Hi, I'm Genesis and welcome to the Whispering Chapters site! You'll find all things book-related and much more. Go on and take a look around!


Latest on the blog

Magical and Alluring: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A 2020 fave for sure!

by V.E. Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic #1

Genres: Fantasy, Historical, Young Adult
Publication Date: 
January 19th 2015 by Tor Books
Format: Paperback | Hardcover Collector's Edition
Rating: ★★★★★
Goodreads | Amazon
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.
I’ll start by saying that Schwab’s writing is magical and enthralling. From the very first page, I was lured in—it was as if the writing were a siren, luring me into a trap. And what a wonderful trap it was!

Also, why the heck did I never read this before?! I think this book is so hyped that I was scared I wouldn’t like it. I honestly never thought I’d read it, yet here I am, facepalming myself for waiting so long!

This story has four parallel worlds: Red London, where magic is pretty much worshipped and kept in balance; White London, where magic is taught over no matter the cost; Greg London, where people think magic just doesn’t exist; Black London, where the magic has taken control over its residents and now it’s hard to get into this London, but even harder to get out of. 

Magic was a living thing–that, everyone knew–but to Kell it felt like more, like a friend, like family.

Kell is an Antari, a magician who can travel among these London’s. He’s also someone who ‘smuggles’ items between the London’s in exchange for a token. These tokens can help him with his traveling. Where does he keeps these tokens and trinkets? In his multi-sided coat! Like, his coat has...a bunch of coats within! I was so mind blown by that! Just by this alone, I was hooked and wanted to know more! It was also interesting because Kell is basically adopted by the royal family in Red London, meaning he doesn’t need of anything, something his brother, the prince of Red London, knows and wants him to stop doing these dealings. 

It’s in one of these dealings, and meeting Delilah Bard, that things take a turn of events and boy, was it a fun adventure!

“Love doesn’t keep us from freezing to death, Kell, or starving, or being knifed for the coins in our pocket. Love doesn’t buy us anything, so be glad for what you have and you have because you may want for things but you need for nothing.”

Lila caught my attention from the start. She’s a smart, quick pickpocket who’s always looking for an adventure, something more. Her meeting with Kell was fascinating to me. The snark and banter was on point! She keeps Kell on his toes! Also, can we praise the fact that Lila wants to be a pirate?! Like, hell yeah, girl! Be your own person!

"I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still."

Then we have Holland, a morally grey character. Did I mention I have a thing for moral key grey characters? Because I do. Give them all to me! Well, Holland was... Alluring all on his own. And I so wanted more from him!

Going back to Schwab’s writing, her world-building is astounding. Sometimes a fantasy novels tends to have a lot of word-vomit and more information than one really needs. I found that Schwab did a fantastic story-telling that was swift and eloquent. I tend to get a bit lost with fantasy novels, but that was never the case with this one. 

Overall, A Darker Shade of Magic is creative, alluring, enthralling, addictive, with magical prose, and remarkable and striking world-building. 

Follow Me