talk from another galaxy: alison and a darker shade of magic

Fasten your seat belts, traveler!

You just signed for our new program, TALK FROM ANOTHER GALAXY, and we’re about to take off!
This new program of ours allows you to glance over our friends’ own galaxy and share a short journey through their bookshelves. What is trending on the other side of space? Well, buckle up, because you’re about to find out!

If you’d like to take part in the Talk From Another Galaxy (#TFAG) series, contact me through my contact page over here, or on Twitter.

Welcome to our third episode of this series! I’m so happy to receive Alison for this new episode, who’s a real influence when it comes to blogging!

Alison decided to talk about one of her favorite book, and I was delighted by her choice: it’s a great book that I read and loved too. And honestly, it’s not much of a surprise considering her username! So without further ado, let’s hear her!

Hey, Alison! I was so happy when you reached out to do this, let me thank you again! You chose to talk about A Darker Shade of Magic, but for those who don’t know, can you tell us quickly what is this book about?
I always struggle describing my favourite books because I want to make them justice. Basically, A Darker Shade of Magic is about parallel worlds that, funnily enough, all have a city called London. Our main character Kell is an Antari, which is a magician who can use blood magic and can travel between the four parallel worlds. He calls them Red, Grey, White and Black London, although Black London mysteriously closed a long time ago. While travelling in the magic-less Grey London, he meets Lila, a bad-ass pirate. Together, they go on an adventure to bring back an item made of black magic into Black London!

Trust me, you do it justice! I just love this universe and I can easily understand why you love it so much. But why do you think people should read it?
ADSOM (ed: short for A Darker Shade of Magic) is one of the most unique fantasy trilogy I have ever read. You can tell V.E. Schwab has put a lot of work into the world building, the magic system, and the complexity of the characters. I know it’s a pretty popular series, so a lot of people have already read it, but if there’s someone out there reading this post and wondering if they should read ADSOM, the answer is: yes. You’ll go on a terrific adventure and you won’t regret it.

I’ve read it already but damn, you make me want to re-read it! I’m curious, though: what did you like about it?
I remember being completely blown away by the world-building the first time I read it. V.E. Schwab is my all-time favourite author, and ADSOM was her first work that I read. I fell in love with her writing style, and she hasn’t disappointed me yet. What I love most about ADSOM, even more than the world-building, the magic system and the writing style, is the characters. They’re all so complex that, by the end of the trilogy, I was even caring about the morally ambiguous characters. Like, if I could choose a gang to be friends with, you bet it’d be Kell, Lila, Rhy and Alucard. And Holland, I could never forget Holland.

It’s such a shame we can’t hang out with our favorite characters… I’d love to hang out with them too and explore the different Londons! You talked about Holland, is he your favorite character?
Actually, my favourite character is Kell. When I read the first book, I thought Lila would be my favourite because she doesn’t take shit from anyone, but when I continued the series I realized that nope, Kell is a small bean and I must protect him. He’s such a grumpy, always too serious dumb ass, but he’s also so damn powerful. I love how he always puts the people he loves first, and that may jeopardize things, but he doesn’t care, as long as they’re safe.

We all love the grumpy-but-soft type of character, don’t we? Another question! I love to know how people shelve their books, I feel like I can learn a lot from that! Tell me, where did you put ADSOM on your shelves?
I actually have 2 copies of each book. I have the entire trilogy in the UK paperback editions, and they’re shelved with all my paperback fantasy books: high on my bookshelves so it’s the first thing people (and myself!) can see. They’re in a stack with my other paperbacks of V.E. Schwab’s books, and with ADSOM-themed playing cards and candles just in front of it. I also bought / received the collector’s edition, and since these are hardbacks, they’re on my hardback floating shelf above my bed.

Oh, wow, I love it. You’re so organised! And ADSOM-themed playing cards? Now I’m jealous. Speaking of different editions, which one has your favor?
The collector’s edition are my favourites for sure. All three of them are signed, the first two are even personalized because I met V.E. Schwab last year, so emotionally they mean a lot to me. They also have beautiful fanart under the dust-jacket and I’m such as sucker for fanart!

This is so cool! I see why you love it so much, I hope you convinced more readers to embark with you on this journey! And that’s a wrap! Stick around a little more, and learn more about Alison and A Darker Shade of Magic:

Alison, known on the web as Antari Reads, talks about books on the internet. Her favorite genre is fantasy, be it YA or adult, but she also reads LGBTQIA+ contemporaries. Her favorite author is V.E. Schwab and she would die for Kell Maresh. She also loves Halsey, getting new tattoos, and animal crossing! You can follow her on several platforms :

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by V.E. Schwab


Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.

Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see.

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.

After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then 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.


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