A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab Readalong (Discussion 2: Parts 5-8)

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Welcome to the 2nd discussion for our A Darker Shade of Magic readalong! I hope that you’re all keeping up, and that those of you who have already finished the book (haha) will continue to join us for discussions! Please let me know if you have any concerns at all, but contacting me via email (flaviathebibliophile@gmail.com), via my Contact page, or through the comments below! If this is the first time you’re hearing about this readalong, you can read the announcement and sign-up post here! I am accepting new participants up to the third discussion, if you think you can catch up! If you want reminder emails, please be sure to sign up for the newsletter as well (link also provided in the post linked above).

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– The Readalong Book –



Title: A Darker Shade of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab
Type: Fiction
Genre: YA, Fantasy
Publisher: TOR Books
Date published: February 24, 2015 (hardcover)
January 19, 2016 (paperback)
Format: Hardcover
Page Count: 400

Synopsis: Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black. Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire as an ambassador, traveling between the frequent bloody regime changes in White London and the court of George III in the dullest of Londons, the one without any magic left to see. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand. After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure. Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.

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– Parts 5-8 Discussion Questions –

Note: those of you who have not yet read A Darker Shade of Magic and still intend to read it, don’t read this post beyond this point (including the comments)! But if you like spoilers go right ahead.

To participants: It’s not mandatory that you answer these questions! This is not school, haha. These are mainly meant to generate conversations in case some of our readalongers are having a hard time picking something to talk about. Also, feel free to mention and discuss anything which I may not have thought of in the questions below! Please, also keep in mind that we are discussing parks 1-4 at this point only, and that if you have read ahead,  that you be conscious about not sharing spoilers. We want to keep this fun for everyone! Please be considerate.

Announcement: If any of you think of questions that you would like for me to include in the next discussion post (for parts 9-11) please let me know in the comments, by emailing me, or by sending me a DM on Twitter!

  1. Do you have any favourite parts in this portion of the book?
  2. Do you feel differently about Lila now that she had her scene where she goes to punish the thugs who stole from the beggar boy?
  3. Did you expect Kell and Lila to meet at this point in the book, and in the way they did?
  4. Do you feel different about Holland now?
  5. How soon did you realize that Kell would have to travel to Black London to complete his quest?
  6. Did you expect Holland to show up on the scene again so quickly? And did you suspect that he was involved with the stone in some way, before he showed up?
  7. If you haven’t read ahead, do you have an predictions of how Kell and Lila’s travel from Grey London to Red London might go?
  8. Did you feel as sad as I did when Barron was killed? 😥

– My Answers –

  1. I really enjoyed Kell and Lila’s interactions!
  2. Yes, I definitely feel closer to her now that we’ve learned more about her inner workings, and her need to live her life, not just survive.
  3. I knew that they would meet eventually, but had no idea in what way that would happen. But now, I cannot think of a more perfect way for them to meet!
  4. I think I feel a little less bad for him…but I tend to be drawn to villains, so I don’t know for sure yet.
  5. I realized it just a few paragraphs before he thought it, and then said it. Because I tend to be horrible at predicting things these days, I was quite proud of myself! Haha.
  6. No, I didn’t expect him to show up again quite yet, for some reason. See? Horrible at predictions.
  7. Why did I make this predictive question?! I have no idea how it’ll go…but if I had to guess, I would guess that they’ll both get through…with some small hiccups?
  8. Oh my gosh, I don’t know why, but that part made me super sad! I had started to feel kind of protective of Barron because he seemed the rough on the outside, soft on the inside, type. And he takes in kids that no one cares for and…. *weeps in corner*

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– Readalong Schedule –

Date Chapter Discussions Discussion Location
September 1, 2017 Start reading! N/A
 September 6, 2017  Parts 1 – 4 Located here
 September 13, 2017  Parts 5 – 8 This post!
 September 20, 2017  Parts 9 – 11 Flavia the Bibliophile
 September 30, 2017 Parts 12 – 14 Flavia the Bibliophile

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25 thoughts on “A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab Readalong (Discussion 2: Parts 5-8)

  1. Beware Of The Reader says:

    Sooo I’m not finished but I did read the Lilah and Kell scene, the tugs scene and that’s it!
    Now so far I love grey London (I know I’m weird like that but I think red London has unsavory hidden parts, just intuition). I hate the twins (God they are awful) and I can’t wait to read more about Kell’s past (I hope we’ll get some answers about it as he has the rune to forget). Now I’m just frustrated not to be able to read it in one sitting!!! Thank you for hosting and preparing all these questions Flavia ❤ And sorry for being so bad at following right now 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • Flavia says:

      Ooooo good good! Progress! And oh you are different for liking Grey London, but I now also understand why you do! Haha oh the twins. I want to learn more about Kell’s past too! It’s bugging me. And like I said before, you’re welcome to read ahead! As long as you remember what happens in each portion of the book for discussions 😀

      There’s no need to apologize! I have only been able to read read small parts out of the book here and there. I had to audiobook the rest of it because I’ve been so busy!

      Thanks so much for participating ❤

      Liked by 1 person

    • Flavia says:

      Ahhhh awesome! I am trying so hard not to just finish the book in one sitting, hahaha. But yeah I’m scared that I’ll accidentally spoil something, or that it’ll mess with me when I’m trying to come up with questions, lol.

      Also I’m glad I’m not the only one who really liked Barron even though his part was very small! RIP Barron!


  2. acouplereads says:

    1. Not yet I don’t think.

    2. I can’t seem to connect with her but I’m glad she stood up for herself and those who can’t!

    3. I felt it was a bit rushed..

    4. I still like Holland, I mean that was a bit unnecessary. I really dislike how characters are introduced and then killed off..what’s the point?

    5. Pretty much immediately. Can’t stay away forever..

    6. I figured everyone was involved with the stone. Reminds me of the ONE TRUE RING in LOTR, it has the same sort of power.

    7. No comment I read ahead 😛

    8. Yes, I really did. And I found it so unnecessary! Up until that point we already knew Holland would do anything for the twins so did that really add anything to the story? Not really. Barron was the relief the book needed and Schwab took that away and that bothers me. If you’re going to write about a character and have the reader really like him at least wait until halfway through book 2 to kill him off..but that’s just my preference 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Flavia says:

      I’m sorry that this book doesn’t seem to have been a good choice for you 😦 I was really hoping that everyone would like it!

      That’s a good point about the ONE TRUE RING hahaha. I can’t unsee it now!

      And I get what you mean about Barron. It didn’t add anything to the story for me either, except that it made me really upset….unless it makes Lila stronger somehow? I dunno.

      Thanks so much for still joining the discussions even though you read ahead! 🙂


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