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I’ve been looking forward to A Darker Shade of Magic for a while. This book, one of three in the “Guest of Honor – required” section on the Sirens 2017 Reading Challenge, is so popular at my local library that I’ve had to wait for three months. When my turn came up (coincident with the end of the school year, so I actually had some time to read it!) I was ready to dive right in.

And then…I didn’t love it.

I think the problem I had might simply have been too much anticipation. A Darker Shade of Magic did grow on me as I kept reading, and I especially enjoyed the character of Delilah Bard – it would have been so easy to make her a caricature, and Schwab avoided this with writerly skill. There were so many things I liked about this book. I just didn’t love it.

I might pick it up again later, when there’s not such a rush at the library, and see if I have a different reaction to a second read. I have occasionally been known to fall into a reading funk; having a reading funk problem while transitioning to summer rhythms would not be unexpected; and reading funk problems, I’ve found, often vanish in a second read.

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