“I’m not going to die,” she said. “Not till I’ve seen it.”
Her smile widened. “Everything.”
This sentence cropped from one of the chapters of this marvelous book will strike you as the main impression once you’re done reading. And you will read it, compulsively, just like it says – until you’ve seen it all. And you will see a lot. The book follows four paralel worlds placed in four different Londons divided by ages, each of them with specific social atmosphere, ruler, troubles, leading traits and motives. Each of them somehow colored differently, as one of the main protagonists of the book, Kell, sees them: Red, Grey, White and Black London.
Two main protagonists of the book, Kell and Delilah Bard appear at the mere beginning of the book, but it’s only in the second part of the book they actually meet and their lives interact into a truly inspiring adventure and finally some sort of intimate relation. Kell and Delilah are both complex personalities, completely opposite in some aspects and Victoria Schwab takes her time and patience to slowly and meticulously construct their personalities and private lives.
She also takes her time to take you to each of the four mentioned Londons, so you can vividly experience authentic atmosphere and the rules of everyday live in each London. Along with the plot lines following four Londons, you will learn the delicate laws of the magic. Kell is one the last Antari magicians with the ability to travel between these parallel Londons through ages and serve different roles in each of them. Mostly, he is a smuggler, trading his power for goods by taking curious and adventurous passenger from one London to another. However, Kell will portrait some strong moral laws, ethics, lust for truth, honesty, justice and bravery in spite of his smuggling way of survival. On the other hand, Delilah is a small thief stealing mostly purses to survive tough poverty, is eager to fight for her personal freedom and doesn’t stress much about moral probity or laws.
Two common traits these two have is lack of true relations and trust towards people, as well as longing to honestly connect with someone. Another common aspect that will finally unite them is a dangerous smuggled item with the power to endanger all four Londons and potentially destroy them.
Schwab united Kell and Delilah in the other part of the book in an adventurous attempt to survive in order to save four parallel worlds. Intimate relations, inner changes, character challenges and actual triller plots will occur along their adventurous road.
As quite solid fantasy book, this story has unexpectedly good character development, strong psychology background and realistic moral dilemmas, astonishing history insights, vivid descriptions and picturizing of scenography and finally – capturing exciting plot twists that will keep you stuck to the book all till the end. Until you have seen it all. And read the center point of this great book: “I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”