Magic, Shadows, and Light

Question: How do you write a review for your favourite series? Answer: SHRIEK AND RUN AWAY BECAUSE IT’S TOO HARD. Ever since finishing A Conjuring of Light, I’ve wanted to write a post about my love for A Darker Shade of Magic and just V.E. Schwab in general (and how I kind of daydream about us marrying but MEETING HER would be a start), but like… WHERE TO START? What can I say except that this series enveloped me and I fell utterly in love with the characters and I was left a sobbing mess by the end? HUH? Is it even possible?

If you don’t know what A Darker Shade of Magic is… WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN? THIS IS ABSURD. THIS IS MADNESS. But just because I’m kind, I’ll shed some light on it for you. This series is full of magic and different Londons and awesome coats and thieving pirates — and that’s basically all you need to know! Seriously, this is a one-of-a-kind adventure and V.E. Schwab has a special place in my heart. She’s the only author that’s made me lie on the couch for three days straight reading and rereading this series, and then three more trying to recover from the ending. THESE BOOKS WILL RUIN YOU. But, you know, in a good way. I promise.



Grey London, Red London, White London and Black London. Or, as Lila knows them, there’s Dull London, Kell London, Creepy London, and Dead London. I was already obsessed with London before reading these books, but now I HAVE TO GO BACK THERE. I want to walk those cobbled streets where Lila picked pockets and have a drink at the Stone’s Throw. I want to be transported with a whisper of As Travars and find myself in Red London, walking up the stairs to the Palace and finding myself in the middle of a ball. BUUUT… I don’t really want to go to Creepy London. I’ll sit that one out, thanks. And Dead London. HARD PASS. The world-building of this series was absolutely incredible and I honestly wouldn’t mind it if my books ate me and transported me to the world of Kell and Lila and Rhy and Alucard. PLEASE EAT ME, BOOKS.



I mean, this aspect MIGHT be my favourite part of the entire series? I mean, I DO love the characters and everything else, but… THE COAT! ALL THE HEART-EYE EMOJIS. Not only does it come in a ravishing red, it has multiple sides. More sides than possible. Kell can just turn it over and find a coat he’s never seen before! I guess it would be kind of annoying trying to find something you’d put in the pocket of one of the coats, but LOSING MY PHONE AND ALL MY MONEY WOULD BE WORTH IT. And although I love all the fan-made merch for this series, WHERE IS MY COAT? Come on, people. You need to up your game. I want that coat.



I mean, it wouldn’t really be A Darker Shade of MAGIC without any magic, now would it? I loved how it was spread unevenly throughout the Londons and how some had more access to magic than others, and some had TOO MUCH, and it killed them. There were people who could control just one or two elements, some people who could control all of them, and my personal favourite, the Antari, who can do pretty much anything with their blood magic, including traveling between the Londons. I mean, COME ON. I want that power so badly. I guess it could get a bit scary RUNNING FOR YOUR LIFE from people who wanted to kill you or try and impossibly “steal” your magic, but IT’D BE WORTH IT.



I can’t even talk about my love for these characters without flailing and blushing and rambling until everyone has stopped listening. I JUST LOVE THEM SO MUCH. Every time something bad happened to one of them, I just wanted to hold my precious little cupcakes and just HOPE that V.E. Schwab wasn’t ENTIRELY a monster and would let some of them survive the series unscathed. Kell was fearless and had a heart of gold, and the lengths he’d go to protecting his brother were so admirable. AND THEN THERE’S LILA. She was definitely my favourite character. She’s a badass thief, a pirate, and doesn’t seem to be afraid of anything. MAJOR GIRL CRUSH HERE. I mean, she could definitely decapitate me, but that’s not putting me off. And RHY. There were moments when I could laugh with him, and there were moments when I was crying with him. He’s such a sweet but strong person and I absolutely adored him.

I guess there’s nothing left for me to say except READ THIS SERIES! You won’t regret it.


Let's Talk

Have you read A Darker Shade of Magic, or any other books by V.E. Schwab? Have you finished A Conjuring of Light yet? Are you eagerly awaiting Our Dark Duet? Can you recommend any books similar to this series to me? Let’s chat about our love for Schwab!

Thanks to NewSouth Books for providing me with a copy of A Conjuring of Light in exchange for an honest review!


The beautiful fan art used in the header is by lucecarlyledraws. (

Kell and Rhy + Kell and Lila fan art by victoria-ying. (

Kell and Lila with dark green background fan art sourced from DiviantArt. (

Holland and Kell fan art sourced from Pinterest. (

Quotes from the Pan Macmillan website.



26 thoughts on “Magic, Shadows, and Light

  1. AAAA I HAVE SO MUCH LOVE FOR THIS POST! ❤ I'm basically obsess with Shades of Magic because it is SO GOOD! And I can feel your enthusiasm clearly so yay for that ahaha I love the four London and the magic too. I think Schwab successfully created a flawless worldbuilding with consistent and clear rules that are so easy to understand. Also the characters…. I just love everyone. Kell, Lila, and Rhy are mandatory but there's Holland and Alucard and there's Alucard and Kell's bickering that is so funny. They're like cranky old people who don't want to share Rhy hahaha 😂😂 also yes to Kell's coat not only it's magical it's also very stylish, I imagine 🙂 I'm still reeling from ACOL to be honest and I already reread some of my favorite scenes haha I read almost all her books and LOVED THEM but my favorite is ACOL and Vicious is a close second. However, I didn't enjoy This Savage Song that much </3 still looking forward to Our Dark Duet though hehe great post! 😀

    • THANK YOU SO MUCH! I’m so happy you love this series as much as I do! And YES! I absolutely adored Alucard and Kell’s bickering. HILARIOUS! It’s a shame you didn’t like THIS SAVAGE SONG much – I’m so excited for OUR DARK DUET! And VICIOUS WAS AMAZING! I’m so excited for the next book in that series too. So much to look forward to! 🙌🏼📚

      • This series is the best hahaha RIGHT? They’re so adorable I just want more of them hahaha I’m sad I didn’t enjoy it as much, but I hope Our Dark Duet would be better 😛 VICIOUS WAS MY FAVORITE and yes I’m beyond excited for Vengeful!! Have you read The Archived/The Unbound?

      • I LOVE IT SO MUCH! I want more of the characters too 😭 I haven’t read The Archived yet! I’m kind of savouring them because once I read them, I won’t have any new Schwab novels to read before Our Dark Duet, and that’s really saddening! I’ll pick them up soon though. Did you enjoy them? 💖

      • That’s exactly the reason why I haven’t read The Unbound!! I’ve read The Archived and LOVED IT but I’ve been putting off The Unbound because like you, I don’t want to run out of Schwab’s book hahaha I’m really looking forward to Vengeful though 😛

  2. This is probably my favourite post of yours because it’s full of your passion for this series, which is always something I prize. And now I want to read them more than ever…. I know, I know, I haven’t read them yet (please don’t kill me) but I own them and plan to read them soon, so there’s that 😉

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