55 pages 1 hour read

V. E. Schwab

A Darker Shade of Magic

Fiction | Novel | YA | Published in 2015

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Choice and Consequence

In the interconnected Londons, even seemingly minor choices can have major consequences that ripple across the worlds. Generations before the story begins, Black London fell to corrupt magic, and Red London decided to seal itself off rather than fight the darkness alongside White London. As a result, White London became a cold and cruel realm in the aftermath. In a way, Astrid and Athos’s villainous plan is a revenge plot centuries in the making. They weren’t born when Black London fell and Red London retreated into itself, but they inherited a world ravaged because of other domains’ choices. In Chapter 11, Astrid explains the reasoning behind the Dane twins’ attempt to conquer Red London: “It made of us a shield, and now it thrives while we perish. It seems only just that I should take it, as reparation. Retribution” (301). The twins believe that they deserve to rule Red London because Red London is, in their minds, the reason their White London is so desolate. Astrid and Athos’s plot shows how far-reaching and destructive consequences can be.

Rhy’s choices give the Dane twins a foothold in Red London. Rhy Maresh, frustrated at his powerlessness, accepts a necklace from White London because he believes it will make him stronger.