Of Light and Darkness by Shayne Leighton

of-light-and-darknessIt’s a world much like the one we know today with one small exception… There are vampires, witches, and elves (among other creatures) lurking nearby. These supernatural beings hide themselves from humans and are governed by the regime, a body made up of elves that don’t hold love for vampires. The story focuses on Charlotte and Valek, a 18 year old human girl and the vampire who found her as a baby. Valek has cared for Charlotte all her life and now must go to the ends of his means to protect her and the entire vampire population against oncoming danger from the regime.

I guess you could say I’ve been on a bit of a fantasy book kick lately and Of Light and Darkness by Shayne Leighton definitely falls into that category. I listened to the story as an audiobook and the story flowed nicely.

A few aspects of this book stood out to me in particular. Because the book is filled with fictional beings, I thought that some references were a bit on the cheesy side, but I almost think that’s to be expected. I was interested to see that the book of-fang-and-shadowassociates darkness with the good guys and light with the bad guys, which is the reverse of many other stories I’ve heard. On another note, the relationship between Charlotte and Valek is a complicated one that begins as guardian and warden and seems to be leading somewhere else entirely….

It took me a bit of time to get into the story, but once I did, there were sections that I enjoyed. The third book of the series, Of Fang and Shadow, releases soon!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. SchwabI’ve been in the mood to read a fantasy book for a while now and I’m happy to have started with A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab.

In this story, there isn’t only one London, but instead there’s four. First there’s Grey London, a dull and plain version of the city without magic. Next there’s Red London, a city filled with vibrant life, color, and magic. White London is fraught with a ruthless magical war. Lastly, there’s Black London, a place whose doors have closed forever.

Kell is one of the last and only magicians who can travel between the worlds and he serves as a messenger for and member of the royalty of Red London. Unbeknownst to the King and Queen, Kell secretly (and illegally) smuggles items from each of the worlds back into his own. When he accidentally smuggles an artifact from Black London that is dangerously powerful, he realizes that he’s in huge trouble. As Kell does his best to dispose of the stone, he meets Lila Bard, a bold and incredibly capable thief, who joins him on this adventure.

A Darker Shade of MagicLondon is one of my favorite cities in the world and I was excited to see it brought to life in multiple different worlds. I thought that Schwab did a wonderful job creating extremely interesting and likable characters. I especially admired Kell’s honor and the Lila’s bravery throughout the story.

I really enjoyed this fast-paced adventure and am already looking forward to opening up the next book in the series, A Gathering of Shadows.