A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic #1)

A Darker Shade of Magic


Kell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit. 

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby 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 another world for her 'proper adventure'.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.  (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)


This is a book that should have been awesome, but somehow…just fell flat for me.  This may slightly because I listened to the book rather than read it, but I don’t think was the main reason.  The multiverse was interesting and totally unique.  I liked Kell and how he did magic, but I just didn’t connect with him or any of the other characters in the book.  Lila should have been awesome, but mostly she was just annoying to me (though I did like the teaser to the sequel for her). 

The conflict never felt urgent.  In fact, at time I found it excruciatingly slow and I found the ending very lackluster.  The climax was very predictable for me and then the epilogue just pissed me off.  It felt forced and didn’t seem like what the characters would really do.  Perhaps, because I wasn’t able to relate to them and I just didn’t get it, but all in all I finished the book a bit disappointed.  I know this review is in complete contrast to the general opinion, but I felt this one didn’t live up to the hype!

Warning: Contains repeated violence

Rating: 3 stars!

Who should read it? Multi-verse fantasy fans.

Want to read the whole series?

  • A Gathering of Shadow (A Darker Shade of Magic #2)
  • Untitled (A Darker Shade of Magic #3)