“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still”
I was initially sent a preview of this book by the publisher and after about two chapters I had already pre-ordered it. I knew I would love it right from the start. Unfortunately, my pre-order took a very, very long time to come and it was a terrible, terrible wait. I wanted to finish it so badly that I ended up buying another copy in the interim. It’s that good. Seriously.
“Magic is a truly beautiful disease”
What’s it about: This is the story of four alternate Londons, three magical, one not, and the man who can travel between them. Kell belongs to the royal family of Red London (the nice magic London), and must travel between his London, Grey London (non-magic London), and White London (creepy magic London) carrying messages between the royal families which rule each London. Although forbidden, Kell ocassionally brings objects from one London to another for the right price, and when he unknowingly he accepts to carry a piece of the mysterious Black London (super-bad magic London) back with him, things start to go awry.
“And so Kell—inspired by the lost city known to all as Black London—had given each remaining capital a color.
Grey for the magic-less city.
Red, for the healthy empire.
White, for the starving world.”
What did I think: I had heard of V. E. Schwab’s brilliance many times before, and from the first paragraph I understood exactly why she receives so much praise. Every word in this book is perfectly placed into each exquisitely written sentence to form a vividly brilliant image of the world (or worlds) she has created. Her writing is perfection.
The world-building is spectacular, but where this book really shines is the characters. These are the kind of characters that you fall head over heels in love with. The kind that stay with you. The kind that inspire you.
“I’m not going to die,” she said. “Not till I’ve seen it.”
Her smile widened. “Everything.”
There are some books that are just special, and this is indeed one of them.
I rate it 5/5 stars.