I’m not a great reviewer of books, but I thought I’d start recommending books, because I love recommending books to people. I’ve just finished reading the Shades of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab and I looooved it but I also love all of her work and so instead of recommending just one book, I’m going to recommend the author.
Why I Love V.E. Schwab
First of all it’s that she writes about the monstrous; monstrous people, situations, magic. I love the dark worlds she creates. Secondly, it’s her writing, V.E. Schwab is a great writer. That may seem like a given but often you enjoy a story but the writing is just okay. That’s not the case with her books, you can tell how well she’s considered each and every line, how well thought out everything is from plotting to style. Thirdly, her characters, her characters are some of the best you’ll read. From Vicious with its multiple anti-heroes, to Shades of Magic with its cast of complex characters, to The Monsters of Verity where the savage isn’t as savage as they seem and where the monstrous are not as monstrous as they seem either. Pure genius.
The Shades of Magic Trilogy
I’ve only just finished the trilogy and now I’m deeply conflicted – is Shades of Magic my favourite or Vicious? I don’t know!
The trilogy follows Kell, Lila and Rhy in a universe where there are four Londons and Kell as an Antari can travel to three of them, as the fourth, black London, has been closed off.
The magic system is at its best when demonstrated by Kell and Holland as the only two remaining Antari. Lila is everything you want in an unapologetic thief, with her smile that’s like the slash of a knife. And the beautiful tortured Rhy will make your heart squeeze. I have to say though, Lila was my favourite character, especially her chapters at the beginning of book 2.
This trilogy builds magnificently until its conclusion in A Conjuring of Light – the last 200 pages are devastating, brilliant and bitter-sweet.
I thought that it was a standalone until I found out V.E Schwab is writing a sequel, Vengeful and I cannot wait to read it.
Vicious is about two best friends who are pre-med students. They discover that near-death experiences can give them super-powers and then things go awry.
I think what I love most about this book is the idea behind it. Following the story of two villains, one far worse than the other, you end up empathising with the least villainous. It takes a superb author to make you root for such morally corrupt characters, and oh how I rooted for them.
This Savage Song
FYI – This Savage Song is written under Victoria Schwab as it’s YA. She uses her pseudonym V.E. Schwab for anything non-YA.
Kate and August live in divided city where every time there is an act of violence monsters are created. Kate wants to prove she’s as ruthless as her father and August, a monster, just wants to be human.
August, oh how I love gentle but monstrous August.
Again, the world Schwab has created is rich and multi-layered but it’s her characters who really draw you in. I can’t wait for the next installment.
The great thing about V.E. Schwab is that she writes for YA as well as non-YA, and I believe she’s also working on a middle-grade book. This means she’s more accessible as an author – lucky us.
Which is your favourite of her books? And, if you haven’t read any yet, which book do you think you’ll try first?