Tale of Three Londons: Review of V.E. Schwab’s A Darker Shade of Magic


A Darker Shade final for Irene


For readers of J.R.R. Tolkien and J.K. Rowling, V.E. Schwab should be your next choice. Although similar in plot to both, V.E. Schwab takes fantasy/paranormal one step further into the genre of historical fiction. It is reality mixed with fantasy. V.E. Schwab is articulate. All worlds felt real to this reader even as the levels of magic differ among the worlds.

The premise is simple: Three Londons, a Fourth destroyed evil Black London, a talisman representing the worst, the most evil of magic, magical beings that square off against each other, are used by rulers for their own designs, and Lila—the little girl tramp who is adorable, yet edgy, keeping a distance yet wanting to be loved, poor on the verge of living on streets wanting more out of life, always seeking more.

I can’t say enough about A Darker Shade of Magic—the up and coming fantasy Tolkien. The only downside is on the Audible version—the voices for each character need to be more distinctive, set them apart from other characters in the event the listener is picking up in the middle of a sentence or paragraph. Her next, A Gathering of Shadows, is coming out February 2016. I can’t wait!

*****Free Audible version provided by Ford as part of Goodreads Ford group