There are four Londons in this excellent fantasy by V.E. Schwab; Grey London is the normal Londob we all know and love, Red London is a London in another world, filled with magic and wonder, White London is a harsh place, full of wickedness and a stark desperation. And then there’s Black London, but we do not speak of Black London. Kell is a magician who travels between the Londons, an act that is forbidden, and he smuggles items between them. But when he accidentally ends up with a stone from Black London he knows something is very wrong.
Chased between Londons by sinister magicians and aided by a not-entirely-helpful thief from Grey London who oddly appears to be somewhat apt at magic, Kell tries to make his way to Black London to destroy the stone.
A Darker Shade of Magic has everything fans of fantasy want; a complex and complete fantasy world with great characters and a touch of the darkness of George Martin’s Ice and Fire books, though less of the vulgarity. With nothing held back, V.E. Schwab has created quite a book. Highly recommended.