9780765376459_e8e91A sudden bidding war has netted Sony the film rights to Victoria Schwab’s fantasy novel A Darker Shade of Magic (Macmillan/Tor; Tantor Audio; OverDrive Sample).

The novel, the first in the Shades of Magic trilogy, came out in 2015, but as Deadline Hollywood reports, interest in adapting it developed in just the last two weeks, leading Sony to beat out several other notable studios, including Lionsgate.

The books are set in four alternative versions of London, three of which are magical. The main character, Kell, a smuggler and official royal messenger, can travel between worlds and becomes caught in a fast paced adventure when he brings a dangerous relic from Black London into Red.

The two final books in the trilogy have been released, which may be the reason that studios, who love series, suddenly saw its potential. A Conjuring of Light just hit shelves last week, following last year’s A Gathering of Shadows .

Librarians were behind the richly detailed trilogy early on. A Darker Shade of Magic was a LibraryReads pick:

“Fantasy fans should enjoy this atmospheric novel, where London is the link between parallel universes, and magician Kell is one of two Travelers who can move between them. Now something sinister is disturbing their equilibrium, and Kell must try to unravel the plot with only feisty street thief Delilah Bard as an ally.” –Beth Mills, New Rochelle Public Library, New Rochelle, NY

It was also a GalleyChat title. Stephanie Chase (Hillsboro, OR, Public Library) said it “moves with a wonderful fast and yet immersive pace; the fascinating story, with its twists and turns, is not to be missed.”

Gerard Butler (300) will produce the film. Deadline Hollywood says “The trilogy could be ideal for a film franchise … Filmmakers are said to be already lining up for a chance to put their stamp on this fantasy.”

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