Today, I’m trying a new type of post out for you guys. — a spotlight on one of my favorite authors! I plan to give a quick little run down of the author and their work, and then I’ll list my favorite books by them that I’ve read!
To start us off, I’m going with VE SCHWAB. She is an auto-buy author for me, and has been since I first read the Shades of Magic series. I’ve read most of her work, and honestly? I’ve loved all but one of her books that I’ve read! (Gallant was slightly disappointing.) What books by her I haven’t read, I already own. I just need to sit down and get into them! Onto the post, then!
V.E. SCHWAB aka VICTORIA SCHWAB
- WHAT’S SHE KNOWN FOR? Dark, incredibly lush stories that tend to feel like old-school fairy tales
- HOW MANY BOOKS HAVE I READ BY HER? Eight, but she’s written over 20 books for all different ages.
- WHAT GENRES DOES SHE WRITE? Typically fantasy, but has dipped her toes into sci-fi as well.
- WHERE CAN WE FIND HER? Twitter | Instagram | Her website
“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.”
― V.E. Schwab, A Darker Shade of Magic
A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC
Kell is one of the last Antari—magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel Londons; Red, Grey, White, and, once upon a time, Black.
Kell was raised in Arnes—Red London—and officially serves the Maresh Empire 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. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand.
After an exchange goes awry, Kell escapes to Grey London and runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure.
Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.
WHY DID I LOVE THE SHADES OF MAGIC SERIES?
This is one of the first modern fantasy series that I picked up back when I first started getting back into reading a whole lot. It’s an incredibly unique take on the genre — there are multiple different worlds layered on top of one another and only certain magicians can travel between them. Kell is a fantastic protagonist, but my heart belongs to Lila Bard and her absolute need to discover more about magic and the world Kell comes from. There is a satisfying ending to the series, but Schwab left it open enough that she could dip right back into this world. And, as far as I know, she is planning to do so!
- HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 3
- CW: Blood, violence, death, sexual assault
Victor and Eli started out as college roommates—brilliant, arrogant, lonely boys who recognized the same sharpness and ambition in each other. In their senior year, a shared research interest in adrenaline, near-death experiences, and seemingly supernatural events reveals an intriguing possibility: that under the right conditions, someone could develop extraordinary abilities. But when their thesis moves from the academic to the experimental, things go horribly wrong.
Ten years later, Victor breaks out of prison, determined to catch up to his old friend (now foe), aided by a young girl whose reserved nature obscures a stunning ability. Meanwhile, Eli is on a mission to eradicate every other super-powered person that he can find—aside from his sidekick, an enigmatic woman with an unbreakable will. Armed with terrible power on both sides, driven by the memory of betrayal and loss, the archnemeses have set a course for revenge—but who will be left alive at the end?
In Vicious, V. E. Schwab brings to life a gritty comic-book-style world in vivid prose: a world where gaining superpowers doesn’t automatically lead to heroism, and a time when allegiances are called into question.
WHY DID I LOVE VICIOUS?
You know how superheroes have been literally everywhere since Iron Man came out in 2008? (A quick aside here — I adore the Marvel universe.) This is Schwab’s take on superheroes. This is a dark, modern story bent on revenge, on being the most powerful, and what happens when you give a terrible person the ability to do amazing things. There are some extremely memorable characters in this series, but I don’t want to spoil who or what they are!
- HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? 3 in the main series, but only 2 are out right now. There is a graphic novel series set in the same universe, however.
- CW: Death, violence, gun violence, animal death
THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE
France, 1714: in a moment of desperation, a young woman makes a Faustian bargain to live forever and is cursed to be forgotten by everyone she meets.
Thus begins the extraordinary life of Addie LaRue, and a dazzling adventure that will play out across centuries and continents, across history and art, as a young woman learns how far she will go to leave her mark on the world.
But everything changes when, after nearly 300 years, Addie stumbles across a young man in a hidden bookstore and he remembers her name.
WHY DID I LOVE THE INVISIBLE LIFE OF ADDIE LARUE?
This is really the first book I waited for anxiously since the last Harry Potter book came out. I think it might even be the first book I preordered since then, too. Hmm. ANYWAY — I longed for Addie the second Schwab announced it. It was everything I wanted, but I was still left wanting more at the end. This is a haunting tale about a girl who can never be remembered. Schwab’s writing is so good you can taste Addie’s loneliness.
- HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? This is a standalone book.
- CW: Suicidal thoughts, suicide attempt, death, sexual content, mental illness
THE NEAR WITCH
The Near Witch is only an old story told to frighten children.
If the wind calls at night, you must not listen. The wind is lonely, and always looking for company.
And there are no strangers in the town of Near.
These are the truths that Lexi has heard all her life.
But when an actual stranger-a boy who seems to fade like smoke-appears outside her home on the moor at night, she knows that at least one of these sayings is no longer true.
The next night, the children of Near start disappearing from their beds, and the mysterious boy falls under suspicion. Still, he insists on helping Lexi search for them. Something tells her she can trust him.
As the hunt for the children intensifies, so does Lexi’s need to know-about the witch that just might be more than a bedtime story, about the wind that seems to speak through the walls at night, and about the history of this nameless boy.
WHY DID I LOVE THE NEAR WITCH?
I picked this one up while on maternity leave, because it was shorter, a standalone, and because I hadn’t read it yet. Kinda not-great reasons, but who cares. This book is a fairy tale. You know the old-school, don’t-do-this type of stories? Yeah. That’s The Near Witch. This is Schwab’s debut so it might feel slightly rougher than her newer works, but it’s absolutely worth the read. The romance in this one is melt-in-your-mouth sweet, with the innocence of childhood.
- HOW MANY BOOKS IN THE SERIES? This is a standalone book.
- CW: Kidnapping, self harm, confinement, death, child abuse, death of parent, blood, animal death, fire
What’s your favorite VE Schwab book that you’ve ever read? Are any of these on your TBR? And, finally, do you have any suggestions for other authors you would like to see me spotlight? Keep in mind I’d like to stick to authors who have more than a couple of books out.