this is a psa to read a darker shade of magic because it does not get the recognition it deserves tbh
the setting is:
an alternate “red” london set in the 1800′s full of magic
our london set in the 1800′s with no magic
a dangerous white london set in the 1800′s FULL of magic
the protagonists are:
kell: one of two antari (magicians who can travel between the three londons) and a smuggler. he’s also chronically grumpy. from red london
lila bard: a true neutral thief from grey london who is terrified of commitment and the first thing she does when coming in contact with magic is make a stripper version of kell. actual pirate and probably trans (not canon though)
rhy maresh: the prince of red london and also a canonically bisexual poc. charming and laid-back. he is flirting with you.
the villains are:
athos and astrid dane: twin rulers of white london; blood thirsty and power hungry.
holland: the other antari. angry and cold; probably because he’s working for the twins
the problem is:
a piece of a dead london that kell smuggled. everyone wants it and no one should have it.
things to look forward to:
great worldbuilding for all of the londons
interesting relationships and power dynamics
no heavy handed romance but shipping fodder all over the place
ALUCARD EMERY: not in it til the next book but a charming canonically bisexual poc and a pirate privateer
a tv show (sometime in the future) with direct input from the author!!
seriously check it out! here is the authors blog, too
Your star will shine and then it will fall
Too much to believe, too much to deny
But the thief came out in my London town
There must be an end to the darkness
The night’s a shock that cuts right through you
You give up like every time before
From the rainwater well deep as a secret nobody knows
That the ghost you love, your ray of light will fizzle out
I’ll be the one to protect you from a will to survive and a voice of reason.
This chaos, this calamity, this garden once was perfect
I’m tired of this human duet
Where we’ll drag you from where you are to where you belong
Stand aside as they bow to the call of the beast
The plan, which was funded and planned by unknown crime bosses, involved two burglars, Craig Calderwood and Aman Kassaye, who hired a professional make-up artist to use latex effects to make them look like much older men. The two “old men” then waltzed into the Graff Diamonds store, pretending to be high-rolling businessmen presumably shopping for their wives, their mistresses, or a Ma$e video. When the diamond cases were opened, the two men pulled out their guns and demanded the clerks clean out the drawers of approximately $65 million in jewels – making it the biggest gemstone heist in British history.
Of course, actually getting away with your loot is the most important part of any robbery, and that’s where the duo’s mob connections came in. When police tried to reach the scene, they found that several hired vehicles had been inconveniently parked in a way that completely blocked access to the store. The mob had essentially built a wall of cars to cordon off part of the city, giving the diamond bandits a pretty strong opportunity to get away clean.
Arthur is a detective and he’s dating a woman named Marianne, a pretty French woman who moved to London with her ‘brother’. What he doesn’t know that Marianne is physically a male, and genderfluid, so sometimes she’s Marianne and at other times he’s Francis. S/He’s a master thief, and came to London for a score, but s/he started going out with Arthur because s/he really likes him, and s/he doesn’t know what Arthur would say if he found out, so to explain the male clothing and such laying around her/his house, so s/he lied and said s/he had a brother (her/his grows stubble back amazingly fast).
One day Arthur comes over as a surprise and finally meets Francis, who seems panicked at first, but they start spending time together and became quick… friends? Well, while they spend time together Arthur starts to notice things about Franics, like how he sometimes wears rings and such that he’s seen Marianne wear, and how he usually keeps his hair tied back in a blue ribbon, like the one that Arthur got Marianne as a present.
One day Arthur gets a call, and he’s hired to retrieve a necklace that’s been stolen, one that the police can’t seem to find. Just after a few days on the case Arthur sees the necklace around Marianne’s pretty neck.
(Just some random idea that came to me. Sorry if I messed up the pronouns. If I did someone please tell me so I can fix it.)
MAKE THAT BOOKS, PLURAL: A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC AND A GATHERING OF SHADOWS BY V. E. SCHWAB!!!!!
this series definitely falls under the Hard To Explain banner, so here’s a brief sort-of synopsis: there are PARALLEL WORLDS and, unsurprisingly, ours is the dullest one out of all of them! one thing all the worlds have in common is having a city called London in the exact same place with the exact same dimensions on the exact same island! there’s this one super powerful magician who can travel between all of them! SHENANIGANS and BANTER and WORLD-SAVING and COOL MAGIC FIGHTS happen!!!
- KELL, the aforementioned dimension-traveller from ~Red London~ (i.e. cool high fantasy London), technically a member of the royal family but in an ‘adopted out of necessity because he’s a super powerful magician’ way, really just incredibly fed up with everyone, somehow manages to be serious and sensible despite being a lawbreaking magical smuggler
- RHY, the crown prince, Kell’s brother, low key bisexual (ADSoM)/high key bisexual (AGoS), if someone plucked the sun out of the sky and turned it into a person it would be this person probably
- LILA BARD, a brill thief from ~Grey London~ (i.e. our boring magicless London, circa 1820), CROSSDRESSER, always looking for the opportunity to fight someone, is sexually attracted to knives, meets Kell and becomes half of the worlds’ greatest duo of fucking RULE BREAKERS
- ALUCARD EMERY, a dashing sea Captain/rogue, POSH KNOB turned PIRATE turned PRIVATEER for the royal family, LITERALLY WHAT IS NOT TO LIKE ABOUT THIS COMBO OF THINGS???
so yeah, A Gathering of Shadows is now tied with Six of Crows for the book that’s made me slam it face down, YELL, grab whoever’s nearest to me by the shoulders and intensely whisper ‘THIS IS SO GOOOOODDDD’ in their face the most times while reading in 2016
IN SHORT this series has turned me into silly putty, thank you, please read it