Schwab imagines four Londons, that differ by their distance from magic’s dark heart. Farthest away is Grey London, of our 18th-century. Next is Red London, where magic proliferates, followed by White London, where magic is power, and the strong prey upon the weak. Finally there is Black London, an unimaginable horror the other worlds have shut out for their own safety.
The story follows Kell, a magician who can travel between Londons. When he is tricked into smuggling a stone originally from Black London via White London into Red London, a terrifying cascade of events follows, as black magic begins to pour across worlds. Kell’s only help is Lila, a wonderfully brave and resourceful thief. Together, they must face down the dark magic that threatens to destroy everything.
Featuring appealing main characters, splendidly wicked villains, and a horrifying conception of magic, Schwab’s fantasy will shock you and thrill you. Highly recommended!— From David's Diamonds
A Darker Shade of Magic, from #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab
Kell is one of the last Antari--magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes--Red London--and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they'll never see. It's a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they'll first need to stay alive.
"A Darker Shade of Magic has all the hallmarks of a classic work of fantasy. Schwab has given us a gem of a tale...This is a book to treasure."--Deborah Harkeness, New York Times bestselling author of the All Souls trilogy
Shades of Magic series
1. A Darker Shade of Magic
2. A Gathering of Shadows
3. A Conjuring of Light