A Darker Shade of Magic (staff review)
Victoria Schwab, who made a name for herself in children's and young adult fiction, has now begun an exciting new adult fantasy series. A Darker Shade of Magic takes us into the dangerous and magical realm of parallel universes which feature four different versions of London during the 1800s. Kell Maresh is one of the only remaining magicians who can travel between the different Londons and uses that talent to play messenger for the royals at the vastly different courts. He also smuggles artifacts from the different worlds to people who will pay and finds himself enmeshed in intrigue and treachery when a street-smart pick pocket, Delilah Bard, robs him of a dangerous relic that he's passing between worlds. Kell lives at the court of magical Red London as the adopted brother to Regent Prince Rhy. Not much is known about Kell's origins. Lila Bard lives in Grey London, which unlike the red prosperous kingdom, is filled with poverty and pollution and ruled by mad King George III. Magic has long ceased to exist here. After they meet, both are drawn into danger and must fight for their lives against evil royals from White London, who are using corrupt magic to control the minds of their subjects. Schwab skillfully builds these worlds into a captivating read, which includes the hidden Black London-supposedly sealed forever because its powerful magic could destroy all. This well-crafted and imaginative fantasy is infused with malice, intrigue, and secrets. It will keep you at the edge of your seat. I thoroughly enjoyed the fast pace and interesting characters. I was especially drawn to Lila who is unusually independent, smart and resourceful. All the players in this story seem to have hidden agendas and secrets and I hope to find out more about the different magical Londons in the next installment of the Shades of Magic series. This review originally appeared in the Etc. Newsletter: http://www.kpl.org/newsletters

A Darker Shade of Magic (staff review)
Victoria Schwab, who made a name for herself in children's and young adult fiction, has now begun an exciting new adult fantasy series. A Darker Shade of Magic takes us into the dangerous and magical realm of parallel universes which feature four different versions of London during the 1800s. Kell Maresh is one of the only remaining magicians who can travel between the different Londons and uses that talent to play messenger for the royals at the vastly different courts. He also smuggles artifacts from the different worlds to people who will pay and finds himself enmeshed in intrigue and treachery when a street-smart pick pocket, Delilah Bard, robs him of a dangerous relic that he's passing between worlds. Kell lives at the court of magical Red London as the adopted brother to Regent Prince Rhy. Not much is known about Kell's origins. Lila Bard lives in Grey London, which unlike the red prosperous kingdom, is filled with poverty and pollution and ruled by mad King George III. Magic has long ceased to exist here. After they meet, both are drawn into danger and must fight for their lives against evil royals from White London, who are using corrupt magic to control the minds of their subjects. Schwab skillfully builds these worlds into a captivating read, which includes the hidden Black London-supposedly sealed forever because its powerful magic could destroy all. This well-crafted and imaginative fantasy is infused with malice, intrigue, and secrets. It will keep you at the edge of your seat. I thoroughly enjoyed the fast pace and interesting characters. I was especially drawn to Lila who is unusually independent, smart and resourceful. All the players in this story seem to have hidden agendas and secrets and I hope to find out more about the different magical Londons in the next installment of the Shades of Magic series. This review originally appeared in the Etc. Newsletter: http://www.kpl.org/newsletters

Worth reading
A really interesting concept of 4 different versions of London and compelling characters make this a satisfying read. There is a hint of a second book and I am looking forward to spending time in this world again.