Born in 1987, Victoria Schwab represents a new trend of young authors building their way up with unique and original ideas. The American author has specialized in fantasy books and has come to international attention due to a few series and breathtaking novels. While she has also written fantasy books for children, she is mostly known for her young adult fiction releases. All in all, whether you are after something original to read or you feel in love with her style, here are some of the best V.E. Schwab books to try.


A Darker Shade of Magic

(2015)

Part of a longer series, A Darker Shade of Magic tells Kell's story. Kell is one of the last Antari alive. The Antari group brings together magicians who have the powers to travel between parallel Londons – each London has its own color. Kell grew up in Red London and is an ambassador facing all kinds of challenges.

But then, Kell is also a smuggler, helping people willing to pay money in order to see parts of a world they will never be able to live in. Trouble is inevitable and an apparently ordinary exchange goes the wrong way. Kell ends up escaping to Grey London and finds Delilah Bard. She robs him first, only to get back to him and save his life.

Eventually, Delilah forces Kell to take her to another world for the adventure of a lifetime. This is when the action truly begins. There are dangers and opportunities with every step they make. Eventually, they end up working together in the attempt to save all the worlds. But then, will they manage to stay alive for this great purpose?


Vicious (Villains Book 1)

(2018)

Eli and Victor have some history together. The two boys used to hang out as college roommates. They were smart, arrogant and ambitious – able to be best friends and look after each other when in need. Things change a little in the senior year. They end up researching adrenaline and exquisite experiences that could cause death.

The purpose of the thesis is to prove that someone might be able to come up with extraordinary capabilities if exposed to a near death experience. During the first stage, the study is academic. Later on, it moves to the experimental stage. This is when a bunch of near death adventures begin and things go wrong.

A decade later, Victors gets out of prison and aims to find his old friend – now his enemy. He is helped by a young girl with great abilities. But Eli is on a different mission – he wants to eliminate anyone with such super powers, also helped by an enigmatic woman. Eventually, the two come together and no one can predict the ending.


The Invisible Life of Addie Larue

(2020)

The location? France? The year? 1714. A woman takes the deal of a lifetime – the kind of deal that will change her life forever. She accepts to live forever, but in exchange, she will be forgotten by anyone she runs into. In other words, she is cursed to be lonely and invisible forever. Initially, she thinks it could be a good deal, but things change with time.

This is how Addie LaRue's life changes to 180 degrees. She begins an outstanding adventure that gives her the power to live for hundreds of years. She explores continents, lives through great historical times and discovers art at its finest. She wants to change the world, but she knows that no one will ever remember her.

Eventually, she learns that she will have to make great sacrifices in order to leave a mark behind her. It is definitely an exciting story, but things take an unusual turn about 300 years into her life. She ends up going into a bookstore and meets a man. The young man seems to remember her name. Have they met before?


A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic Book 2)

(2019)

This is one of the best V.E. Schwab books and follows Kell's story – obviously, part of a longer series that brings in Kell's incredible adventures. Kell's past career did not end well. He used to be a smuggler between different realities, but he has given up this plan. Feeling restless, he is obsessed with guilt through his unusual dreams.

He can only think about Lila, but his dark dreams push him in a different direction. The Red London is now getting ready to participate in the Element Games – a world renowned competition bringing in the best magicians out there. With everyone getting ready for the competition, a pirate ship comes out of nowhere.

A parallel London is ready to get back to life. A parallel London that was long forgotten in dust is now getting ready for action. It was nothing but a shadow that disappeared long ago, but it is ready to make the difference now. Black London is back on track, meaning another parallel London must fall to keep the balance.


Vengeful (Villains Book 2)

(2020)

This is a follow up to V.E. Schwab's Vicious. Ideally, you should read the previous book in the series, yet things will eventually make sense after a few chapters – in fact, it might be a bit more challenging to read it without knowing what happened in the past. Get ready for a set of vengeful actions, dark thoughts and incredible minds gathered together in one masterpiece

Everyone in the history has had an enemy. Superman had Lex Luthor, for instance. But Marcella Riggins does not need anyone to show her powers. She is in full control of her life and her powers allow her to go on with her dreams and plans for the future. The goal? Bring the city of Merit and everyone in it down with any price.

She will do anything she can to get the job done. She will step over dead bodies and even overcome Victor Vale and Eli. Things escalate pretty quickly. Marcella is more powerful than ever and her enemies gather up to fight her. The city of Merit is once again ready for destruction, but will she manage to go on with her plan?


This Savage Song (Monsters of Verity Book 1)

(2016)

August Flynn and Kate Harker live in a well divided city. Violence can strike out of nowhere and crime is the new normal. Monsters roam around the empty streets, ready to kill and hunt. Kate wants to be like her father though – let all the monsters go free and get the people to pay for protection. August, on the other hand, wants to be a normal person.

August is more concerned about protecting those facing abuse and crime – innocent side victims. However, he is a monster. He can steal souls and ruin lives, but he wants to go down a different road. Meanwhile, Kate has just been kicked out of another boarding school. She is back home and August finally gets the opportunity to keep an eye on her. However, Kate finds out more about his secret.

A failed assassination attempt and a few plot twists bring the two together, ready to run and fight in order to save their own lives. Get ready for a series of adventures bringing in unusual events and dark experiences – something that might remind you of Gotham and its darkness. Monsters are literally everywhere – even within humans.


A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic Book 3) 

(2017)

A Conjuring of Light is one of the best V.E. Schwab books and belongs to a longer series telling the incredible stories associated with the parallel Londons. There are more Londons out there and only a few of them are able to travel from one to another – traveling requires a good deal of magic and plenty of attention.

Darkness has never been more intense. It aims to swallow everything and the parallel Londons seem to go down. It is the time for other kingdoms to rise in the darkness. It is time for new heroes to show their skills and take over from others. It is a mix of different creatures fighting for power and doing anything they can to gain power.


Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity Book 2)

(2020)

The sequel to The Savage Song brings in an ending to Kate's story, as well as August's outcome after trying to become a human. He knows that he is a monster, but he wants to be part of the human breed. He knows that he will never get it.

He will choose to play the game and six months after the two brothers' adventure begins, they realize that their world is different from what they were taught. Monsters and humans have never been more fierceful and the war is ready to tear worlds apart.

Will the two brothers stick together or will they end up leading two different breeds to war?

Conclusion

As a short final conclusion, these are some of the best V.E. Schwab books out there. The author has come up with a few interesting series underlining the hidden aspects of magical worlds, as well as unique heroes that will make you fall in love with them or hate them.

Her fantasy books have gained a few international awards based on originality and diversity, so get ready to be a bit confused until you fully understand what is going on – totally part of the charm of a good fantasy book though.