Sunday, June 28, 2015

What I'm reading... A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V. E. Schwab

New feature time! =)

I've decided, as this was originally a publishing blog, that there should be some good content about books.  Now, many of you (ahem, all of you!), have not responded to the Blog Content Survey, so I'm forced to forge ahead on my own! =)

So, here we go, into the reading brain of Ms. Jenny Rae Rappaport... the darkest reaches, where Joy and Sadness and Anger and Fear and Disgust battle it out (Can you tell that I recently saw Inside Out?)...

Ok, so, A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC is fantastic. I'm about halfway through the novel, and I'm loving it. It reminds me a little bit of SWORDSPOINT by Ellen Kushner, but it's less mannerpunk than it is urban fantasy set in the Regency period. Not that it could be anything but urban fantasy of the historical kind, since its central conceit revolves around a series of stacking Londons.

There's Grey London, which is essentially our London--complete with a mad King George III and very little magic. Then, there's Red London, a city rich with magic, and a river-analogue of the Thames, the Isle, that literally pulses with it. After that, there's White London, which is a fading city worn out by constant war. And finally, there's Black London, the cause of all the evils of White London, and a city that was literally subsumed by the machinations of magic.

Three centuries ago, Black London developed a magical plague, and the doors between the stacking Londons were closed--permanently.  All traces of Black London were wiped from the other cities because what had happened there was THAT BAD.  The only people who can still go between the Londons are the blood magicians, the Antari, and they're essentially a dying breed.

Kell--a Red Londoner who is one of the two remaining Antari--is content. As content as he can be, anyway, in his daily life as a messenger between the royalty of the stacking cities.  But he has a yearning for more, and so he breaks the rules, deliberately bringing back artifacts from Grey London and White London into his own world.  When one of those artifacts turns out to be something more than he bargained for, he's thrust into an uneasy partnership, forced to reevaluate his place in the multiverse, and worst of all...he may be forced to go to Black London. If there's even a way to do that...

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is where I am, right now. =)

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