26 Feb 2017

DO NOT TRUST SHINY STONES | A Darker Shade of Magic (review)

Author: V. E. Schwab | Genre: fantasy, young adult | What can you find: stabbing, magic, action, darkness and sassy remarks | Goodreads: 4,05 | 

“I'd rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”

A few days ago, I finished ADSOM. I know, I’m terribly late to the party, since the third book just came out, but I had it on my tbr for a while and I saw that it was translated into Czech which meant that there were no other excuse for me to make. Oh boy, I am happy I read it. Ok, so there are four types of London in this book: The grey one, the red one, the white one and the dark one. It basically follows the story of a boy named Kell, who can go from London to London and carries letters with him. A royal postman you could say. A royal postman with magical powers and really cool coat… and a smuggler. He really likes to take things from one London to another  and this will cost him a lot of trouble because he smuggles something dangerous. 

Let’s talk about the characters, which I adored. Kell is such a precious boy. Just thinking about him warms my heart and makes me fangirl. He can do magic, he’s sexy and resolute and just… that brooding mysterious kind of character you immediately fall in love with. Another one of my fav characters, is Rhy, who is Kell’s “brother” and the prince of the red London. Those two together make the most amazing bromance there ever was. Rhy is handsome, confident, and always flirting, no matter what gender you are. For all I know, you could be a piece of furniture and he'd be trying to charm you. He’s irresistible. But the relationship between Kell and Rhy is so heartwarming and strong. They’re truly like brothers, even though they’re not by blood, and they would die for each other. The last one I need to mention is Lila and I’m always happy to see some strong female character and Lila… she’s one sassy girl. She has dreams and she can rob you without you even noticing. She is also very good at shooting, stabbing or tying people to bed posts which are always good traits because you never know when they come in handy. Lila also has the most brilliant remarks and her sass is out of control. I love her. 

“I'm not going to die," she said. "Not till I've seen it."
"Seen what?"
Her smile widened. "Everything.” 

The story itself was magical. It reminded me a little bit of Sabriel, which I adore, so I instantly felt in love with Schwab’s writing style. I’m sure she’ll make it to the list of authors who inspire me to write, which is not a long one but she'll have a great company. I liked that it wasn’t overly complicated but it still caught me off guard. There were  moments that I wasn’t expecting. If you go into this and you think “Well, I know where this is going.”, don’t be so cocky. You will get shocked and you will get surprised and you will like it. 
I love the idea of four different types of London. They all have something in common, for example some buildings, but the overall atmosphere is different. Grey London is known for not having magic, red London is known for having a lot of magic, white London is feared and dark London is a myth. The doors to the last one are sealed and no person can go in or get out. I have a weak spot for magic and I think it was so well-thought out in this story and I liked every aspect of it. 

Also, you may find a quite big amount of stabbing and shooting in this book. There’s also a lot of blood and daggers… and swords and I loved it. Not because I’m a psychopath, I just like bloody scenes. Nope, that didn't sound better. I’m just saying that the book is full of rather amazing fighting scenes and there is a lot of blood. And deaths. I wasn’t expecting it to be that dark, but it only makes sense because it’s called A Darker Shade of Magic for a reason. I’m not mad. I love dark things. Especially villains. Either make him really dark and vicious and Voldermorty or don’t make him a villain at all. (btw. Voldemorty should definitely be a word).
Also, let’s talk about that dark magic. It was fascinating, vicious and overall amazing. It reminded me a little bit of The Lord of the Rings or horcrux (hopefully I spelled that right) from Harry Potter. Just make sure you don’t get involved with people with black eyes… I’m talking no whites black eyes. That’s never a good sign. Also, don’t trust people who just hand you a mysterious envelope and most of all, don’t trust shiny black stones. Magic always comes with a price. 
Where’s the second book? Should I wait for the translation or just dive into it in English? I need it or I’ll die and I’m not exaggerating. I need more Kell, Rhy and Lila in my life! I miss them. This is not good. I’m sensing book hangover. There’s hole inside me and I need to fill it with the second book! 

Overall, I think it was a really great book. I dare to say that it was the best book of the 2017 I have read yet. Is it going on my shelf next to my faves? Definitely. Should you read it? Why are you asking? Just go! Now! You won’t regret it. 

Have you read ADSOM? If so, what are your thoughts? Do you love Kell? (please say yes, so we can fangirl together)


  1. YESSS I LOVE KELL. Also, I haven't read Sabriel, so I'll have to give it a go!

  2. Yay, this is one of my favorite series! So glad you got the chance to read the fascinating world of the many London's.