This is another book that’s been tucked away in my TBR pile for far too long – so I gave myself a treat and dusted it off for a train journey to London. Would it keep me suitably engrossed?
Kell is one of the last travelers–magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes connected by one magical city. There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad King–George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered–and where Kell was raised alongside Rhy Maresh, the roguish heir to a flourishing empire. White London–a place where people fight to control magic and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, 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.
That is most of the rather chatty blurb, which gives an idea of the intriguing backdrop to the mayhem. I love the idea of the parallel worlds that have been influenced by an escape of magic, which is both sentient and hungry. If magic-wielders aren’t sufficiently powerful, or too dark, then the magic turns carnivorous with some nasty consequences.
When one of the most powerful magic-users in the land, used as a courier to hop between worlds, goes on indulging in some risky behaviour, he finally finds sufficient danger to satisfy him. Indeed, he finds more than he can cope with… Schwab’s characters are well depicted. Kell’s smuggling is depicted such that I found myself completely sympathising with him – and I generally have little sympathy with rule-breakers and rebels as protagonists. And I plain fell in love with Lila – madcap adrenaline junkie and dreamer who’d rather go out in a blaze of glory than continue trudging in gritted misery to make ends meet.
This grimdark fantasy quickly hooked my attention and as the body count started to rise and an evil plot was uncovered, I was hoping the train journey wouldn’t end too soon – not normally my attitude at the end of a packed day in London. The pace quickly picked up and the plot cantered along at a clip. While I generally don’t enjoy antagonists who revel in their wickedness – most people simply aren’t like that – there are occasions when a thoroughly psychotic villain does tick the box. In this book, there are a pair of them and it is a testament to Schwab’s imaginative ingenuity that she manages to give us a very powerful magic-user and then provides two terrifying characters who are capable of overwhelming him.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable read and I look forward to getting caught up in the next slice of the adventure where this well thought out magic system prevails. If you haven’t yet encountered this one, then get hold of it – the magical laws and characters are a delight.
This sounds very complicated but a good read. I have heard of V E Schwab before but not sure what he (she?) has written.
She tends to write some quite dark fantasy and YA books under Victoria Schwab. Everyone else seemed to have read her books, except me – so I got hold of this one. I hope it doesn’t come across as overly complicated – it’s quite easy to follow the various worlds as Kell travels between them.
I have heard of Victoria – makes sense now. I may have even read one.
Most people seem to…
Hi Sara! So glad you enjoyed it! As you know, this is not my preferred genre at all, but I loved this book! Need to read the rest of the series as well.
Yes, I’d echo that thought – I just need to prune my TBR pile, first!
Yay, so happy you enjoyed it as it’s one of my favourites. I absolutely loved Lilah and the combination of her and Kell, makes for some brilliant scenes.
Yes, I really enjoyed this one:). For me, the most memorable aspect of this book is the contrasting worlds centred around London, which I loved.
I really want – no, NEED – to get a hold of this book. Of course, the past couple times I’ve gone book-shopping, ADSOM hasn’t been in stock. 😮 Which I guess isn’t a bad thing; it seems to be a very popular series here in the States. But I do want to check out ADSOM, and in the meantime I’ll be content with looking forward to This Savage Song as my first V.E. / Victoria Schwab book.
That was why I finally bumped it to the top of my TBR pile! And I strongly recommend it – the world is interesting and the characters are well depicted.
Glad you enjoyed this book! I also read it late, just a few months ago but thought it lived up to the hype! 🙂
Yes, it is really strong storyline, isn’t it? Have you read the sequel, yet? I was wondering if it was as good.
Not yet, but I’m hoping to soon! Fingers crossed it will live up to the first:)
I look forward to hearing you views on it.
I really enjoyed this book!! I’m so glad others are ❤ Great review 🙂
Thank you for your kind words regarding the review:). Glad you loved the book, too.
I have heard so many wonderful things about V.E. Schwab, but I still haven’t read a single thing by her! I have The Archived, so there is really no excuse for me anymore. My mother read this book after I told her that the author is really popular, and she absolutely loved it! Great review! 🙂
Thank you, and I’m glad you liked the review:). Yes, this is my first time with this author and I’m certainly encouraged to get more of her books. I look forward to hearing how you get on with The Archived!
I’m glad you enjoyed it. I guess I should pick this one up before I’m the last living person who hasn’t read it yet. 😉
I’m sure you won’t be the last living person – but it is an enjoyable, different read.