Monday, March 19, 2018

Sanibel 2018 and A Darker Shade of Magic

I was fortunate enough to be able to go away this winter to one of my most favorite places: Sanibel Island. My new header pic is a cute little house I saw while walking the beach. Wouldn't you just love to spend a month there?

I was also lucky enough to be able to bring my son with me. He's a birder and goes and 'gets' birds, ie, identifies them by sight or song. He identified 17 different birds our first day there so was off to a good start.

 We drove up to Bok Tower one day where he got more birds and I



 And this was late winter...

I also read a few books while I was away, and the first I'll tell you about is A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab.

Kell is one of the last Antarimagicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; there’s Grey London, dirty and crowded and without magic, home to the mad king George III. There’s Red London, where life and magic are revered. Then, White London, ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. And once upon a time, there was Black London...

Kell was raised in Red London and officially serves 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, and it during one of his unofficial visits to Grey London that Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with aspirations of being a pirate.

What I loved about this book was the idea of four Londons, especially Black London, which almost destroyed the other three and now has only White London holding it back. I loved Kell, who has great power and respects it, but who also has a weakness for finding things he shouldn't. Lilah was a great character, hardened by her life but not devoid of feeling, and the Dane Twins who ruled White London were perfectly cold. I did want to know more about Black London and Kell's origins but I'm hoping book 2 and or 3 will fill in the blanks.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone in the market for a good fantasy, plus, the other two books in the series are already out so no waiting to find out what happens! I'll be ordering book 2 & 3 tomorrow. I will also be back later in the week with more vacation pics and another book review. Have a fabulous Monday!


  1. Ooooh, such lovely flowers!
    I think my editor is keeping Scwab for me to translate this year. But I'm not sure.

    1. That would be cool if you got it. I really liked it.

  2. I need your son to come to my place and identify a couple birds that have shown up that I do not recognize. There's this white beauty that just showed up that I would love to know what it is.

    Oooh, parallel worlds... Sounds like a great book.

    1. I think you'd like it. Email me a pic if you can get one and I can forward it to my son. No guarantees since he primarily is familiar with east coast birds but he's a pretty smart cookie when it comes to birds.

  3. Between your son and yourself I wouldn't know where to look first. Eye candy everywhere.
    And the book sounds right up my very broad alley. Thank you.

    1. There was eye candy everywhere! Not to mention the shells...

  4. Sounds like a fun trip and how awesome your son could go. i'll have to check out the fantasy book too.

  5. I really envy your warm winter. Wish I could do that for a few months each year. Taking down your book recommendation.

    1. We have not had a warm winter in Maine, but it was warm in Sanibel and I sure do miss it.

  6. Had to look up Sanibel Island. Sounds lovely. Glad to know your son is a birder. It's a fine hobby.

    1. He got me more interested in birds :)

  7. I want that house! How lovely you got to go with your son. Be well, my dear.

    1. It was so cute and it was indeed lovely vacationing with my son :)

  8. you were very lucky to spend your winter on beautiful island where weather was mild hopefully and views still owned some greenery!

    loved that house above ,who won't love to live there for while when weather is being hard in other part of land.

    meeting with son is even luckier thing to me ,my son lives in Germany for his Masters and i miss him more than anything.

    like humans writer presented the different shades of London which sounds interesting

  9. Such gorgeous flowers! Sounds like a wonderful vacay!

  10. Sounds like the perfect vacation, and YES, I'd definitely love to spend a month or so in that beach house in your header.

    Dontcha love Bok Tower? Some of the pants along the walkway looked downright prehistoric when we were there.

  11. I don't know a lot about birds, or flowers, but sure do like looking at photos of both. Yours are great!
    The last book sounds interesting and maybe confusing. Were you able to keep it all straight?

  12. Sanibel looks amazing. Glad you're enjoying yourself. I'm reading this book too. I'll let you know what I think about it when I'm done.

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