A Darker Shade of Sorcery – Review

A Darker Shade of Sorcery by William Collins
Book 1 in The Realmers series
Genre: YA high fantasy
Pages: 366
Format: e-book, owned
Goodreads | Amazon

I was sent a digital copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affects my opinion.

A Darker Shade of Sorcery was a very interesting high fantasy. It reminded me slightly of other books I’ve read,Β but was stillΒ its own story. I had very mixed feelings about it while reading, and am still not entirely sure what to think. 😐

the plot

It was somewhat like a cross between Harry Potter and The Mortal Instruments: teenagers attend a school in a fantasy world to learn weaponry and sorcery in order to go around the many realms and fight demons. Like I said, though, it was still a unique story. There were a lot of high fantasy elements compressed together, and while it worked well for the most part, some bits were unrealistic, even for fantasy. But I think it was enjoyable to read nonetheless. πŸ˜‰

I’m not really sure what to think about the pacing. It was slow in the beginning, when everything about the world and story was being introduced, but picked up soon after. However, throughout the story it did drag some, because not a lot happened until the second half. Regardless, I did stay interested enough to want to know more. πŸ˜‰

the characters

Evan was an amusing, brave main character, but he was also similar to other male leads I’ve read. He was a bullied orphan that was both in awe and in denial of the magical world he was introduced to. He took it really well, unlike some guys I can think of, but he also seemed to want to be a martyr, especially in the end. That got on my nerves a little, because there was no logic behind his idea, but it he was still likable. I think that’s a good way to sum him up: likable, amusing, and different, but also just a normal guy (except with sorcery). πŸ˜‰

I didn’t like Jed as much. He was Evan’s first friend, and a huge flirt. It got irritating fairly quickly, and on top of that he was a mouthy, almost “class clown” type of guy. I admired his loyalty to his friends and his bravery in the last few chapters, but otherwise I think he was my least favorite character. I feel like guys with his attitude need to be written a certain way to be likable, and Jed wasn’t quite there yet. However, I do think he could improve in later books. πŸ˜‰

I really liked Brooke. She was in a similar situation as Evan, being both amazed and doubtful of this new world, and adapting to it well. She was headstrong sometimes, but very capable in sticky situations after not a lot of training, so it balanced out. Like Jed, her courage and loyalty were admirable, but unlike him, she was more silent and considerate. I think she was a combination of Hermione and Clary, and it worked out really well, even though it might sound odd and was likely unintentional. I think she would have to be my favorite character in the book. πŸ˜€

the setting

This book took place in a variety of fantasy realms, but most of it was in Veneseron, the sorcery school. Sometimes fantasy settings can be hard to thoroughly describe, but William managed it well. I wouldn’t say the descriptions were extremely magical or vivid, but they conveyed all of the quirks hidden in the school. Some bits were left to the reader’s imagination, I think, and personally, I loved it. Veneseron was kind of like a funkier, more colorful Hogwarts, but still really different and fun to read about. πŸ™‚

the relationships

There weren’t really any familial relationships, and at first I was annoyed, but in the very end it made sense. Evan was an orphan and Brooke had a family that didn’t really acknowledge or care about her. If there hadn’t been a twist toward the end this would’ve bothered me a lot more, because I think families are cast off too easily in fantasy. However, the story wouldn’t work if it was different, so I’m okay with it. πŸ˜‰

There was a strong friendship between Evan, Jed, Brooke, and some other Veneseron students, and I liked it. It was a great anchor for the three of them to hold on to while everything was going on, and everyone was dedicated to one another. While I enjoyed it, I don’t think there was anything special that set it apart from other fantasy trios. 😐

the twists

I think this was where the book was most disappointing for me. Not a lot happened until the halfway point, but what I imagine were the biggest twists were in the last few chapters. Unfortunately, only one actually took me by surprise, and it felt like more of a minor twist. I predicted all of the reveals in the end, but despite that they still left me wanting to know more. πŸ™‚


I want to briefly mention that in my copy there were a lot of grammatical errors and fragment sentences. While it didn’t take away from the story, it did kind of distract me.


I had very mixed feelings about A Darker Shade of Sorcery. It had some issues, but was still a unique, entertaining high fantasy read. I would definitely be willing to give the second book a try when it comes out, because I think the series has a lot of potential. πŸ™‚

my rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Have you read this book? Is it on your TBR? If you have read it, what did you think? I’d love to know! πŸ™‚

I’m off to bed for now, but tomorrow I’ll be starting To Hear The Ocean Sigh by Bryant A. Loney. Good night! (Or have a good day, wherever you are.) ❀

Until next time…

post end

6 thoughts on “A Darker Shade of Sorcery – Review

      1. Well, I’m a extrovert and I would never wear something that bold!! I think I’ll stick with the Reds and leave you to the multi colours!! πŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

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