouchable to understanding that even he has his weaknesses and vulnerabilities.
I found the pace of this book a bit slow to start out with. To me at least, it took a long time to get into the story, only starting to speed up and get more enticing once Kell and Lila were together. I sped through the ending of this book completely unable to put it down.
Overall, I’m not sure if I believes this book is worth the crazy hype that’s surrounds it but there’s no way I wouldn’t say I didn’t love it. I really enjoyed A Darker Shade of Magic, I found is fascinating and intriguing and keep me on the edge of my seat. It wasn’t predictable in the slightest and I had no idea where the story was going. I have a feeling I’m going to like A Gathering of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #2) even more and I can’t wait to read it.