V.E. Schwab creates and weaves a world that the reader is quickly pulled into. Some fantasy authors lump information in their world building, while others don't give enough. Schwab made her world building a true treat to the senses as the gloomy, smoke filled streets of Grey London to the vivid rich filled magical world of Red London to the ash,cold and pain filled White London. Each builds onto the other as closely as they are connected to the other by a "traveler" Kell.
Kell is rare, with his magical ability gives him the gift to travel these world by will and blood not mention his amazing coat that change into what ever Kell wants. This also makes me feel like s true outsider in his home in the Red London's royal family whom he's adopted in. I enjoyed Kell's character. On one side there was a cocky attitude a sureness in himself on the other a deep vulnerability and uneasiness about himself. Kell is a great human mix of finding one's true self.
On his journey Kell comes across Lila who can stand on her own even without the magical gifts of Kell. It took me some time to understand Lila, as she was a complex puzzle with her own set of rules that may not go along with others rules or views. That made her fascinating, but also at times lonely as I felt she was mostly looking or making a place to belong to.
Other characters like Prince Rhy , Kell's brother just lit of the pages with their banter and their own inner battles they had to face along the way.
In this world there was one London that was burned in legend Black London where magic took over and kept taking over. Why the doors that were once open between worlds was shut to keep out the plague, but when an artifact surfaces, Kell is thrown into the middle of it all and in order to keep his home safe, he must stop the darkness before it's to late. The pace of the story never lets up even more so as one starts to discover what made Black London shut down. Why everyone ended up this way and why one sometimes doesn't need to open a door once it's been nailed shut (a lesson any horror movie fan should know) There's more then meets the eye and alot of dark games being played as wonder if time will run out before Kell and Lila are able to stop the oncoming darkness.
It's been awhile since I enjoyed losing myself in a fantasy world, and while this didn't end on a cliffhanger (THANK-YOU) it did end with alot of unanswered questions that I can't wait to discover the truth to and re-visit the amazing world again.