A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part XIV

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Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the 14th part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week, we’re going to cover Part XIV The Final Door.

SPOILER WARNING FOR PART I – XII

This is the end, the last part of our re-read. Which also means we’re now closer than ever to the release of A Gathering of Shadows. o/

So let’s start!

In last week’s post, the Part ended with Kell trying to dispel the Vitari, although the Vitari told him that it’s what kept Rhy alive.

This week, Kell finally woke up and immediately searched the seal on his body. Fortunately, it’s still intact. The black stone, on the other hand, is now just a stone having been dispelled of its magic. Just to be safe, however, Kell decided to use Holland’s unconscious body to transport the stone into Dead London. Handy that, having an unconscious antari around.

But now we have a problem. There are two people, both need to get to Kell London. Only one of them is antari and there’s no magick stone to help Lila. Question: how do we get them both to Kell London? The answer, according to Delilah Bard, is … by being stubborn enough. Well, I’m sure she’s qualified for that. Kell kissed her for luck (seriously Schwab is the queen of slow-burrnn; it’s the final part and she refused to give us any concrete sign of romance) and they’re back in the red city only to be immediately arrested. Oh well, what you’re gonna do.

The pair were brought to the king and queen to face their judgement. But how can you punish someone who gambled his own life to save your son? Not to mention, he is now the only antari around. They freed him (and Lila) and soon we’re blessed by Rhy’s presence. And his sarcastic remarks. Which I will quote later. Lila went in to see the prince(s) and immediately she and Rhy clicked. I knew it! They would be an awesome couple or BFFs and together they will make Kell frown non-stop.

But we have to leave Rhy now as we follow Kell to say goodbye to Lila. Lila refused to go back to Dull London now that Barron is dead and she has no one she cared about. Kell gave her the element board for practice because Tieren said she has magic in her. Then they said goodbye and went their separate ways.

And that’s the end of A Darker Shade of Magic. It’s wrapped-up pretty nicely for a first book in a series. I’m thankful for the lack of major cliffhanger because the wait itself is already killing me, even without cliffhanger.

Questions to ponder while we await for AGoS:

  • Will Lila find magic within her (and turns out to be antari)?
  • Is the stone’s magic really gone? Or has Kell been affected by it permanently?
  • Does a soul seal work both ways? For example, if Rhy dies will Kell die? (technically Rhy was dead, so I’m not sure how it works)
  • Will there be a character ‘return’ from the death?
  • WHO was Kell really?
  • Was Lila really from Grey London or was she actually born in another London?
  • What happened to Lila’s other eye? IS she an antari and the eye she replaced with glass was actually black?
  • Do you think these two will actually get together?
  • Add your question here

Thank you to everyone who read, commented, and liked these very long 14-parts recap. I will be reading AGoS the day it comes out so hit me up if you want to buddy read or any of the like. For now, I will go back re-reading bits of ADSOM while waiting for my pre-order to be delivered.

Favorite Scene

Reunited with Rhy <3

Favorite Quotes

I love you, Kell, but I had no interest in matching tattoos.” – Rhy Maresh

I apologize for shooting you in the leg. I was myself entirely.” – Delilah Bard

INDEX

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X | Part XI | Part XII | Part XIII


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A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part XIII

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Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the 13th part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week, we’re going to cover Part XIII The Waiting King.

SPOILER WARNING FOR PART I – XII

And we’re back in Creepy London!

Athos has been waiting for us, I mean waiting for Kell and Lila, in his throne room. Her sister’s body propped up besides him. Apparently, Astrid was still up and wrecking havoc in Kell London. I wonder if she’s killed the all the royal family members minus Rhy. Athos, however, just wanted to kill Kell. For now.

Kell and Lila went into the castle through different doors. Kell was supposed to handle Athos and Lila the still-out-of-her-body Astrid. Kell vowed to himself not to use the stone’s power because he was so close to be consumed by it. Strangely, Athos—who owned the other half of the black stone—didn’t seem to be affected much by it. Or maybe he already gave in a long long time ago and now the stone has his body? I dunno. Kell’s vow proved to be short-lived when it became clear he wouldn’t win without the stone. He used the stone for protection and tried to trap Athos into doing something stupid. This turned out not to be a difficult feat. Athos, upon being compared to his evil genius sister, became angry and summoned a serpent from the stone. Uh oh, remember when Lila tried to create living thing (Kell’s doppelganger) from the stone? The same thing happened here. Eventually, the king was beaten by his own arrogance and shortsightedness.

What about the queen? I always consider Astrid as the smarter one, but her consciousness was still in Kell London. Will this be an easy kill for Lila? Of course not! As if Schwab will let her protagonist get away that easy. After being forced to kill the boy who was bound to Athos’ will, Lila went into the throne room to find the unconscious Astrid surrounded by a circle of protection (which existence she realized after her bullet richoceted back. Dear Delilah, you should’ve known better.). She broke the protection circle, but Astrid woke up right before Lila stabbed her. Unfortunately, the queen—with her magic was too powerful for our heroine. OHMYGODDONTKILLHERDONTKILLHERDONTKILLHER. Fortunately (or not), Astrid decided to kill Kell before finishing Lila.

The cunning queen took Lila’s shape after rendering her unconscious then went to see Kell. Kell, now the proud owner of two halves of the black stone, used his magic to fused back the stone. Lila-who-was-not-Lila asked Kell to give her the stone, and all he gave her was a knife… in the stomach. Oh the bastard, I thought he was going to fall to her trick. The real Lila wobbled in, and everything was right and good—at least as good as it could be considering the black stone was still there attaching itself to Kell’s hand. The calmness lasted one page, more or less, before the stone dragged Kell into its world and tried to force him to give in. He almost did, but then he realized that if he dies, so will Rhy. That sobered him a bit and gave him the idea to dispel the magic. And so he did.

And so back in Kell London, the bodies fell… And the prince shivered then fell still.

And… that’s the end of Part XIII!

Part XIII ended with a freaking cliffhanger, but I promised not to read more than one part each week. So please join me next week to read the LAST PART of A Darker Shade of Magic!

FYI, Victoria Schwab also announced #ADSOMReadalong on her twitter where the internet will read (or reread) ADSOM before AGOS comes out. It’ll start on 02/01/2016. Join in if you want! I might or might not reread ADSOM for the third time. :p

Favorite Scene

The calm before the storm (aka the strange calm before the stone tried to take Kell).

Favorite Quote

Because she said please.

INDEX

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X | Part XI | Part XII


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A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part XII

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Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the 12th part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week, we’re going to cover Part XII Sanctuary & Sacrifice.

SPOILER WARNING FOR PART I – XI

Last week, we left Kell, Lila, and a very bloody Rhy at the palace. Kell was using his magic to lead them to a safe place. That safe place turned out to be London Sanctuary, a place for scholars and masters to learn and connect with magic. Here, Kell realized that Rhy has became awfully quiet and dying. His magic has failed somewhat. Lila thought that it’s already too late to save the prince. OH NO, YOU DON’T RHY! It seemed that Kell is with me on this one. He wouldn’t let Rhy go, no matter what. He asked Lila for the black stone. BAD IDEA KELL. Don’t do it. Whatever it is you think you’re doing, it’ll end up badly for both of you. 🙁

Kell, however, won’t listen to reasons. He bound his life to Rhy and brought his brother back using a soul seal and magic he deemed ‘impossible’. Well, nothing it’s impossible for the black stone… Okay, here’s a question. How does a soul seal work? Because it seems that the one Kell gave to Rhy is quite different from Athos’ seal on Holland. From what I understand, it’s unbreakable, unlike spells, but technically does it enable the creator to control the receiver (ala Athos and Holland)? Because I don’t think Kell would want to control Rhy.

Right, back to the book.

Rhy, still very much hurt and in pain, was left in the hand of Master Tieren, Kell’s mentor, while Lila finally convinced Kell to take her along to Creepy London. The two made their way to the spot where they could ‘safely’ travel to Creepy London. But when they travel, a force pulled Kell back to Kell London, ripping him from Lila’s hands.

Lila was forced to fend off several thugs all by herself with Kell MIA. Meanwhile, back in Kell London, Kell found out what has pulled him back. It was not a what, but rather who. Holland was there, trying to take the stone –which has now bound itself to Kell’s hand—and Kell because Astrid wanted him as her pet. Holland, obviously, didn’t listen to the second request and try resolutely to kill Kell. Kell, however, has learned his mistake and he didn’t hesitate at all. Using his own power as well as the stone’s magic, he incapacitated Holland (okay, incapacitated is probably not a correct word for ‘stabbing someone using a heavy metal pillar’) and set off to Creepy London using Holland’s token and dragging him along.

Kell arrived in time to save Lila. Actually, scratch that. I fully expected Kell to turn his Hulk mode on and show them who’s boss and warn them to not mess with his lady, but they were surrounded and had to save their energy for the Danes. So… they ran. Yeah, I settled for that. Much more practical. Kell, still carrying Holland, and Lila arrived at the castle to meet the Danes and the other half of the black stone.

Well then, next week should be fun! And by fun, I mean bloody!
Only two parts to go!

Favorite Quote

“… or perhaps I will go with you to the end of the world. After all, you’ve made me curious.”

Favorite Scene

Tieren saying to Lila that she has unawakened, unnurtured power. YAS to that.

INDEX

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X | Part XI


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A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part XI

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Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the 11th part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week, we’re going to cover Part XI Masquerade.

SPOILER WARNING FOR PART I – X

We’re getting even closer to the end!
When we left them last week, Kell was captured by the palace guards and Lila was off to save him. Part XI began with Lila standing near the palace, figuring out how to get in. Soon enough, it became clear to her that the palace was holding a masquerade ball and all she needed to get in was an invitation. Such an easy job for our pickpocket! Lila procured her invitation and set off to find herself a costume. Fortunately, one of the market tenant recognized her as Master Kell’s friend and gave her a mask and a costume for free and told Lila to pay her back someway and to look after Kell. Lila assented and went in as Captain Bard of the Sea King. The guard let her in and as she paid her respect to the royals, she realized that they were under some sort of spell.

Kell, meanwhile, came to in Rhy’s bedroom with his brother besides him. It also took him a while to realize that he was bound using special cuff that can dampen magic. Crap, he was in trouble because he smuggled that stone, was the first thing on my mind. It turned out that Kell wasn’t bound because Rhy was mad at him. He was cuffed because Rhy wasn’t even Rhy. *GASP, that necklace from Holland.* Points for you if you managed to figure out this twist. Basically, Astrid sent a necklace imbibed with antari‘s blood (Holland’s I think) to possess Rhy. The antari‘s blood is the one that enable the spell to work in both worlds. So, Astrid was currently safe and sound in White London while possessing Rhy. This lady was an evil genius! ‘Rhy’ tried to get Kell to tell him the stone’s location and Kell told him that he didn’t know. ‘Rhy’ decided to use violence on Kell, but no dice. You should have listened though, Rhy, or Astrid, or whoever, he really didn’t know.

At that point, Lila, I mean Captain Bard, stepped in (more like flew in, actually) and interfered on their brotherly business. Cornered between the antari and the fearless girl equipped with magic stone, Astrid decided to use her last weapon, Rhy. She told them to give her the stone or she was going to kill Rhy. She took off the pendant from Rhy’s body and threw it, at the same time driving a knife into Rhy’s body. The pendant, apparently, was so powerful that Astrid could possess anyone that touch it. Therefore, losing Rhy wasn’t much of a hindrance now that Kell has found out that another person was wearing his brother’s skin. Rhy, meanwhile, was dying. Kell, desperate to save his brother, was forced to run with Lila to avoid being captured by Astrid and the guards under her possession. Kell took Rhy and Lila to his room and made a door to a place he deemed the only safe place for them to go.

But where did the door lead to? We’ll find out in the next part, next week!

Favorite Quote

You look more ready to storm a city than seduce a man.

Favorite Scene

Lila’s awkward exchange with Calla about being Kell’s friend.

INDEX

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX | Part X


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A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part X

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Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the 10th part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week, we’re going to cover Part X One White Rook.

SPOILER WARNING FOR PART I – IX

Part X is a long, but action-packed one. In this part, Schwab took us back to check on the two vessels of the black stone, one in Grey London left by Lila’s sword and another in Red London left frozen by Kell. The Grey London vessel, having been taken forcefully, has now withered. He was drawn to Stone’s Throw before getting hit by a cart and crumbled into soot. And guess who was there? The enthusiast from earlier. Yep, there’s definitely something with this Edward Tuttle guy. We just don’t know what yet. The second vessel has spread itself like a plague in Red London. A voluntary vessel, it lasted longer than the Grey London’s. It even managed to “kill” Gen and Parrish, Rhy’s personal guards when they were off duty. I am not sure they will stay dead, pretty sure they’ll get possessed and then the black smoke could sneak into the castle and… OH NO, RHYYY.

Speaking of Rhy, his birthday celebration was in full swing. A full-day festival followed by a masquerade ball was taking place. However, his brother was not there and the crown, now fully realized that Kell is indeed missing, has placed a magical notification ad throughout the city with the message to “press here if found.” Fortunately, Kell and Lila were smart enough to cloak themselves going to Fletcher’s pawn shop. Once they got there, Kell and Lila roamed the shop searching for the white rook, the White London’s token, but couldn’t find it. Fletcher, a bone magician, found out that Master Kell was in his shop and stalled them long enough after he notified the royal guards that their wanted person is here. Lila cloaked herself with the stone’s magic so the guards had no idea she was there, and the royal guards took Kell back to the castle. Everything seems well and good, that is until Kell was rendered unconscious and a strange guard possesed by magic came back to get rid of Fletcher. Good riddance! But what about Kell? Was he kidnapped? And what will happen to Lila? Well, if you know her, you will know for sure she is not going to sit around and wait for Kell to come back. Instead, she took the black stone and the white rook that fell from Fletcher’s pocket) and went to rescue Kell.

Next week gonna be fun!

Favorite Quote

Some people steal to stay alive, and some steal to feel alive.

Favorite Scene

Lila telling Kell about her past and Kell telling Lila about what he did to some guys who kidnapped his brother.

INDEX

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII | Part IX


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A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part IX

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Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the 9th part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week, we’re going to cover Part IX Festival & Fire.

SPOILER WARNING FOR PART I – VIII

Aaanndd we’re back in Red London. Well, Kell did. But where’s Delilah? Was she trapped in the path between alternate universes? Or worse, inside the wall? *GASP* We sure hope not. We being both me and Kell. Let’s go find her! *traipsing around Red London*

THERE SHE IS. It turned out, Lila made it to Red London after all, but in different place. She looked around and saw the red river, the vessel of Red London. Quick question. If you’re a wannabe pirate, what is the first thing that you see? The SHIPS of course. They were fabulous and she wanted them so bad. But let’s leave the ships for now because there’s a big thing in town. What is it? Why, it’s Prince Rhy’s birthday celebration. The prince with his parents were leading the procession to the castle and Lila saw Kell’s brother for the first time, not that she knew that. It was not the “sparks flying at the first sight” as I predicted, but Rhy DID notice her so that’s something. On the other hand, Lila also heard about the “missing black-eyed prince.” Wait, what?? … Moving on.

Lila walked around the festival and tried to steal a charm from a merchant tent. Unfortunately, it was enchanted. Fortunately, Kell found her before things got even more awry. They made their quick getaway and Lila cornered Kell into admitting that he indeed belonged to royal family. A heated argument ensued between the two. I have to admit, this was one of my favorite scene between them. How Kell felt like a prisoner in a gilded castle and Lila had to fend for herself and never felt safe. They had their differences, but they were both strong and levelheaded enough to carry on with their mission.

And to The Ruby Fields they went. Except Ruby Fields is no more. It – and all the people inside – was burned to ashes by Holland. Speaking of Holland, here he came. Kell, knowing he was in no condition to fight Holland, commanded the stone to conceal he and Lila. The stone obeyed, and not only it made them invisible, it even made them incorporeal. Holland finally gave up on them, for now, but not before he let them know that he killed Barron. 🙁 COLD HEARTLESS VILLAIN, why cannot I hate you?* But I really can’t. Despite everything, I care about Barron.

After Barron left, Kell realized that he only had one option now that he’s lost all of his trinkets. He has to find Fletcher and took his chess piece back.

Favorite Quote

You have a house if not a home. You have people who care for you if not about you. You may not have everything you want, but I’d wager you have everything you could ever need, and you have the audacity to claim it all forfeit because it is not love.

Favorite Scene

THAT argument between Lila and Kell.

INDEX

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV | Part V | Part VI | Part VII | Part VIII


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A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part V

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Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the 5th part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week, we’re going to cover Part V Black Stone. I also change the format a bit so let me know which one do you prefer.
Without further ado, let’s go!
.

SPOILER WARNING FOR PART I – IV

When we left Lila back in Part III, she was retreating to her room in the Stone’s Throw. Now, however, she was back to her daily thieving activity and was hauling back fair amount of coins to the tavern. Upon returning, she passed a beggar and decided to share a couple of coins. This, as anyone who has read enough fantasy books could tell you, is a bad idea.

Me: he’s so going to get killed by some thugs because of that money

Real scene: the thugs took the coins, but the boy escaped unscathed (thankfully, he has enough sense to not fight the thugs)

Lila—the thrill seeker she is—obviously went off to chase the three thugs who took the boy’s money…

On the other side of the parallel universe, Kell was delivering the letter he received at the end of Part IV. He quickly realized that something was amiss when he noticed someone was watching him and that the letter was nothing but a blank paper. At this point, I sat up excitedly. I mean, I have read this before but I still couldn’t help but get excited upon the (terrible) possibilities. (YES I AM EVIL)

Quiz time. You have been caught red-handed carrying illegal stuff you smuggled from another world. Do you: a.) reason with the captor or b.) flex your magic and make them tremble upon witnessing your power.

Answer: Kell c.) ran. Uh yeah, I didn’t expect that. I suppose it made sense in retrospect. He’s a messenger and traveler, not a soldier. (And I would totally do the same thing. While screaming and yelling)

And do you know who else decided to run? Delilah Bard. When she realized she was trapped between the thugs who wanted to capture (kill) her to get the reward money, she did the thing she had to do even though she hated it. You didn’t survive in the street using only your muscles and not using your brain, especially if you are a girl seems to be the message. And it’s a good one.

So let’s recap. Kell brought something he shouldn’t bring to Red London and now he’s on the run. Lila was after street rats who took the money she gave to a beggar, but now she’s also on the run. This is going to be exciting. *flips page*

Kell ran to his hiding place, the Ruby Fields, but of course the shady people have put a tracing curse on the parcel he smuggledcarried. The parcel itself turned out to be a black stone that came from Black London. And of course, it’s a magical stone. The stone contains so much magic that Kell could freeze a person while his own magic bleeding out of him. Still bleeding, our red-haired magician ran to a place where no one, save for one person, could follow him. Kell traveled to Grey London.

And now, for the big moment we’re waiting for.

Kell, meet Lila. Lila, meet Kell. Have fun and try not to kill each other, okay?

And here’s Lila, of course, interpreting the very definition of ‘fun’ as ‘go find trouble’ as she relieved Kell of the black stone he carried. *groans* Next time, make sure the item you steal is not cursed, okay Bard? Okay, we’ll see what happen to these two next week!

Favorite Scene

Lila stealing from Kell the moment they met, as one would expect.

Favorite Quote

“Careful now. Someone might think you’ve got a heart under all that brass.” –Barron

INDEX

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV


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A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part IV

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Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the 4th part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week I covered Part IV White Throne, which consists of five sub-parts (I refer to them as Chapters).

SPOILER WARNING FOR PART I – III

Summary

Part IV began with laughs and jests as Kell trying to coax Rhy to learn magic. The crown prince, knowing that he nearly has no affinity to magic at all, was training half-heartedly to satisfy his brother’s demand. Rhy was too busy planning his birthday party and how to get people into his bed. When Kell asked him what was Holland doing the other day (AHA, so Rhy didn’t tell him), Rhy lied to him and said that Holland was delivering mail. When Rhy was fed up with studying, he asked Kell to accompany him to go out. Kell agreed after Rhy accidentally letting a magical fire out of the protective circle and he had to dispel it with his blood. However, the pair was interrupted when the King came with a letter for Kell to deliver. Kell, feeling grumpy that he’s going to miss a night out with his bro, took the letter anyway and off he went to the intended recipient, the ruler of White London, but not before Rhy asked him to promise that he’ll come back empty-handed.

In Chapter II, we finally got our first glimpse of White London. It was described as cold, pale, and covered with ash, a city tore down by violence and power. Athos and Astrid Dane, the Dane twins, were the current rulers of White London. The twins lived in a fortress surrounded by stone courtyard that was made up by statues, these statues rumored to be people that crossed the twins. Their guards were mindless human puppets, controlled by Athos through a mark scorched in their body. Holland greeted Kell (well, greet is too strong or a word, actually) and ask him to choose between the twins. Kell picked Astrid and Holland brought him to the throne room to meet the Queen.

In Chapter III, Athos was torturing a boy that refused to bow. Ugh. Holland informed him that Kell has arrived and together they went to meet Kell and Athos’ twin.

In Chapter IV, Athos invited Kell to stay for a drink. He then ask Holland to cut himself and pour his blood into a goblet. Ugh. Kell refused to drink Holland’s blood, so Athos poured him a gold liquid while he and Astrid drank the antari’s blood.

Kell, drunkenly stumbled away from the fortress, decided to wander the city for a while in Chapter V. He walked to the entrance of Scorched Bone, the tavern in White London, before deciding to go home instead and kept his promise to Rhy. It was, however, a little too late, as a woman begged him to deliver a letter to Olivar in Red London and gave him a small parcel for payment. When Kell looked up, the woman was gone, so he made his way back to home. Uh oh.

My Rambling

Phew, that was a long part. There are a couple of interesting things (mostly about characters) I’d like to talk about. First was Holland. He remains very mysterious to me, but in this part, we learned a thing or two about him from Kell. Apparently, Holland—as the only antari in the White London—used to be ally of the former ruler, but when the Dane twins took control, Athos bound him and took control of his body, but not his mind, which is even crueler than using him as a mindless puppet. Holland was bound by Athos using the silver clasp he always wear on his shoulder. I was starting to dislike Holland, but now I can no longer dislike him knowing that he’s a victim of the Danes. No wonder Kell is wary of the twins. If they could bind the older, more experienced antari, what’s stopping them from taking the flower boy? Well, for now at least, it seems that they don’t want to insult their neighboring crown by taking Kell, but who knows?

That led us to my rambling about Astrid and Athos. I absolutely despise Athos. I don’t like Astrid, but it’s more about how she seems to be dangerous and she wants Kell for herself (as a pet obviously), while Athos is simply disgusting. He enslaved people to become his guards, bound and tortured Holland, and enjoyed causing people pain. Of course, Astrid shouldn’t be that different. I mean, after all, she drank Holland’s blood and walk on marble made of her enemies to tea. If anything, I am more scared of Astrid than Athos.

And last, to go on a higher note, let’s talk about Prince Rhy. Rhy seems to be all charmed and nice exterior, but I’ll be very surprised if he doesn’t have any hidden depth. I think that he’s been keeping a secret, and it’s not just as simple as telling or not telling Kell about the gift Holland delivered. Everything about Rhy screams adorable and charming, but sorry I do not believe that he is that shallow. You want me to believe that all Rhy care about is getting people into his bed and/or finding a suitable mate? Nope. Just because he played it nice, doesn’t mean he was all that nice. Just you wait. Just you wait. *oh wait sorry this is not Hamilton sing-along*

Favorite Quote

“I do not like things that don’t belong to me. I do not trust them.” – Astrid Dane

(I don’t necessarily agree with this quote, but there’s something perverse about her that makes this quote perfect)

Favorite Scene

You know I’m going to pick Kell and Rhy from Chapter I, don’t you. How could I not? #bromance


That’s it for Part IV. Next week, I’ll come back with Part V Black Stone. Should be an interesting one.

INDEX

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV


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A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part III

A Darker Shade of Magic Reread Header

Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the third part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week I covered Part III Grey Thief, which consists of three sub-parts (I refer to them as Chapters).

Summary:

Meet Lila Bard, thief extraordinaire, pirate wannabe, and certified badass.

We first saw her in London, Grey London to be clear, fresh from pickpocketing a man for a silver pocket watch. Lila is a thrill-seeker, something that gets to Barron (the owner of The Stone’s Throne) everytime. We also learned that Lila is a wanted fugitive for stealing from rich people in London. Then, she made her way back to her ship—well, not a ship that she owned but a ship she renting in—The Sea King and was preparing to rest when the ship owner, Powell, stumbled into her room drunk and asked for his share. When refused, Powell tried to rape her and Lila stabbed him in the chest. She proceeded to burn the ship (and the corpse within) and escaped carrying her weapons and her favorite knife. Lila went to The Stone’s Throw despite having a heated argument with Barron, the owner, a year before after she stole from his customer. Barron gave her a room and welcomed her back.

My Rambling

Hello, I really don’t know what to say besides gushing on how amazing Lila Bard is. She is a 19-years old thief with an unknown past, but unlike Kell who doesn’t even know who he is, Lila seems to be the kind of person who knew herself VERY well (she’s just not telling us… yet). I like how Schwab make her protagonists the opposite of each other in this case. Kell is older but doesn’t know who he is or what he’s going to do (besides collecting trinket). Lila is younger, but she knew exactly what she wants and she’s not afraid to do everything to get it. The similarity between these two are they both felt that they didn’t belong and that they dream of freedom.

Right, enough about Kell. Back to Lila Bard.

She seeks danger or, in her words, danger seeks us so it’s better to find it first. This girl is very much alive. I don’t necessarily agree that thieving makes you feel alive (books and coffee make me appreciate life more I think), but Lila obviously feel alive the closer she is to danger. She also wanted to be a pirate, mostly because she wanted to be free and could travel wherever she wanted to go (EVERYWHERE). I like this girl because she doesn’t let the world shatter her dream. It’s not to say that she’s perfect because she clearly have issue with her methods of getting her dream, but she’s a stubborn enough to suffer and survive.

I also like her relationship with Barron. We were told that she and Barron had a huge argument that led her to tell him to shove his tavern and its rooms up his — yeah. But he clearly care for her that he let her just move back in. Lila herself, however, doesn’t need Barron’s approval to do what she wants. She is a free soul, but in a way she is not at all free because her circumstances barred her from what she really wants to do. It’ll be fun to see how Lila and Kell interacts when (if) they meet.

Favorite Quote

“Why do you want to die?”
“I don’t,” she’d say. “I just want to live.”

Favorite Scene

Got to be when Lila went back to The Stone’s Throw and asked Barron for a room. These two have great relationship.


That’s all for today. Part III is a short one, but next week I’ll be back with Part IV White Throne which is quite a long part. See ya.


INDEX

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV


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A Darker Shade of Magic Re-read: Part II

A Darker Shade of Magic Reread Header

Welcome to my re-read of A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab. This is the second part of my weekly re-read posts. If you have read ADSOM, come re-read and discuss it with me. If you never read it, I highly recommend it especially if you like fantasy books, sarcastic protagonists, kick-ass heroine, and fabulous coat. Even though it’s a re-read, I will do my best to avoid spoiling future chapters in the post itself, which is quite easy because most of the time, I didn’t remember what happened. So even though this is the first time you read ADSOM, you could follow along. However, please note that although the post itself is spoiler-free from future chapters, the comments section are spoiler zone, where you can talk about anything including the plot twist and the book conclusion. Without further ado, let’s sail through A Darker Shade of Magic. All aboard!

This week I covered Part II Red Royal, which consists of three sub-parts (I refer to them as Chapters).

Summary:

In Red Royal, V.E. Schwab introduced us to the Red London, the guards, and the royal family. In the first chapter, Holland, the other antari took time to visit Rhy, the throne heir, and gave him a birthday present from his king and queen. Holland used his magic to send away Rhy’s guard, Gen, and to erase the memory of the other guard, Parrish. When Rhy questioned Holland what’s the gift for, he simply answered, “For strength.”

On Chapter II, Kell was back in his London and took his time trying to blend in with the crowd near the palace river, to enjoy his time before going back to the palace. This proved to be unsuccesful when a kid accidentally recognized him. He hastily went back to the palace.

On Chapter III, Kell joined the royal family, the King Maxim, Queen Emira, and Prince Rhy on their late night tea time. They were discussing Rhy’s birthday celebration that will happen soon and Rhy tried to get Kell to support him. Rhy told Kell about Holland’s visit, which was off schedule. Then, Rhy tried to make Kell confess on what he smuggled into Red London this time, but no dice. After Rhy left him, Kell traveled to his secret room, in a tavern called Is Kir Ayes—The Ruby Fields—where he stored his treasures.

My Rambling

Part II felt somewhat too short for me, but it’s an interesting one for sure. Here, we met the royal family of Red London for the first time. In Part I, we learned that Kell was really fond of the prince, Rhy, and here, I think I begin to understand why. Prince Rhy was said to be spoiled, but also good-natured and kind to his guards. He is funny and he thinks of Kell as his brother, not just as a person who serves the crown. The relationship between Kell and the king and queen, however, seems to be much more complicated. We saw that the queen tried to become a mother for Kell, but he somehow didn’t feel like a member of the family. It seems that there’s trouble in paradise after all. We also saw how Kell tried to make the most of his free time before he was forced to come back to the palace. It’s clear that he was reluctant to go back.

Another interesting thing is that Rhy knew about Kell’s favorite pastime. He asked Kell to stop doing it or he will take actions, but it’s obvious that the two boys care for each other. It’s always nice to find a good bromance or any kind of relationship between siblings in book or film (hence, why I love The Demon’s Lexicon so much …wrong book) so it’s good to see that these two are very close despite Kell not quite felt at home in the palace. He is after all an antari, who was brought to the palace when he was five with a scar on his arm bearing the remnants of his lost memory. We found that all those questions we had in Part I will likely to remain unanswered, at least for now, because Kell himself has no idea who he was before he became the antari.

And that brings us to Holland. The other antari. He brought a gift to Rhy from his masters. It was not clearly mentioned who his masters are, but considering there were only three Londons at that time, I suspect Holland’s masters are the rulers of White London. Holland delivered a gift to Rhy after he managed to convince him that the gift was obtained from Red London (he didn’t smuggle it unlike … you know). I found his visit to be highly suspicious. Let’s see. Not only he’s off schedule by almost a week, he came in silence and used his magic to send away Rhy’s guard and made the other one forgot his visit. I could be wrong, but people without ulterior motive usually doesn’t try to sneak in AND hypnotize PLUS erasing another person’s memory. Holland also brought Rhy a gift, for strength. Why on earth would Rhy need a gift to become strong? From the text, Rhy is supposedly strong enough physically, so I’m guessing he was talking about magical strength. Rhy told Kell about Holland’s visit, but it was not mentioned that Rhy told Kell about the gift. What do you guys think? Did he tell him or not?

Part II ended with Kell leaving the palace to go to his secret hiding place, a small room in a tavern named The Ruby Fields. Here, he contemplated his origin, just like we did in the first chapter. We found out that his name, Kell, came from the initials bore in the knife. K.L. became Kay-ell, then Kal-El (sorry, I cannot resist), then Kell. The chapter ended with Kell turning the crank of his new music box and drifted off to sleep.

Which is fine. Because it’s time we visit the second protagonist, the badass, Lila Bard.

Favorite Scenes

  • The awkward tea time with the royal family.
    It’s just so fun to see Rhy trying to get his wish and to see Kell interacts with them.
  • My second favorite scene is quite a heavy one. It was the flashback scene with Rhy ended up punching Kell after Kell said that he felt more like a possession than a prince.
    You can feel how much Rhy cares about Kell (that he showed by punching him… it was an expresion of love, of course)

Favorite Quote

“It’s called a birthday. Not a birthdays and certainly not a birthweek.”


That’s it for this week.
Next week, I’ll continue with the third part, Grey Thief. Until next time!


INDEX

Part I | Part II | Part III | Part IV


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