Well, here we go! I’ve officially begun my year off, and the first book I read in celebration is A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab.
Book: A Darker Shade of Magic by VE Schwab
Read before: Yes
Ownership: Had for a long time.
I picked this one up because I recently got hold of the sequels in paperback, but could remember nothing of this story apart from Kell’s magic coat, which makes an appearance on the first page. I do remember that the first time I read this, I put it down in the middle and left it for a bit, so I was apprehensive that it wouldn’t captivate me on this re-read.
It is a surprisingly slow-paced story, despite not being overly long, and despite the cat and mouse plot and the many action scenes. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, since it allows a real feeling that you get to know Kell and Lila deeply. It’s not even a case of being wordy or boring, I just found it quite a calm read. Both Kell and Lila are very competent people, and so this definitely felt to me more like a rollicking adventure than a matter of life and death.
The city setting and the fact that basically everyone in the cast can be defined as ‘roguish’ gives me a similar feeling to the Gentleman Bastards books by Scott Lynch, though this is arguably a little lighter. This ticks a lot of my buttons, however. I am always here for pirates, no-nonsense women, interesting magic systems, gentleman rogues, and knife fights. It’s clever fantasy, written about witty people by an author with a real grasp of dry humour. I loved it.
4 cats out of 5!