Shades of Magic

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I’m a sucker for a well-developed fictional world. I’ll plow through series that have little in the way of plot or character development just because I want to hear more about the places people are exploring, the history of a kingdom in flux, the unusual flora and fauna that populate the land. The Shades of Magic Series has not too much of the bad stuff, and all of the good stuff in spades.

Imagine a world much like the one you live in right now. You could find your way down the streets, notice landmarks, anchor yourself to the geography. But when you try to find familiar places or faces, you see only strangers. And there’s something different, something dangerous, something powerful lingering in the air… That’s the city of London in this series – or, I should say, the cities of London. There are four, all similar but all very different. There is Red London, a place alive with magic but not so very different from our own world; there is Grey London, our London, a place where magic that has been lost and forgotten; there is White London, a cold place where magic is scarce and where the people are starving for it, freezing without it; and there is Black London, a place that has been destroyed by magic, a dead place, a dark place, a place where no one dares go.

White London wants their magic back.

Unbeknownst to them, to everyone, someone else does, too.

The Shades of Magic series has suspense, intrigue, all the stuff that you put on the back of a book. It also has some marvelous world building, characters that grow from one book to the next, and a whole lot of fun magic in between. The third and final book in the series, “A Conjuring of Light,” is slated to come out in February of 2017, and I’ll be waiting with bated breath. I am, dare I say it, under this series’ spell.

A Darker Shade of Magic

Kell is a rare sort of magician: an Antari, one of the magicians that can move between worlds. He’s also the personal ambassador of Red London, as well as the adopted Prince, and is responsible for ferrying letters between the kings and queens of each of those different worlds. But Kell also smuggles other things across those magical borders to give others a peek into a London they’ll never see. While escaping from one of these smuggling runs, Kell is robbed by Delilah Bard who sees through Kell’s ruse and demands that he take her away from her own London. Before Kell can agree to anything, however, he and Delilah both need to stay alive – which won’t be as easy as it at first had seemed.

A Gathering of Shadows

The Dane twins have fallen, Prince Rhy’s wounds are healing, and Holland has been cast into Black London. Now Kell is preparing to secretly enter the magical event everyone has been waiting for: the Element Games, where he will compete against the best, the brightest, and the strongest magicians from near and far, but a person from Kell’s past is drawing closer by the day and could bring Kell’s secret identity crashing down around him. But while Red London is focusing on the Element Games, a different London is waking up, and a balance, already perilous, is threatening to fall.