Thoughts on the Shades of Magic Trilogy


A Darker Shade of Magic (2015)
A Gathering of Shadows (2016)
A Conjuring of Light (2017)
Author: V.E. Schwab (Victoria Schwab)
Genre: YA, Fantasy

It also has magic and elements of historical fiction, it’s such a wonderful blend of awesomeness ♥

I read A Darker Shade of Magic last year and really enjoyed it. But then it took me forever to pick up the sequel. And now I have finally completed the trilogy, and I feel like I should talk about it on here, because those books were absolutely incredible, and you should definitely check them out. You can read my review for A Darker Shade of Magic here, and I gave all three books either four or five stars ★

The story:

Four colours. Four Londons. And only two people can travel between them. These people are called Antari, and Kell is one of them. An orphan from Red London, adopted by the Crown, and bound by friendship and brotherhood to the heir, Rhy.

Meanwhile in Grey London, Delilah Bard dreams of becoming a pirate, and soon she is swept up by a plot bigger than herself, and discovers that she might have abilities of her own.

In White London, Holland is slave to the Danes, the king and queen reigning over the realm. His powers are unlimited though, and he strives for a better world, doing anything he can to achieve his freedom, good or bad.

Locked away from the other cities, Black London is supposedly dead, but a powerful artefact might be able to change everything for everyone, magical or magicless London.

My opinion:

I absolutely love the universe that Schwab created in this series. It is so original and full of amazing twists. I feel like these books are fit for both historical fiction and fantasy lovers. I just loved everything about them. The characters are amazing, diverse, unique, and endearing. And the setting is incredible. Each book comes with new twists and adventures. And by the end of the trilogy, I really didn’t want to leave this world.

Words are not enough to describe how fantastic this trilogy is. It kept me on edge from beginning to end. And I loved it. The world building is absolutely incredible. And it is so well written. I liked each book even more than the previous one.

The characters are all so different and incredible. They are all complex, and cleverly written. It’s impossible to pick a favourite. Every volume managed to bring its lot of surprises and new amazing characters and twists. Amazing doesn’t even begin to sum it up.

I really liked Kell, obviously. He has powers that none can understand, but he also has his own wounds, and faults. He feels to human and relatable. He is fierce and needs to be protected.

And then there’s Lila of course. From thief to pirate, this girl has done everything. She can lie as well as she can breathe. She is immensely strong, morally and physically. She also has her faults, and for that, I will always admire her. She is the amazing person I wish I could be.

Then there’s Rhy, the prince, who struggles with his magic and wants to be stronger. At any cost apparently, and it does definitely cost him. But he also knows how to value his mistakes, and the people he cares for. What I like the most about him is his gift for languages, because it’s always something I admire.

Holland, the other Antari, appears at first to be a villain sort of character, but the more we read, the more we learn. And he is so much more than that. He is a very complex character, who was built on pain. It is so interesting to read about him. Even if he’s really not my favourite, I sometimes couldn’t help but feel bad for him.

And one more character I wanted to mention, of course, is Alucard, though he is only introduced in the second book. He is another very complex characters, and mysterious as well. A powerful magician, though not an Antari. A pirate and a noble man, with an undying love for the heir to the throne.

Everything about these books and these characters is amazing. The romances are well played, and don’t overshadow the plot itself. Shades of Magic is a tale of magic, obviously, of adventure, and of power games. It has a bit of everything, and what else can I say, it’s fantastic!


I honestly don’t know what else to say about these books. I really loved them, as you probably got by now, and I felt that they deserved their place on my blog so here we go. Have you read them? If so what did you think?

I read book one and three on kindle, and listened to the audiobook for book two, which was also an amazing experience. I’m actually considering getting the physical copies because they are so gorgeous, both the American and the British edition!

Victoria Schwab is amazing, and I want to read more of her books. Which are your favourites? I also read Vicious which was incredible, and the next on my list is This Savage Song!


3 thoughts on “Thoughts on the Shades of Magic Trilogy

  1. I absolutely love this series. Schwab is amazing. I’m so glad you enjoyed it as well. I agree, it’s a great fit for history and fantasy lovers (which I am) – the originality is fantastic. The characters are really well written, especially ones like Holland, Lila and Alucard who are quite layered and complex.

    Liked by 1 person

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