Book Review: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2) by Victoria Schwab

20764879Title: A Gathering of Shadows
Author: Victoria Schwab
Publisher: Tor Books
Pub Date: February 23, 2016
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 506
Source: Purchased
Genre(s): YA, Adult, Fantasy
Rating: ★★★★½
Goodreads || Buy on Amazon


Synopsis from Goodreads:

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.


My review:

“Kell would say it was impossible. What a useless word, in a world with magic.”

A Conjuring of Light cannot come fast enough. I need it now. Yesterday. Last year. Please hurry.

Much like its predecessor (A Darker Shade of Magic), A Gathering of Shadows started off as a 4-star read. I’m already invested in this worldall four of themand these characters, so I knew I would love the book anyway but holy crap. The second half of this book, particularly the last third of it, was insane. So good. So so so so so good. So yeah, this is a solid 4.5 — There’s just something about the pacing of these books that always makes the beginning hard to get through, but I’m never disappointed by the ending!

Since this is a sequel, I fear that I’ll accidentally spoil you of all the good things that take place in book 1. If you’d like to know more about the first book, you can read my raving review for A Darker Shade of Magic here. If you haven’t read the book yet, I suggest you stop reading this review. Go read the book instead. Please. Thank me later.

Now, let’s get back to A Gathering of Shadows. This is the year that the Essen Tach (Element Games) is being held in Red London again, and it seems like all of our favourite characters are ready to fight and win. Kell hasn’t seen Lila (if you don’t include the countless dreams he has of her) since she left him at the docks to embark on her own adventure. He’s pining away and stifling all of his feelings as per usual. It doesn’t help that he’s stuck in the castle and has no way of releasing his frustrations without hurting himself, or more importantly, his family.

Our precious/pansexual/POC prince, Rhy (aka Kell’s brother), sees that Kell is close to losing his cool and enlists him in the Essen Tach under a false identity. It would be unfair and impossible for him to compete otherwise… considering the fact that he’s a powerful Antari and everything. This seems like a good idea until Kell learns that the pompous pirate known as Alucard Emery is back in town to compete as well. Did I mention that Alucard is Rhy’s old lover? I didn’t? Oh my god. Now you know. And as if things weren’t tense enough already, Lila is back (with newly discovered powers of her own) and she’s ready to show everyone what she’s made of. Basically, we are all in for one kickass tournament. And a lot of tension.

Oh, I almost forgot. There’s this great looming darkness that’s coming for everyone, but let’s worry about that later.

…Okay. We can actually worry about that now because the ending just made me scream out loud. The shadows are here. And I need A Conjuring of Light in my hands as soon as possible.

Save my precious boys, please! Lila can take care of herself 😉

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