This time last year, I bought a trilogy called A Darker Shade Of Magic by an unknown author to me – V. E Schwab, and I quickly became obsessed with them, devouring every word, feeling like I couldn’t get through it quick enough and find out what happened.
Since then, I’ve had this desperate urge to read more of her work, to see what other stories Schwab could tell, and so, I decided to start 2018 with her duology Monsters Of Verity.
All I have to say is wow.
I’ve spent this week essentially binge reading This Savage Song and Our Dark Duet, and both are simply incredible. In concept, storyline, world building, and just about every other way possible.
The books tell the story of Kate Harker and August Flynn. Kate is a human from North City, the daughter of Callum Harker, who keeps monsters as pets and demands payment from citizens for their protection.
August, on the other hand, is a monster, a very rare form of monster, from South City, the adopted son of the leader of the FTF – a group trying to protect humans from the monsters bite. The two meet in school, and soon find themselves on the run, hunted by the monsters Kate’s father is supposed to control, as the cracks of so-called peace start to appear.
What follows is an incredible story, one I couldn’t help but adore every single second of.
At first, I was slightly wary of this duology – it’s a YA, whereas A Darker Shade Of Magic is a more adult series. So I was worried that there was going to be something missing from Schwab’s writing, that it could be dumbed down a bit, possibly sanitised for a younger, more impressionable audience.
Not true in the slightest.
This duology is dark, dealing with murder and massacres, fights and fear, bombs and blood. It’s thick with it and doesn’t shy away from talking about it. About the consequences of violence, the sacrifices people make in war, of the ruthlessness of humanity and what that can create. It’s all there, never once talking down to the reader, never treating the reader like they’re anything but intelligent human beings.
From the first page, I was swept up into the story, constantly wanting to read more, entirely engrossed in events unfolding on the page. Just a quarter of the way through book one, I was already telling my mum and best friend to read the books. By the end, I’m not going to let it go until they do.
These books are a must read for any fan of Schwab’s more adult work. They’re a must read for urban fantasy readers. They’re a must read for anyone who likes reading about monsters and violence.
They’re simply a must read.
And, they’re also proof of V. E. Schwab’s writing power. She’s a powerhouse who produces two books a year on average, all high quality, well thought out, and utterly engrossing. I cannot speak highly enough of her writing skill. She’s in my top 3 favourite writers, fighting with the big guns Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett.
I cannot recommend this duology enough, it is rare that I find a series I want to devour so fast, and this was definitely one of them. If you ever get the chance to read these books, do it. You will not regret it.