Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for A Darker Shade of Magic by V. E. Schwab. Fantasy.
I had picked this up before and put it down; the second time I reframed it as “Young Adult” in my head and was able to whip through it. Still, it was a book for a day on which I was too tired to move or to think very hard. Is it entertaining? Absolutely. Is it original or unexpected in any way? Nope. It is a smoothly-written story consisting of one trope and one predictable plot point after another. Street Rat Disguised As Boy! The Last of His Kind! Hero Must Save the Very Nature of the World Itself! Historical Setting but No Research! Hero(in)es Who Get Beaten Up Constantly over the Course of a Day but Never Need to Sleep or Pee! Magical Objects that Drain Your Strength! Likable Minor Characters who Exist Only So They Can Die at the End of a Chapter! It is absolutely okay; such things can be comforting. But it is what it is. If you like to stretch your brain a bit, may I suggest Jonathan L. Howard’s Johannes Cabal series instead?
“Rhy?” Kell ran a hand through his hair. “He’s…charming and spoiled, generous and fickle and hedonistic. He would flirt with a nicely upholstered chair, and he never takes anything seriously.”
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