I can’t get over it.
It was like Schwab took all my favorite books, threw them into the London pot, stirred in some blood, cackled, and gave it to me on a platter. This book reminded me of Six of Crows, Peter and the Star Catchers, the Night Circus, Illusionarium, and others while remaining entirely its own story.
Screeching list of why I am in love with this novel:
Okay so first of all, the world building. is. actually. phenomenal. Parallel Londons with varying degrees of magic and named for the degrees of magic. Each London was described so adequately. I could envision everything easily and in a way where I felt I was walking in the streets with Kell and Lilah myself. The details of each London and how they were different from one another were well written in the sense they there was hardly any info dumping. We gradually learn about the world as we experience it with the characters.
And there are all these small little things sprinkled into the world that make it magical like:
-the same tavern in each London with a different name that the characters are magically pulled to
-tokens for each London for the Antari (the only people who can travel through the Londons)
-Kell’s magical multi-layered coat
-the names of things (people, places, just YES.)
The magic system of this book is also amazing. It’s written intricately, with rules and limitations, curses and consequences. It means something different in each world, and instead of being used as the convenience plot device, it helps hinder the character’s in their endeavors.
So the characters. I love them all. I loved that I hated the character we’re suppose to hate and loved the ones we’re suppose to love. I adored Kell because he was a softer Kaz Brekker, beautiful and precious but not entirely honest. He is flawed and human, and I just want to hug him forever. Lilah is stubborn and strong but actually human and not like a burnt-out wall of brick that we get in so many other female protagonists of YA. Also, Lilah’s ambition in life is to be a pirate and because #same I automatically adore her. She’s sarcastic and stubborn but not invincible as YA would want to make her out to be simply because she’s the female protagonist. She’s human and can be weak, but has a depth to her that makes her strong.
Okay and Rhy. He is charming and rash and beaitufil. My only issue with him is that I wanted to pronounce his name two different ways the whole time. I would say Rhee because of my husband Rhysand (ACOTAR for those of you that lol, think I have a real husband) and Rhye because I don’t know.
And the villains. Guys these villains, the Dane twins and Holland were utterly terrifying and creepy. And that is all. They are excellent.
This book’s plot was well-paced with hardly any parts that dragged. World building was sprinkled in nicely with the twists and turns. Obstacles mark the way in this novel and become more of a hinderance than of convenience Schawb pulls out all the stops here and doesn’t do anything out of convenience sake.
And the stabbing??? Um. Yes. It’s actually very stabby. Books that say they’re stabby and aren’t, get stabbed, but this book actually has MUCH STABBING. And its not like gory or anything, but it happens quickly and well, THIS BOOK ACTUALLY LIVES UP TO THE REVIEWS. Lol people are actually honest about what is in this book.
Also, the cover is cool
Annnnnd I DO see the ship in the distance. (I see you after that kiss. I see you.) And by ship I don’t just mean Delilah’s pirate ship that we see at the end of the book. I see a ship on the ship and my shipping heart is LIVING for it.
So, yes, this book was quite satisfying to me, and I shall now read the next book. (code for eat it. because i like to eat magic and blood and rogue pirates and lil precious thieves for all the meals. and if you do too, join me.)