Publication Date: February 24th, 2015
Publisher: Tor Books
Series: Shades of Magic #1
Format: Hardcover, 400 pages
Source: Library

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.

Ok, so I am super late to this series (I know). I kept seeing people rave about this author and her books on Twitter, so I finally decided to check this one out from my local library. Of course, I was the first hold in line but it took a month because not everyone reads as quickly as I do, haha. But, I finally got my hands on it to see what all of the fuss was about.

My favorite part of the book was honestly Delilah Bard. I loved how tough and driven she was. She didn't have an easy life, but that didn't stop her from dreaming big. But underneath her bravado mask, Delilah also had a desire to leave her boring, tired life behind, and she will fight to the death for that chance. She was definitely a force to be reckoned with! "I apologize for shooting you in the leg," said Lila. "I was myself entirely." 

I also loved how there were four different"Londons" existing within the book. Kell's world was not like the normal human world, and each of the Londons had their own distinctive marks. Let's just say I would never want to step foot in Black or White London.

Kell was also a favorite, although he could stand to be a little less robotic. I know I have only read book one, but I'm hoping for some more emotion from him. His fierce loyalty to Rhys and the royal family was great, but he also felt compelled to stick his life out on the line for Lila after barely knowing her, and even after she robbed him. I have a feeling he will surprise me with his emotions.

On the surface ADSoM was your typical good vs. evil story, but it was so much more complex than that. There was a certain character that you wanted to hate because he was evil. But then you realize that he is just a pawn and a slave to people that are way worse than he is.

I don't know what else to say without rambling, but Victoria did an amazing job with the world building, characters, and pacing. I am looking forward to continuing the series and to see what happens to Rhys, Kell, and Lila.


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