At the beginning of each month, we spotlight a staff-favorite book that meets our objective of thoughtfully sharing stories to help our audience experience their world in a smarter, healthier, and happier way.
October’s Book of the Month is:
A Darker Shade of Magic
What is it?
“Kell is one of the last Antari―magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes―Red London―and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.
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.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and 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.”
– Amazon.com description
A Darker Shade of Magic has all the hallmarks of a classic work of fantasy. Its plot is gripping. Its characters are memorable. Its setting in four parallel, powerful Londons is otherworldly yet believable. Schwab has given us a gem of a tale that is original in its premise and compelling in its execution. This is a book to treasure.Deborah Harkness, New York Times bestselling author of The All Souls Trilogy
What are our thoughts?
“I haven’t had this much fun reading a book that deals with a world(s) of magic since I was a child reading Harry Potter.
The story flowed very well and so was easy to read.
I’d give this more of a 4.5 because, while the story and worlds were quite interesting, the characters seemed a bit stereo/prototypical.
Mysterious pasts, untapped powers, reckless youth, selfless sacrifice, and more have been done many times before.
While these aspects of a fantasy/adventure novel work wonderfully in A Darker Shade of Magic, I would have really enjoyed deeper character development and tropes.
But going back to my first point, this book was a lot of fun and I’m looking forward to continuing the series.”
GoodReads review by The Motley Experience founder and editor, Aristidis Marousas.
Why should you read it?
We have shared nonfiction, self-help stylized books so far in our Book of the Month installments. These types of books are helpful to people all over the world and have aided in the positive transformation of countless lives.
This month is a departure from our previous formula because we also want to include wonderfully entertaining fiction books.
Remember when you were a child and read simply for the joys of reading about some sort of magical adventure? There was no real purpose or end goal in mind. You read for the pleasure of reading.
There is something magical about that and, because it is the month of October, I thought it would be very appropriate to share a magical novel.
A Darker Shade of Magic is the first of three books in the Shades of Magic trilogy by V. E. Schwab.
There may not be a lot of depth to the characters or story, however the reading is light and fun.
There are some lessons throughout, such as the importance of friendship, loyalty, love, facing your fears, as well as finding and accepting your truth.
But again, the main reason this was selected was to recommend a book to our readers that will allow them to once again return to that joyous state of being enthralled by a magical adventure.