But the thing about people, Kell had discovered, is that they didn't really want to know. They thought they did, but knowing only made them miserable.

–Kell, A Darker Shade of Magic

Kell Maresh is a main character from A Darker Shade of Magic. He is the brother of Rhy Maresh and therefore the adopted Prince of Red London. Because he is one of the last Travelers, someone with the gift to "travel" to parallel universes, he is charged with delivering messages between the other reigning monarchs of London.

There are three London's in total: Red, Grey, and White. Red is prosperous and filled with magic. Grey is our world and has no magic whatsoever. And White is where magic is a commodity and people fight to the death for control over it. There was, once upon a time, a Black London, but it was devoured by magic, leaving Black London and its people long dead.

Like any teenager, Kell also has his own agenda and uses his abilities to smuggle items between worlds. He is a collector of such memorabilia; however, this habit is bound to get him into trouble one day...



Kell as Kamerov Loste

Kell is described as having auburn hair and a perpetual scowl. He has mismatched eyes: one blue on the left and one black on the right. This marks him for what he is: an Antari. The last of his kind, an Antari has the ability to communicate with blood which is considered to be the carrier of magic.


To Rhy, Kell is known to be caring and overprotective. To Lila, he is protective but can be very harsh, almost always resulting in Kell being angry. However, in the eyes of others who only knows him as the Antari, he is seen as a fearsome and dangerous man.

Kell can be stubborn, going so far as defying and going against the King. He is strong-willed as In A Gathering of Shadows, when he was offered the dark power from Black London, he repeatedly refused.


A Darker Shade of Magic

Officially, Kell is the personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. And it is this dangerous hobby that sets him up for accidental treason when a woman hands him a clothed item, telling him to take it to an indicated address. When he opens the envelope he discovers that the woman lied but barely has time to prosess it before he has to run for his life. The woman had given him a black stone filled with impossible magic.

Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to take her with him for her proper adventure.

When arriving in Red London Kell has been missing for days, and its Rhy's birthday parade. Lila and Kell get seperated, Lila investigates the parade but Rhy looks at her and notices that she is wearing Kell's jacket and sends out guards to find him. Kell and Lila meet up and confronts an old enemy for a piece of White London so that they can teleport to the homeplace of the Black Stone. But the old enemy reports them and the guards take Kell home.

Lila hid while the guards took Kell but goes to the masquerade ball to find him with the piece of White London they needed. Kell wake up chained and see Rhy, except its not Rhy, its Astrid Dane possessing Rhy. Astrid demands Kell to give her the stone, but what she doesnt know is that it is Lila who has the stone in her possession. Since Kell refuses to hurt Rhy, Astrid starts torturing Kell for knowledge of the stone's whereabouts.

Lila discovers that the King and Queen is under some kind of spell and immediately knows Kell is in danger. Astrid tells Kell that his stone is but the half of another in Athos possession and that they plan to open the doors to the Londons completely. Lila arrives and Astrid flings her off the balcony which makes Kell free himself from his shackles. Astrid states that Kell wont hurt her as long as she is wearing his brothers body which Lila responds with I will and shoots her in the leg. Kell proceeds to stating that Astrid wont hurt Rhy because hes part of her plan which leads to her killing Rhy.

Lila and Kell drag Rhy to the sanctuary and tries to heal him but hes already dead, Kell panics and does a spell where he draines himself totally. He binds Rhy to his own life, meaning that Rhy can only die if Kell dies and that they will forever hear the others heartbeat or sense the others emotions.

Lila and Kell travel to White London, battles Holland to the brink of death and splits up, Lila battles Astrid and realizes she has magic and Kell battles Athos. After the battle Lila and Kell joins the Black Stone parts, give it to Holland and pushes him into Black London.

A Gathering of Shadows

It has been four months since the black stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland's dying body through the rift – back into Black London.

Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games – an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries – a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.

Rhy persuades Kell to join the tournament, disguising him as Kamerov Loste. They both believe that it will do them good, and release the tension and pain that bound them when Kell saved Rhy from death. In the tournament, Kell meets a familiar Stasion Elsor, and his arch nemesis Alucard Emery.

Afraid that his son is doing something illegal again, the King confines Kell in the palace until the end of Element Games. However, Kell defies him and continues to compete in the third round of the tournaments, facing off against the now-famous Stasion who reveals herself to in fact be Lila. Kell intentionally loses so that he won't be unmasked in the finals.

Kell unwillingly attends the ball. He dances with Lila and tells her his troubles, which had not gone away even after he had competed. He realised it's because he missed her. They kiss and Kell try to warn her of the unmasking but she does not listen and leaves.

When Lila injures herself at the next match after abusing magic, Kell goes into an argument with her. He becomes angry and leaves Red London. In Grey London, he walks around restlessly until Rhy cuts the letters S-O-R-R-Y into his arm, compelling Kell to come home trough their bond.

However, soon after his return, the King has him imprisoned for treason. The Queen grows even more distrustful of Kell, but Kell only asks her if she knew his real mother. They were interrupted by the King, who frees him after telling him their nation needed him because without him, they were weak against the other two nations. Kell becomes frustrated and tells the King he is leaving.

As he was still deciding what to do, a strange woman with a grey cloak and one black eye appears. She told him she was from White London and that her king needs his help to rebuild their London. Kell agrees. He arrives and sees instead, Holland. And a renewed White London.

But then, a collar was placed on him and he was captured, unable to use magic, and unable to be free from an eternal pain that seem to be tearing open the seal binding Rhy to his life....



Upon their first meeting, the two seemed to be intrigued, as well as slightly annoyed by each other. But along their adventure they grew closer, and while the exact status of their relationship is complicated; both have shown romantic feelings upon one another.

During the travel from Grey London to Red London Lila kissed Kell "For good luck". This became a sort of charm between them, Kell kissing her again saying the same thing until they finally shared one or two real kisses.

Although Kell never planned on picking up a Grey Londonder and taking her with him to his own London, he agreed after a few good points made by her. On this dangerous journey Lila was what kept him going, she gave him strength and confidence with her "Of course we can do it" attitude. When Kell cares about someone he gets very overprotective, this annoyed Lila extremely so he learnt how to respect her while also protecting her. He dicovered soon though that Lila needs no protection.


When Kell was adopted by the royal family as a child he knew it was only because of his Antari powers, this was a weighing knowledge at such an age, but Rhy made it livable. Rhy never ceased making Kell feel like his brother, as if they had always been brothers.

Rhy has a bad habit of disappearing in the night to find trouble, to feel more human, every time Kell would follow just to piece together Rhy again afterwards. There was also an episode in the past where Rhy was kidnapped by a cult, no one could find him, except Kell. Kell used a dangerous spell he never had tried before, found Rhy and used up all his energy on healing Rhy.

After Alucard broke Rhy's heart Kell became enraged, he banished Alucard from London and threatened him several times. When it was known that Alucard was competing in the Elemental Games he joined in hopes of fighting him to the death. His wish did not come true though and threatened Alucard again when seeing him leaving Rhy's dorms.


Kell HATES him because he broke Rhy's heart many years before. He also threatened him to never return to London, but he did for the a few years after the threats to compete in the Element Games in which Kell gets angry and storms out. They also continue to argue throughout AGOS and ACOL.


Tieren is the Aven Essen of London, he is leader of the sanctuary and can balance all elements. He taught Kell magic since he was a little boy and is very chill with everybody.

Past and current belongings

  • The Black Stone - He does not have it in A gathering of shadows
  • Kell's Coat - Everytime you turn it inside out there is a new jacket
  • Silver Dagger - Had when he was adopted by the royal family. The letters K. L. are engraved on it


But the thing about people, Kell had discovered, is that they didn't really want to know. They thought they did, but knowing only made them miserable.

Fanart Gallery

  • Image credit on individual image data pages.


  • Commenting on Rhy's sexuality, Schwab also mentions that Kell isn’t sure what he wants from life, let alone sex. [1]
  • If Kell lived in the Harry Potter Universe, Schwab would sort Kell into Hufflepuff as his hogwarts house. [2]
  • Kell is more of a cat person than a dog person. He hates this fact because his arch-nemesis who is set to appear in A Gathering of Shadows is also a cat person. [3]


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