Jan 26, 2019

Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

20764879Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor Books
Series: Shades of Magic #2
Number of Pages: 512
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Synopsis:
"It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell's possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. 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.And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall."

I love reading series and trilogies once all the books have already been released because I can just binge-read the series back to back, and that is what I did with the Shades of Magic trilogy. The second installment in this trilogy did not disappoint with a continuation of Lila and Kell's journey in Red London. The story picks up a few months following the first book. This was a very difficult review to write without spoilers, but I assure you that this is a spoiler free blog post!

Victoria Schwab's writing is one of my favorites, which is why I always read her books, and I usually love them. This book is no exception with an intriguing storyline that was set up in the first book but continued in a very unexpected and exciting manner. I was a little bored by the first half of the book as Lila begins to prepare and gain entry into the Games, and as Kell leads his separate life in the castle alongside his brother, Rhy. I kept waiting for Lila and Kell's stories to intertwine, but it took so long I often found myself getting bored with the book. It was a lot of set up, but the payoff came when Lila began participating in the Games. Schwab's description of the action and magic was extraordinary, and it sucks you into the book right away.

It took me a while to get into the book, but the character development and action of the second half kept me reading till the end. Lila is one of the best female characters I have ever read, and this book begins to introduce her feminine side alongside her background as a badass theif. Kell's character was expanded to show what he is like in the castle and with the royal family. His character also grew in his relationship with Lila, but I'm not going to spoil anything here. Also, we were introduced to the characters of Rhy and Alucard Emory, who has become one of my favorite characters alongside Lila and Kell.
Overall, I really enjoyed the second book of the Shades of Magic trilogy, and I would encourage everyone to continue on with this trilogy even if the beginning of this book is a little slow. The characters are amazing, and I have become very attached to them after this second book. I have already read the third book at the point of this review so I can assure you that this entire trilogy is a whole damn ride! 


Rating: 4 out of 5 stars!

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