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.
The plot was simple and the style was not complicated to say the least. It took me a hundred pages to actually feel a bit interested in the book.
Because of the hype, I had too much expectation from the book which was a bit wrong on my part. I guess it is better to have a clear head before you begin this series.
I loved Kell’s characterisation and development throughout. I loved how the fact that a single accusation can change the society’s views upon you was subtly put. I liked the fact that Kell was written as a bold and slightly arrogant character at first but later on, he recognised his weaknesses and worked on them. It was a good development.
Lila, as a character, did not appeal to me as much. She reminded me of Celaena Sardothein from ToG series. A bit overly written, I guess. I mean, she sounded more like a talker than a doer to me.
The plot also reminded me of Harry Potter, here and there.
Overall, I liked the book but truth to be told, it wasn’t as engaging as I thought it would be. Nevertheless, I think it is a treat for fantasy fiction lovers.
I rate it 4 /5. Looking forward to reading the next book in the series.
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