A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

I picked A Darker Shade of magic by V.E. Schwab up a couple months ago from the Book Outlet, but didn’t have a chance to read it right away due to my busy school schedule. But once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down- this book is a rare piece of modern New Adult Fantasy which cleverly weaves a daring, complex plot between worlds to create something truly remarkable.

“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.” – A Darker Shade of Magic, V.E. Schwab

Kell is one of the last Travelers-magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes, connected by one magical city. There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad king-George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered-and where Kell was raised alongside Rhys Maresh, the rougish heir to a flourishing empire. White London-a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now. Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. 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. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell 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.

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MINI MONDAY: Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

I received Vassa in the Night as part of my September FairyLoot box (featured at the end of this blog post for anyone interested!). While this may not have been a book I would have purchased for myself (likely I would have borrowed it from the library as a light read this summer), I still found myself intrigued enough to pick it up shortly after receiving it. And to be quite frank, I was not overly impressed. I walked into Vassa in the Night blind, and walked out disappointed in the experience, and still slightly confused.

In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now-but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters-and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission. But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair….

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Nevernight by Jay Kristoff

Please be warned that this review contains some small spoilers; I will, however, warn the reader before divulging a spoiler, so if you have not read the book yet, it is still possible to read this review! 

I had been following Jay Kristoff’s journey through writing this book (along with Gemina, which I’m quite excited about as well), for some time, so I was very excited to finally be able to pick up Nevernight and read it for myself. The very focus of the book – a young assassin with a vendetta – is definitely right up my alley for popular story tropes right now, so obviously I had to read it.

In a land where three suns almost never set, a fledgling killer joins a school of assassins, seeking vengeance against the powers who destroyed her family. Daughter of an executed traitor, Mia Corvere is barely able to escape her father’s failed rebellion with her life. Alone and friendless, she hides in a city built from the bones of a dead god, hunted by the Senate and her father’s former comrades. But her gift for speaking with the shadows leads her to the door of a retired killer, and a future she never imagined. Now, a sixteen year old Mia is apprenticed to the deadliest flock of assassins in the entire Republic – the Red Church. Treachery and trials await her with the Church’s halls, and to fail is to die. But if she survives to initiation, Mia will be inducted among the chosen of the Lady of Blessed Murder, and one step closer to the only thing she desires. Revenge.

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