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"They didn't really want to know. They thought they did, but knowing only made them miserable."
This article contains plot details and potential spoilers for the Shades of Magic series. If you have not begun reading the books or are not too far into the story, please do refrain from reading.

No one suffers as beautifully as you.

Athos Dane to Holland, A Darker Shade of Magic

King Holland Vosijk is an Antari from White London. Prior to Athos Dane's death, Holland was bound to him by one of his runes.

Holland was sent to Black London by Kell Maresh, but after making a deal with Osaron, he is able to return to White London and become the new king of Makt.

Physical description[]

Holland has charcoal black hair and very pale skin. His left eye holds the mark of an Antari while his right is a dull green. He has very deep and visible scars along his forearms and wrists, due to the torture that Athos put him through when he was bound to him. After trapping Osaron within the Inheritor and losing his magic, his hair becomes a stark white and both his eyes a normal green.

He is also tall, equal in height to Kell Maresh. Additionally, he smells like woodsmoke.[7]


Holland is normally very calm and collected, revealing very little as to how he felt in certain situations. However, he is not completely able to hide his feelings and frequently shows that he feels very strongly about his London and world.

When he was younger, Holland could feel and express emotions like everyone else; however, he lost the capacity of showing emotions when he was under the Danes' command.


Early life[]

Holland lived a difficult childhood, growing up in the slums of White London. At a young age, Holland learned to fight and became very powerful. His brother Alox attempted to murder him when he was nine years old. Holland then slaughtered his brother in an act of self-defense.

When Holland was eighteen, his first girlfriend Talya tried to kill him because someone in the market offered to pay her in silver. He killed her, also in self-defense, and never dated anyone ever again.

He later became a knight for King Ros Vortalis. During Vortalis' rule, Holland met Kell Maresh, who was twelve or thirteen at the time. He generally disliked Kell for most of the time they knew each other, but they formed an unsteady friendship when they had to leave a bespelled Red London to find the way to defeat Osaron.

When the Danes took the throne from Vortalis (they poisoned him and he died in Holland's arms), Athos Dane carved a soul seal into Holland's chest, taking away his free will. If Athos says jump off a cliff, Holland jumps off a cliff. Once they had made sure Holland was their permanent Antari pet, they forced him to murder everyone who had ever worked for Vortalis, and most of them knew Holland, so they died with confusion and fear in their eyes.

Holland was then their personal slave for seven years.

A Darker Shade of Magic[]


In October 1819, Holland is sent to Red London by Athos and Astrid Dane to bring a letter to Maxim Maresh, but is unable to stay to get Maxim's reply.[8] Still, Holland finds the time to head to Rhy Maresh's chambers. He dismisses Gen who is guarding Rhy before he talks with the prince and gives him a necklace. Holland tells Rhy that it is Astrid and Athos' gift for his upcoming birthday and that he has purchased it in Red London.

After Rhy accepts the present, Holland leaves and runs into Parrish, Rhy's other guard who has returned from a bathroom break. Annoyed, Holland wipes Parrish's memory of his and Rhy's conversation before he travels back to White London.[1]

A Gathering of Shadows[]

A Conjuring of Light[]


Talya is Holland's ex-girlfriend. He was madly in love with her, and they even attempted to build a life together in the slums of White London. However, their romance ended when Talya was paid to murder Holland, only to be killed by him instead.

Although Vortalis initially attempted to kill Holland due to his magical and fighting prowess, he later asked him for his help to kill the king and take the throne. They both succeeded and Vortalis became the new king and Holland became the new knight of White London.

Ojka is a knight serving under Holland during his rule of White London. Ojka has great respect for Holland and vice-versa. Ojka has very strong feelings for Holland, although it is difficult to tell whether she respected Holland as a superior or had a romantic attraction to Holland. While Holland greatly cares for Ojka, especially after Osaron possesses her corpse, it is unknown whether he harbored romantic feelings for her.

Lila and Holland's relationships gets off to a rocky start after Holland murders Barron, the closest thing Lila had to a family. Lila swears revenge, making numerous attempts on taking Holland's life throughout the series. Later, however, Holland saves Lila's life after she is stabbed in the chest. After this event, Lila begins to slowly trust Holland more and more and he eventually earns her respect.

Skills and abilities[]

  • Fighting: Holland is a highly skilled and calculating fighter who uses his magic reflexively and with precision to defeat his enemies.
  • Magic: As an Antari, Holland possesses great magical power. Furthermore, he has a deep knowledge of magic and knows Antari spells unknown to even Kell Maresh who studied under Aven Essen Tieren Serense.




See more here


  • Holland never had cake.[9]

Out of Universe[]

  • Schwab tried to keep Holland alive; however, his survival did not fit into his storyline as the someday king which demanded his sacrifice.[12]
  • Holland's Starbucks order would be black coffee. If Rhy were to order him a drink, it would be a mocha "just to watch his face."[13] He would also be the one who scowls at people who use their laptops.[14]
  • If Holland had to live through lockdown, he would sulk and stare out of windows.[15]

  • Holland is a region in the Netherlands.[16] The name "Holland" comes from the Old Dutch word holtlant, meaning "wood land."[17][18]

  • References[]

    1. 1.0 1.1 A Darker Shade of Magic, II: Red Royal, I
    2. "I'd written [Holland] as the Someday King"
      (A Conjuring of Light — Kindle notes and highlights)
    3. "[Holland] was the prophesied Someday King."
      (V. E. Schwab on Goodreads Q&A)
    4. "Jan 15/Capricorn"
      (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
    5. "Holland is 37."
      (V. E. Schwab on Tumblr)
    6. "How tall are the characters?" — "Holland: 6′"
      (V. E. Schwab on Tumblr)
    7. "Holland['s scent] would be woodsmoke."
      (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
    8. A Darker Shade of Magic, IV: White Throne, I
    9. "does holland like cake" — "He's never had it."
      (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
    10. "who's your favorite shades of magic character?" — "Holland."
      (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
    11. "Authors are often asked if they write their characters with certain actors in mind, and 9 times out of 10, my answer is no. Holland (no, there's no special meaning behind his name, he simply came with it) is the one exception. When I first put pen to paper on this highly guarded character, I based him on Mads Mikkelsen, aka Hannibal."
      (A Darker Shade of Magic — Kindle notes and highlights)
    12. "When I started ADSOM, I thought I knew how ACOL would end. I thought I knew where each character would be. And it worked. Except for Holland. I tried so hard to save him. I wrote it a dozen times. And in the end, it wasn't right. The book was out of balance. I'd written him as the Someday King, and he had a role to play, but it couldn't happen without sacrifice. It had to be bittersweet, and selflless, since selfishness is what made magic withdraw from White London in the first place. But it hurt. Oh, it hurt."
      (A Conjuring of Light — Kindle notes and highlights)
    13. "Holland would order a black coffee [from Starbucks] but only bc no one has ever showed him how good sugar tastes. If Rhy could order for him, he'd get him a mocha just to watch his face."
      (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
    14. "Holland: Scowls at those using laptops"
      (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
    15. "I've found myself wondering how my characters would handle [lockdown]. [...] Authors, what you got?" — "Holland would stare sulkily out a window"
      (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
    16. Wikipedia:Holland
    17. Oxford Dictionary — Holland
    18. Dictionary — Holland


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