“I apologize for anything I might have done. I was not myself.”
“I apologize for shooting you in the leg.” said Lila. “I was myself entirely.”
― V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic
I just want to take a moment and acknowledge one important factor in this Spine Study: THE “ROMANCE” TOOK A BACKSEAT IN THIS ONE AND THERE WAS NO TRACE OF INSTALOVE.
That alone scored major points with me.
Add in a powerhouse female MC ✔️
magic that felt lyrical ✔️
natural, transitional world building ✔️
and I was hooked.
There’s those rare books which come along when you’re in a slump and wake you up. Definitely the case with A Darker Shade of Magic for me.
Schwab has this ability to create characters who fully exist on a page without a ton of backstory. She sort of just throws you into the middle of things and allows you, as the reader, to form your own opinions while subtlety shoving your emotions in a certain direction. And her worldbuilding takes on a certain flow – no excessive infodumping.
Also- JUST MY PERSONAL OPINION HERE – but Schwab writes a beautiful antihero. That is such an underrated skill currently in YA – especially with all the Mary Sues in the genre. All the glowingly, perfect Chosen Ones. Schwab mixes that all up and gives us flawed, raw heroes – who don’t really even think they’re heroes.
Overall, this one was fast paced, plot driven, and FUN. ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️/5
Final Spine Study :: When someone new and interesting walks into the room and you sort of “perk up.”