Although I had read 2 separate reviews of this book, I still didn’t know what to make of it before I actually started to read it but I know I had such high hopes for it. I was going through this weird phase which involved not reading much but I picked up the book anyway and to my surprise, I liked it.
An Array of Amazing Characters
The first thing you should know about this book is that the characters were just the best. On one hand, we had Kell, The Antari who works for the royal family in Red London and is also their adopted son. He also happens to the most powerful magician in their world and also a dying breed but under all that strength and bravery was a boy who just wanted to be loved by his family and not feel like a possession. Then we have Rhy, The Prince whose name I love by the way but he is also a very interesting one if you asked me. Knowing his position, you would expect him to be an arrogant arse which he is sometimes but he is also kind and loves his brother very much even though they are not blood. Then there is Lila, full name, Delilah Bard who is the most fascinating of them all. Delilah is not only smart, confident, cunning and annoying; she also sort of has a death wish especially in Kell’s POV. She is very curious and inquisitive and made Kell’s life a living hell but also helped him live and saved his life a couple of times.
Once upon a time, there were 4 Londons and only The Antari could travel through them. I am just guessing how the story would have started if it was written by Enid Blyton not V.E Schwab but because that is not what happened, the story started with Grey London also known to Lila as Dull London which contains little or no magic, Red London also known to Lila as Kell London where magic flourishes, White London also known to Lila as Creepy London where strength is magic and vice versa and Black London also known to Lila as Dead London where everything is dead. This concept is very daring and bold and well executed and I loved it so much although it wasn’t very clear at the beginning but you’ll get the hang of it.
World Building at its best
One of the major challenges I think Schwab would have faced while writing this book would have been how to make each London seem unique to the readers since we will have to visualize and she tackled that problem with grace. Each London was different down to the way its people behaved. This is not to say that the world itself was not described well because it was and you will not be disappointed.
Magic is not your friend
In most books, magic is described as a tool to be wielded either for evil or good but never have I read a book that referred to magic as a force that can take from you without your permission and without mercy. Magic for them is to be held in balance and don’t treat it like a friend else it will worm its way into your bloodstream like Kell discovered the hard way.
P.S: I think Rhy should have gotten more chapters. Do you?