Review: Shades of Magic, Vol. 1: The Steel Prince

Title: Shades of Magic, Vol. 1: The Steel Prince
Author: V.E. Schwab, Andrea Olimpieri
Genre: Graphic Novel, Fantasy
Publisher: Titan Comics
Source: Publisher
Format: Ebook
Release Date: March 6, 2019
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

Written by #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab and torn from the universe of the Shades of Magic sequence, this all-original comic book prequel to A Darker Shade of Magic is perfect for fans of bloody, swashbuckling adventure and gritty fantasy!

Delve into the thrilling, epic tale of the young and arrogant prince Maxim Maresh, long before he became the king of Red London and adoptive father to Kell, the lead of A Darker Shade of Magic!

The youthful Maresh is sent to a violent and unmanageable port city on the Blood Coast of Verose, on strict orders from his father, King Nokil Maresh, to cut his military teeth in this lawless landscape.

There, he encounters an unruly band of soldiers, a lawless landscape, and the intoxicatingly deadly presence of the newly returned pirate queen, Arisa…

Collects Shades of Magic: The Steel Prince #1-4.


Before the events in A Darker Shade of Magic, Maxim Maresh was an arrogant prince. His father, the King, sends him to the port city Verose. There, Maxim meets a captain in the army, named Isra. She shows him the ways of the city, but they are taken by surprise when the pirate queen, Asira, arrives in town. Isra has a personal vendetta against Asira, because she is the niece of the pirate queen. Maxim has to find his place among the army, while keeping an eye on the pirate queen.

I loved A Darker Shade of Magic, but I hadn’t finished the series, so I was holding off on reading this graphic novel until I was caught up. Fortunately, I found out recently that it isn’t necessary to read the original trilogy of novels before reading the graphic novels.

This is an amazing fantasy world. I was hooked on the story right from the start. The images are detailed, giving small hints about the plot that could be missed if it’s read quickly. I loved seeing the setting of the Darker Shade of Magic novels in the illustrations.

The story was fast paced. It took place over a short period of time, so I felt like it ended too soon. I’m so glad the next volumes are out, so I can read them right away!

Thank you Titan Comics for providing a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

What to read next:

Shades of Magic, Vol. 2: Night of Knives by V.E. Schwab, Andrea Olimpieri

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1) by V.E. Schwab

Other books in the series:

  • Night of Knives
  • The Rebel Army

Have you read Shades of Magic, Vol. 1: The Steel Prince? What did you think of it?

Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

6 thoughts on “Review: Shades of Magic, Vol. 1: The Steel Prince”

  1. This sounds awesome! I’d added A Darker Shade of Magic to my tbr because I’d seen it all over bookstagram and heard only good things about it. But this graphic novel prequel sounds like it would be a good introduction to the books.


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