I’ll be the first one to admit that the first book in this series didn’t feel very satisfying by the end of it. A Darker Shade of Magic seemed like the whole book had been set up much more to explain this new world –understandable since there are four variations of the same one, that are of course different, and that one of the characters (and the bad guy) can visit at will. An ability that is dying, seeing as only one person can now travel thru kingdoms.
But there was not much on the way of story, or at least not for me. It felt like the basis of a great series that had not yet been fulfilled, but just barely begging to touch how great it could be, and the many twist and turns the story could take.
A Gathering of Shadows was much better, hence the 4 out of 5 Star rating.
Four because I felt like it took forever to get on with it, and because Kell, true to character, most of the time– annoys me to no end.
This book is right after what they are now calling the black plague. Meaning the remnants of the backlash the first book left them to deal with. Kell is now more a prisoner than he had ever been. He’s been treated like a pet that is at the end of a leash, and has no escape. Only he does have an escape, but because of the fact that his life is now truly attached to that of his brothers, he can’t do much about this feelings, other than fantasize about it. Fantasize about leaving for good, about disappearing. Like Lila had done.
A Gathering of Shadows is told from several perspectives. Rhy’s, Kell, Lila, and even sometimes a new character that just happen to be Lila’s captain, he is a very interesting individual, to say the least. One the is dangerous and refreshing in turns.
This second instalment of the series is much more entertaining and we all get to see much more of this new world, away from the capital and the palace while traveling with Lila and the charming captain and his crew. However, as fate will have it, the things that Lila and Kell thought to be hidden, are coming back to life to hunt him down in Red London. The one place where they all thought that no one would be able to follow him. The enemies that he thought long gone and defeated, where but biding their time to strike back at him, and use him to his own purposes. And the characters all converge, in one way or another at the Essen Tach. The magician tournament that is held in Red London this year, where magicians of all the three regions – of the Red World, come to this capital to demonstrate their strength and stealth, and of course, to show each other what the one next to you can do, in case a war could be on the horizon. Political tug a war at its best, only with magic.
I liked the characters much better in this one because they are coming out of their shell, and because you can see the evolution from the first book, and the backlash it caused, reflected in this one. Lila is as clever as ever, borderline reckless, and she knows it, but of course, this had never stoped her from doing what she wants. Kell is more dark and distant that ever, while at the same time haunted by everything his brother and him are doing and have done. The Essen Tach becomes his only way of blowing some steam and playing the bad boy, for once, because while entertaining his participation is highly illegal. How ever, compared to all the times the brothers have been suffering under this new “arrangement” the Essen Tach becomes the only way of letting go of some of the magic that has been strangling him for the past couple of months and; not only for him, but for Rhy, who now has to suffer along side Kell, for all one does, the other does as well, no matter if the counterpart wants to or not.
More complications, some answers and yet more questions, this book was finally the magical adventure that I was waiting for, and it delivered. I can’t wait for the next one to be out and in my hands.
A Conjuring of Light is the next and last book of The Shades of Magic Series by V.E Schwab, and it will be available February 21st, 2017; here is the link to the pre-order site in Amazon, in case you want to double check it.
That’s all I have for y’all today. I hope you enjoyed the review, and please don’t forget to comment if you did, or if you have some other books you would like me to try. I’d love to hear your recommendations.
Stay tuned for the next week, I’ll be posting my review of Me Before You by Jojo Moyes.
Have a great rest of the day, and keep reading.