There's a lot to unpack here that I have had a week since finishing the last book, A Conjuring Of Light, to process . I'd first like to say that V.E. Schwab remains a genius author and writer in young adult and fantasy in general. So it's fitting this be one my first book post reviews I share on here.
The Worlds Of London
This setting is the most creative but. also simplistic fictional settings I have read. I mean the three different Londons are so vivid and unique in how they are described. This is all a beautiful work of fictional version for a real city used to distinguish the types corruption of magic. There are four Londons. Red London full of magic and three different countries. Grey London which is the human one that has no magic and is ruled by the historical figures of the 1800's that know about it. White and black each one abusive and completely destroyed by magic in varying ways. The male main character Kell Maresh whose an Antari magician whose able to travel between each has labeled them. But the description goes beyond the differences of the these different Londons and there similarities. Each of them has some form of description throughout this series of whats beyond each London. Which is a huge problem to begin with and that leads me to the next part of this review.
Magicians Plus Royals: The Main Characters
Each of these characters are dangerous in there own right because they have power or lack of power so they use that strength in a good or bad way.
There's of course Kell Maresh whose mentioned already that's the last Antari in red London at least whose dangerous because he can travel. Also the fact he's be living as a prince under the royalty of his London since he was five years old. And yet is ruled by the actual king and is not entirely a part of the royal family. Everything he does seems to be without consequences and it makes sense as he is the crown prince closet thing to a brother. Which brings me to Rhy.
Rhy Maresh is the crown prince of red London and his the only downside to this character is his name. He doesn't have any magic unlike his mother, father, well everyone he knows because magic didn't chose him. Yet what he lacks in ability he makes up in emotion, not to mention and his charm for adventure and leadership. He doesn't want to be alone which makes him vulnerable out of all these characters. But also makes him beyond brave when thing go very wrong with magic like most fantasy book princes. In the end I'm surprised he isn't a goner because he goes through a lot and does risky stuff for love or to feel alive.
Deliah Bard is the most funny main character I've read in a fantasy series in a while. She's beyond saving and does what she wants because she doesn't have a lot to lose. This makes her the most dangerous since she is from Grey London and is new to having magic. She is quick to action slowly gets to allow herself to have a connection with how she feels about the other characters. In particular Kell throughout the series but also the captain of the ship she leaves and comes back on. Which is the next central characters ship, captain Alucard.
Alucard is the true most witty and unique magician in this world with a past that's not the best. Yet he still runs a whole ship on behalf of the red London. He stops running long enough to show off his capabilities in tournament in the second book. At which point he begins to have clear lines formed in his relationships that are formed based off his past. It makes him the best at pushing buttons and leading his own course. That's more than can be said for the rest of these central characters.
A Magical Story
This is a pure fantasy series so of course its dark and takes a turn where magic is the issue. Throughout each book that evolves and adds on more flare and risk with the dangers posed from an stone artifact found in grey London. It's of course dangerous to have so it obviously gets into the wrong people's hands and things escalate a whole lot. It's a very unique way of pointing how even the smallest thing and incident can be wrong.
Over all it was a solid series that I gave four stars to the first book, A Darker Shade Of Magic. Then of course five stores because of the development for A Gathering Of Shadows and A Conjuring Of Light. It's a very dark series but worth it for the adventure it takes on all aspects and it was high quality fictional story.