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A Darker Shade of Magic van [Schwab, V.E.]
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A Darker Shade of Magic Kindle-editie

5.0 van 5 sterren 1 klantenrecensie

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Nieuw vanaf Tweedehands vanaf
Kindle, 20 feb 2015
"Probeer het later opnieuw"
EUR 5,43

Lengte: 401 pagina's Verbeterd lettertype: Ingeschakeld Bladeren: Ingeschakeld
Taal: Engels

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Most people only know one London; but what if there were several? Kell is one of the last Travelers—magicians with a rare ability to travel between parallel Londons. There’s Grey London, dirty and crowded and without magic, home to the mad king George III. There’s Red London, where life and magic are revered. Then, White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. But once upon a time, there was Black London...


  • Editie: Kindle-editie
  • Bestandsgrootte: 2030 KB
  • Printlengte: 401 pagina's
  • Aantal pagina's van bron-ISBN: 0765376458
  • Uitgever: Titan Books (20 februari 2015)
  • Verkocht door: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Taal: Engels
  • Tekst-naar-spraak: Ingeschakeld
  • X-Ray:
  • Schermlezer: Ondersteund
  • Verbeterd lettertype: Ingeschakeld
  • Gemiddelde klantenbeoordeling: 5.0 van 5 sterren 1 klantenrecensie
  • Plaats op Amazon-bestsellerlijst: #2.544 Betaald in Kindle Store (Top 100 betaald in Kindle Store bekijken)

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Geverifieerde aankoop
I absolutly loved this book. It had a nice pace, it was well written and the story was amazing. I'm in love with Kell and Lila. Somehow I wanted it - them - to be more, instead of the few moments they let themselves "love" each other. So curious about the next book!
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Nuttigste klantenrecensies op (beta) 4.4 van 5 sterren 681 recensies
17 van 18 mensen vonden de volgende recensie nuttig
5.0 van 5 sterren great worldbuilding, characters, writing, and pace 20 oktober 2016
door Sneaky Burrito - Gepubliceerd op
Geverifieerde aankoop
This book came highly recommended from some participants in a fantasy discussion board I moderate, and I was looking for something to read on my Kindle recently, so I picked it up. It was a lot of fun, and when I finished, I immediately started the second book in the series. (That is an enthusiastic recommendation for me. There are some books where I'm like "I'll get around to the sequel eventually" but fewer series where I pick up all the available volumes in a row.)

Just a bit of brief plot summary for context. There are four Londons in this novel, and a select few individuals can magically travel among them. These are referred to as Grey London, Red London, White London, and Black London, and they are different in how magic affects each world, in how (and by whom) it can be used in each world (the equivalent of *our* world is Gray London). The action takes place in the first three; no one has visited Black London in quite a long time. Only London is the same in each world; in other worlds, there is no France, for example, and not even a proper "England" in Red London.

The parallel worlds thing has been done quite a lot in fantasy, but I am fine with that. I like the twist here, that one of our two main characters (Kell, more on him in a bit) is not from our world, but is from Red London, where magic is ubiquitous. (Often, in such stories, including those by Guy Gavriel Kay in the Fionavar Tapestry, in Stephen R. Donaldson's Thomas Covenant books, in Charles Stross's more sci-fi-based Merchant Princes series, etc., it is people from our world traveling elsewhere. So it is nice to see a different perspective.) I also like that this is not set in the present day, but instead in the past. So even though theme is familiar, there are some alterations that manage to make it unique.

We have two main characters, Kell and Lila. Kell is from Red London, as previously mentioned, while Lila is from Grey London. Both have mysterious pasts; Kell remembers basically nothing before he was taken in by the royal family of Arnes (the country containing Red London) due to his magical abilities. (He is an Antari, marked by having one normal eye and one that is completely black. There are very few Antari, and they are the only ones able to travel among the worlds. They also have nearly unparalleled magical abilities, in general.) Lila is alone on the streets, making a living (such that it is) as a pickpocket and dreaming of being a pirate with her own ship.

The two of them encounter one another maybe 1/3 of the way through the story and they travel and work together through much of the rest of the book. I wouldn't say their first encounter seems contrived, because there are some uncanny parallels between their two worlds, such as a particular inn/tavern that seems to be co-situated in all three of the Londons Kell has visited, the existence of London and the Thames, etc. Since they both live in London and visit the inn (different Londons and different inns, but eerily the same, as well), it seems they are fated to meet. And their abilities complement one another. Sometimes the secrecy and stealth of a thief is needed, sometimes reputation and magical fighting ability are better suited to the situation. I think they are a good team. There is no romance between them in this book, though it is possible something like that could be set up for the future. Kell's reputation and duties are such that he doesn't seem to be looking for love or to have the time for it (or the trust to share with someone else), while Lila masquerades as a man and doesn't have what would be considered traditional aspirations for a young woman in the society from which she hails. I find the lack of romance refreshing, especially in a mixed-gender pair like this.

The other thing I like about the characters is that they have nice depth. Both have secrets (including a tantalizing one about Lila revealed about halfway through; I can't wait to see where that goes in future books), both have killed (not just in self-defense), both have flaws, both have their own moral codes that might not be exactly the same as yours or mine. And yet, you are still cheering for them, and not just because other characters are worse. Both are quite sympathetic.

Moving on, there is a lot of action in this book and I think it is well-written. It can be difficult to describe magical battles such that the reader can envision everything that happens, but I felt that was not an issue here. (There were also physical battles, weapons like guns/knives, etc.) I felt there were adequate dangerous situations for both Kell and Lila (and some of their associates); although not everything turned out as I expected, neither just skated through. They ran into difficulties, they had to be resourceful. The sense of danger and the well-written fights made me feel like the plot was always moving forward, and at a nice pace, at that.

Speaking of the plot, I felt that it was basically self-contained in this book. There were endings for Lila and Kell. But, there were also some interesting possibilities laid out for future books. I am not yet sure where the overall series arc will take us (presumably we will learn the secrets of Lila's and Kell's pasts in future volumes -- I am not yet enough into volume two to see if that is true); however, there are some interesting possibilities for where things could go in the future.

I also liked the writing. As mentioned earlier, it was especially good during action sequences. But I also thought it was good at setting the scene for each of the different Londons. If you opened the book to a random part and didn't know which London you were in, I think you'd be able to guess based on the setting. And, when you were inside the protagonists' heads, their thoughts were different. They had different personalities, different aspirations, different goals. They were not just two aspects of the author projected onto the page. So that was also done well.

If I had one criticism, it would be that there were a few too many instances of characters being saved from very dire situations or being able to fight when they ought to have been incapacitated. It made for dramatic action, but it was perhaps not quite as believable within the context of the story as the author would have wanted. This is a common issue in fantasy novels, and considering that some degree of magical healing is accounted for here (as well as some consequences), it is not an unforgivable writing sin.

Anyway, on balance, I enjoyed this quite a bit. It was a nice break from the epic fantasy I've been reading lately and I'm glad I picked it up!
1 van 1 mensen vonden de volgende recensie nuttig
4.0 van 5 sterren A little slow in the beginning, but beautiful world building and character development 25 april 2017
door Chanda Reads - Gepubliceerd op
Geverifieerde aankoop
Sigh. I wanted to like this book more than I actually did. Pretty much everyone I know told me how amazing this series was, but I hard a hard time with this one. I think there are a couple reasons for this:
1. The hype going in
2. the narration (I listened to the audio). The narrator did terrible female voices. Honestly, some of the worst I’ve ever heard. I listened to this on the heels of Illuminae, which is easily the very best audio book I’ve ever listened to, but still, this was bad. His male voices were good, but maaaannnnn those female voices. *cringes*

The story also moved a bit slow for me for about the first 50% of the book. There was a lot of world building and character development (the world Schwab creates was pretty amazing), but this made for a slow start.

With that being said, I did enjoy the book once I got past the halfway point. The two main protagonists are well developed and complex, and even the supporting characters are engaging.

I rated it 4/5 stars because while it was slow moving for me, I can appreciate the incredible world building that was cause for it being a little slow to start.

Final Thoughts:
– While it didn’t quite live up to the hype for me, I will continue the series. The second and third books have a different narrator so I would be willing to give those a shot again.
29 van 33 mensen vonden de volgende recensie nuttig
4.0 van 5 sterren A fun story and a good writer, but feels like a "young-adult" novel. 7 september 2016
door Mark Armstrong - Gepubliceerd op
Geverifieerde aankoop
A fun story and a good writer. The plot was pretty good, though the author does occasionally introduce new information or elements out of nowhere (a character knows something without it ever being explained how they acquired the information, etc.). Basically, too much "hand waving" of information. The sexual content is inferred (a mild sexual tension) rather than anything explicit. This isn't a young-adult novel, but the authors young-adult roots are very easy to see. The story had a simplicity - lack of "substance" to it - that seems to be a trademark of young-adult literature. The story was still fun despite that. I've started reading the second book in this series, and I'm noticing the same tendencies (such as one of the characters possessing "intelligence" about a group of pirates impending plans, with no explanation of how the information was acquired - she just "knows"...). It's fun so far, but the simplicity is starting to bore me. If it doesn't get better, I doubt I'll continue with the series.
7 van 8 mensen vonden de volgende recensie nuttig
4.0 van 5 sterren A Highly Recommended Start to a Magical Fantasy Series 18 februari 2017
door Alex Prekeges - Gepubliceerd op
Geverifieerde aankoop
The excellent world-building, writing and unique concept make A Darker Shade of Magic the epitome of what I expect from a fantasy series. We are first introduced to Kell- a powerful magician, an Antari. He not only has control over all of the elements and has a magical coat with endless layers, but he is able to travel between Londons. Yes, there are parallel Londons in this story. Red London, Kell’s London, is a world where magic is common and worshiped. Grey London, where magic no longer exists. White London, where magic is literally sucking the life out of its people. And Black London, a world that has succumbed to magic and was destroyed.

Kell travels between Londons on errands for his king, and on one of these errands he crosses paths with Delilah Bard. Lila is cross-dressing thief who is looking for an adventure. When Kell meets her in Grey London, the two embark on an adventure to save not only one world, but three.

We are also introduced to a host of other interesting characers. I thoroughly enjoyed getting to know Rhy, the crown prince of Red London. Rhy and Kell are as close as brothers, and even refer to each other as such. Kell is “adopted” by the king and queen, although we have no background as to where Kell came from. Holland, the Antari White London, and the evil Dane twins also have their important parts to play.

I enjoyed this book. Everything about it was very good. Although I will say it was a bit slow for me. I was okay with it because I enjoyed Kell and Lila, I enjoyed the magic and parallel worlds, but not much happened until the last 30% or so. The world-building and character building was magnificent so I enjoyed the slow-build up.

V.E. Schwab is a masterful storyteller and she has officially sucked me into her magical world. She created complex, interesting characters who I am eager to learn more about. If you are thinking about reading this series, I highly recommend it!
1 van 1 mensen vonden de volgende recensie nuttig
5.0 van 5 sterren A perfect fantasy for adults young and not so young!! 1 november 2016
door Lindsay Meyers - Gepubliceerd op
Geverifieerde aankoop
Before I knew anything about this book, I knew this cover art. Being a bookstagrammer, this is a well-loved series among the community and this cover is to die for! It made me curious and drew me in. Needless to say, before I read a single word, I had already purchased the first two books in the series. At that point, all I could think was "I sure hope I love these books!"

Suffice it to say, I was beyond pleased with this book. Schwab is slow to introduce each character, but it is a slow-burn that, once gaining momentum, never slows down. I have read the negative reviews claiming flat characters and a slow story and I can say that for me, I found nothing of the sort in my reading. Kell, Lila, Holland, and the cast of characters were so richly written for me that I felt like I knew them, understood them, felt their joy and their pain and sorrow.

In addition, the world was so well explained that I'm pretty sure I could be a Londons tour-guide if need be ;) However, Schwab does not bombard the reader with page after page of world-building exposition. Rather, she seamlessly weaves it into the story in a way that works perfectly.

The story is unlike any fantasy I've come across, the characters are wonderful, and the writing is brilliant. If you are a lover of fantasy, don't pass up A Darker Shade of Magic. It will be sure to take you on a fantastic journey.