Pages: 400 (US Hardcover)
Publication Date: 24 February 2015
My rating; 5/5 stars!!
“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”
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.
Officially, Kell is the Red traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
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.
This book was AMAZING! I mean, where do I even start with this?! It’s almost impossible for me to do this book justice when talking about it because it is just that good. The writing was fantastic from start to finish, keeping me intrigued from the very beginning. V.E. Schwab is a fantasy-writing GENIUS; this is hands-down one of the best fantasy novels I have ever read. How is that she was able to perfectly weave stories together that seemed minor at first, but come to have such importance later on? The characters were SO well-developed, I enjoyed reading about each and every one of them; even the evil sibling royals Astrid and Athos of White London! I am absolutely in love with Kell and how strong both he and his love for his brother, the charming and witty prince Rhy, are. Lila is also now one of my favourite females characters; she is sassy, strong and takes no prisoners. She is a force to be reckoned with and I LOVE HER!
*Fangirl Moment* Oh, did I mention I am in LOVE WITH KELL? So much so that I’ve made this fanart of him my phone wallpaper. Feast your eyes on this beauty! His one black, one blue eye thing is totally working for me 😉 Also, he broods. A LOT. But he’s got a good heart and you know his smiles are genuine and special because they are so rare ❤️
*Ahem* Back to the matter at hand–> I loved travelling through Grey, Red, and White Londons with Kell and being kept on the edge of my seat as one dramatic event after another kept occurring, sneaking up on you like a thief in the night. I felt as though for the first half of the book, I was holding my breath because I could almost feel the danger just around the corner. Around the halfway point in the book, things went from semi-fine to BOOM, a series of crazy events start happening which, of course, led me to literally shouting “WHAT IS GOING ON” as I was reading! I was so stressed out while reading this book, and by stressed I mean that I was so invested in the story and the characters’ well-being that my emotions were DEEPLY affected by what was taking place.
I love it when books take me on an emotional rollercoaster! I feel as though it’s been a long time since I’ve had a book completely take over my life and consume my thoughts and I’m so happy this book did. I haven’t read a fantasy novel in a while (seeing as I’ve been stuck in a contemporary YA phase the last few months) and this book has definitely gotten me back into the genre. How will I ever be able to read other fantasy series when Schwab’s books are JUST SO GOOD?! I’m so ready to read the next book in the series because if it’s even half as good as this one, I KNOW I’m going to love it!