8 Books You Should Check Out If You Liked HBO’s ‘Our Flag Means Death’

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What is it about : VE Schwab’s first book shades of magic the trilogy follows Kell Maresh, one of the last of a rare type of magician called Antari, who has the ability to travel between parallel versions of London; Red, gray, white and, at the same time, black. Kell is a prince adopted by the Maresh family of Red London. In White London, he serves the empire as an ambassador to the court of George III, where there is no more magic. Unbeknownst to his royal family, Kell spends his free time as a smuggler, allowing paying customers small glimpses into worlds they will never see. Despite its lucrative side, Kell’s sideways hustle has dangerous consequences – ones he begins to learn firsthand. When one of his jobs goes awry, he escapes to Gray London where he meets Delilah Bard, an ambitious pickpocket who forces Kell to take him to another world for a real adventure. The farther the two travel, the more danger Kell poses. And now he must go to great lengths to protect his magic from those who seek to take it from him.

How it compares: Set almost exactly 100 years later Our flag means death, a darker shade of magic is another historical fantasy that features pirates. While it includes a lot more fantasy tropes than the series (like its main theme, blood magic), one thing the book has in common with the series is laid-back quirkiness. The book’s author, VE Schwab, said of the series that “characters should be presumed queer unless otherwise noted.” That’s exactly the feeling of OFMD — with so many crew members in same-sex or same-sex relationships. Plus, like the show, this book is great fun. This is only the first of three, so buy the book, buckle up, and get ready to spend a lot of time with these wonderful characters!

Get it from Bookshop or your local independent bookstore through IndieBound here

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