Shades of Magic Wiki
"You mentioned other Londons. How many are there?"
This article is about the first trilogy set in this fictional world. You may be looking for the entire Shades of Magic series.

Shades of Magic trilogy.png

Shades of Magic, also known as the Black Magic Arc,[1][2][3] is a trilogy of adult fantasy novels by V. E. Schwab, set in 1819 and 1820.[4][5] It is the first trilogy in the Shades of Magic series and is succeeded by the Threads of Power trilogy.



Audiobook editions[]

  • A Darker Shade of Magic was narrated by Steven Crossley.
  • A Gathering of Shadows was narrated by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading.
  • A Conjuring of Light was narrated by Michael Kramer and Kate Reading.


Main article: A Darker Shade of Magic (movie)

On February 3, 2016, it was announced that Gerard Butler's production company G-BASE have acquired rights to adapt the book as a limited TV series.[6] However, a year later, on February 24, 2017, it was reported that a movie would be produced instead.[7]


  • V. E. Schwab was offered to have four books in the series, but declined as she only had plot for three and a half books and wanted three plot-heavy books instead of four plot-thin ones.[8][9]
  • Schwab chose to set the books in 1819/20 because she wanted a time period during the Industrial Revolution and explore George III and his "madness."[10][11]
  • The original Russian translated version of the novels cut out the trilogy's LGBT plotline.[12][13] Subsequently, the contract with ROSMAN Publishing House was cancelled,[14] and the novels were re-released in their uncut version[15] with AST.[16]

External links[]


  1. "The original Black Magic arc in the Shades of Magic series is only 3 books"
    (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
  2. "The black magic arc is 3 books."
    (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
  3. "The Black Magic arc (aka the current one) is 3 books long."
    (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
  4. "What's the date in Grey London as of aDSoM?" — "1819."
    (V. E. Schwab on Tumblr)
  5. "approximately which time period was ADSOM inspired by or set in?" — "1819."
    (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
  6. "V.E. Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic is Being Adapted for Television!" — Tor
  7. "V.E. Schwab's A Darker Shade of Magic Is Changing Direction, Now Headed to the Big Screen!" — Tor
  9. "The same thing happened with SHADES OF MAGIC. It could have been 4 books, but it would have meant stretching the plot, thinning it a little, so I opted for 3."
    (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
  10. "I wanted a time period in the midst of the Industrial Revolution, but I also thought it would be fun to play with the mad king, George III, who, in his infirmity was locked away. I thought, what if he wasn't quite as senile as people thought? What if he'd just had a taste of magic?"
    (V. E. Schwab on Tumblr)
  11. "I knew I wanted an historical setting, and one pre-technology, but it was actually the mad King George III that drew me to the early 19th century. I thought he would be the kind of man to appreciate some magic, even if nobody believed it. There was just something about Kell and George III--it gave us the kind side of this magician, who was fond enough of this ailing king."
    (V. E. Schwab on Goodreads Q&A)
  12. "Authors voice fury at Russian publisher cutting gay scene from novel" — The Guardian
  13. "The Russian edition of Shades of Magic has been my favorite. This week I learned that they redacted the entire queer plot w/out permission."
    (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
  14. "I was devastated after being forced to cancel the contract. I didn't want to deprive readers, but couldn't allow the redaction."
    (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
  15. "So I'm relieved and thrilled that AST has stepped up, and vowed to publish the books in their un-redacted form."
    (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)
  16. "An update on the redaction situation with my Russian publisher. TL;DR the entire Shades of Magic series will be coming out with AST."
    (V. E. Schwab on Twitter)