Sneak Peek: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

Release date: 24 February 2015 (20 February Kindle edition)

The first I heard of this book was over at Lone Star on a Lark (Louise has read the whole book, so give her review a look if you want a broader perspective). I was happy to find the ‘sneak peek’ offered on Netgalley and decided to request it, just to see if the story was as good as it sounds. It seemed like a story I would love – but was it too good to be true? I’m happy to report – not at all! I devoured the preview one slow morning at work and nearly cried to know I couldn’t keep reading. Here are some of the reasons why I love this book already:

  • Alternate worlds focused on a Victorian London setting
    • Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London – but no one speaks of that now.” (GoodReads description)
  • Well-defined and different attitudes towards magic in each world (see above quote)
  • Prose that pulls you along but isn’t too fancy
  • Semi-royal ambassador main character (I’m not sure why, but I’m really into reading about nobility right now. Not Game of Thrones style nobility…just characters where that’s one part of who they are.)
  • Colourful supporting cast that isn’t too sprawling

This is the kind of story I desperately need right now (one comment I made – “Ooh just what I wanted but didn’t realize I needed!”), so I might be a tad over enthusiastic about it. Admittedly, some might find the beginning slow. But really, the setting is key here. I didn’t mind that there wasn’t a lot happening because I was just happy to be experiencing this new world. If it sounds remotely like your thing – definitely try this book!  I’ve just pre-ordered it and I’m waiting anxiously for release day, which is right near my birthday and a day when I don’t have any classes. 😀 I’ll post a full review once I’ve read the whole thing. For once, I’m already excited to know it’s part of a series. This is a world in which I’m ready to spend a lot of time.

Have you read the preview? What did you think? (Have you read the whole thing? Is my enthusiasm warranted?)

  • AAAAHHHH I'M SO EXCITED FOR THIS ONE. Haha, and I'm so happy I could drag another reader down this particular rabbit hole with me 😛

  • 🙂 I love the reason you list for loving the book! You've certainly intrigued me, and I will keep this one in mind.

  • Thank-you! I'm glad to hear that. I'm 65% through now and it's still holding up 🙂

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