Shades of Magic Wiki
Black London.png
"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.
Red London
Current ruler(s): King Rhy Maresh Magic? Yes.

Red London is the capital of Arnes. It is one of the four Londons along with White, Grey, and Black London.

Red London flourishes with magic and people in Red London value lives and magic.


Red London had a good relationship with Grey London, and they regularly sent messages to each other through Kell Maresh before King Rhy Maresh decided to discontinue this correspondence forever to protect Grey London from magic.

The rulers of Red London, notably King Maxim, frequently tried to form a similar relationship with White London, mostly because he felt responsible for the gradual decay of White London's world. However, the rulers of Makt were seldom cooperative. So far, only Athos and Astrid Dane agreed to carry on correspondence between the two Londons.

Just like the other Londons, Red Londoners always referred to the others as their "neighbors" or "neighboring crowns."


Red for the healthy empire.

Kell Maresh, A Darker Shade of Magic, I: The Traveler, I



Aldus Fletcher's pawnshop[]


The Isle is a river flowing through Red London. It is both a source of magic and a fixed place. Most distinctively, the Isle's water glows red even at night and hums with magic.

During Osaron's Siege of Red London, the Isle was temporarily colored black by black magic.

Jack and All[]

The Jack and All is a tavern.

Kir Ayes[]

Kir Ayes, or the Ruby Fields, was a tavern run by Fauna. She and Kell Maresh had made a special and secret arrangement that the room on the first floor would forever be his to use. The tavern was eventually burned down by Holland Vosijk.

Night Market[]

Main article: Night Market

The Night Market is a market located alongside the Isle.


Main article: London Sanctuary

Setting Sun[]

Main article: Setting Sun

The Setting Sun is Red London's version of the Fixed Tavern.

Soner Rast[]

Main article: Soner Rast

Soner Rast, also known as the "Beating Heart" of Red London, is the main residence of the House of Maresh. It stretches over the Isle like a bridge and is made of glass, bronze, and stone.

The Blessed Waters[]

The Blessed Waters, or Is Aven Stras, is a tavern with a terrible reputation.

Three of Knives[]

The Three of Knives is a tavern in the shal. Its main clientele is criminals.


Rachenast, or Splendor, is a leisure palace for and frequented by Red London's elite.

Known residents[]


  • Red London is said to smell of earth, grass, and flowers,[1][2] though the kind of flower varies from person to person. For example, Red London smells of roses for George III,[3] of lilies for Barron,[2] and of lilies, marigolds, and stargazers for Lila Bard.[4]
  • Ves Anash is where Whitbury Street is in Grey London;[4] specifically, a herbalist and a stonesmith are in Ves Anash where there are a dentist and a barber in Whitbury.[5]
  • While Red London does have "echoes of traditional gender dynamics," it is a world that cares more about magical hierarchy than heteronormativity, gender, and sexuality.[6][7]
  • In Red London, the highest power is magic, not God, and it is revered and worshipped.[8] The saints of Red London are priests from myth and history who displayed great power and capabilities with their ability to balance the elements.[9]

Out of Universe[]

  • The aesthetics of Red London were inspired by Turkish and Moroccan senses.[10] The city also "features a plush, eastern motif."[8]


  1. A Darker Shade of Magic, VII: The Follower, III
  2. 2.0 2.1 A Darker Shade of Magic, VIII: An Arrangement, III
  3. A Darker Shade of Magic, I: The Traveler, I
  4. 4.0 4.1 A Darker Shade of Magic, IX: Festival & Fire, I
  5. A Darker Shade of Magic, VIII: An Arrangement, II
  6. "On top of that, while Red London has echoes of traditional gender dynamics, it is a world that cares about magical hierarchy more than heteronormativity."
    (V.E. Schwab on Tumblr)
  7. "Interview: Victoria Schwab on Why Fantasy Is More Important Than Ever" — The Portalist
  8. 8.0 8.1 "A Spectrum of Worlds" — Tor/Forge Blog
  9. "In Red London, the highest power isn't God, but magic. Their relationship with magic is one of reverence and worship, fueled by the notion that magic is in everything, but also is the thing outside, the unquantifiable but essential essence that runs through the world and, depending on your beliefs, governs the flow of power to people (i.e. some citizens believe that magic chooses who to make powerful–a concept Kell has trouble accepting).
    In this system, there are priests–those who possess the ability to balance the elements and enhance nature and choose to dedicate their lives to the balancing of magic on a greater scale–and the saints are priests from myth and history who possessed extraordinary prowess in this way. This is NOT to be confused with Antari, who are in their own rights mythical/blessed/aven.
    Interestingly, Antari magicians and priests both possess the ability to speak to all elements, but Antari cannot balance them–they are a flood where nature requires a steady rain to flourish."
    (V. E. Schwab on Tumblr)
  10. "The aesthetics of the city itself are definitely inspired by Turkish as well as Moroccan senses."
    (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)


v · e · d
Red London