A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab was our second book club pick. If you remember, Killers of the Flower Moon was first. Now, A Darker Shade of Magic beat out The Alchemist, so I was pretty upset at first. Our book club “leader” shared this whole thing about how it’s a fantasy novel, so it’s definitely different than most things people read. Needless to say, I was not looking forward to it. I was surprised (again), and loved it!
When the novel first begins, characters are introduced like you should already know them. friend pointed out that it’s a C.S. Lewis style to do that. There are more details about these characters later on, which is helpful. I guess it’s kind of like when you date someone: You know their name and who they are in that immediate situation. As you date them, you learn more about them.
The book is in themed chapters, with additional sub-chapters. For the most part, the novel follows two main characters, Kell and Lila. It’s set in many Londons, with different languages, cities, neighborhoods, and people. Magic is almost a currency in the different “worlds”. There’s even a battle for power of who has the strongest magic.
At one point, there are these magical…beasts, almost, that go on a rampage, but then they disappear a bit. It’s an odd flow of characters.
I felt that the book wrapped up much quicker than was logical. The novel spent quite a bit of time building up these characters and a struggle for power, and then it was over in just a few pages.
I would definitely recommend this for someone looking to read a “fantasy” genre book without it being about aliens and space. For me, it felt like a standard fiction book. It’s actually the first in a series of three books. I almost went to 2nd & Charles the day after I finished it to see if the other two were local. I’m trying to save some money, so I haven’t rushed to buy them just yet.
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