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A Darker Shade of Magic ~ V. E. Schwab

February 15, 2018

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Genre: Fantasy/Science fiction
Publisher: Tor Books
416 pages
ISBN: 9780765376466
Source: Barnes and Noble

I think I am coming to the realization that everyone considers magic to be their own conceptualization of the world. Their own concepts of good, evil, power, connection, life, and death.

Why am I leading with this?

Because A Darker Shade of Magic kind of pulled all of those themes together for me.

Let me start by saying that the story started off slowly for me. I wanted to say that it was complex and confusing but, really, I think it was just a little bit dull to start. It made up for a lackluster start by the middle of the book, though, and I’ve heard the rest of the series is great so, if you are finding that it’s a slow starter, try to stick with it for a little longer and I promise it will be worth it.

As I said, the book captures a lot of great musings and concepts around power and human dynamics, how much control we really have over ourselves and others, and all of that good philosophical stuff.

Here comes the big “but”.

Y’all, I didn’t find anything different from my other fantasy stories.

I wanted to!

I know so many people who said it was something sparklingly new and different. And this is coming from people who read a lot of fantasy.

I don’t know. For me, it was good but certainly echoed a lot of the themes that I’ve had tumbling around in my head over the last little while, running through Mortal Instruments and Sarah J. Maas.

As an adventure story, it ebbed and flowed which was kind of nice but also, as mentioned, sometimes sort of slow.

I feel like a total wet blanket and I don’t mean to be because it is, overall, a really great read. The writing is beautiful and I enjoyed the two main characters, Kell and Lila, perhaps the latter moreso because she seemed to have a bit more depth. I’m a guessing that the pure loyalty that surrounds these books may come in a little later with the other books.

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