Title: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2)
Author: V.E. Schawb
Published: February 23rd 2016 by Tor Books
Genre: Fantasy, Magic, YA/Adult
My Rating: 5/5
“Everyone thinks I have a death wish, you know? But I don’t want to die – dying is easy. No, I want to live, but getting close to death is the only way to feel alive. And once you do, it makes you realize that everything you were actually doing before wasn’t actually living. It was just making do. Call me crazy, but I think we do the best living when the stakes are high.”
If you haven’t read A Darker Shade of Magic, the first in the Shades of Magic series, and don’t want to be spoiled for anything, I would suggest not reading any further. The review may contain spoilers from the first book.
“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.”
A Gathering of Shadows takes place 4 months after we left our characters in A Darker Shade of Magic. Lila has been aboard the Night Spire, growing close to the Captain who holds secrets all his own. Meanwhile, Kell has been enduring the aftermath of the chaos that spread months ago, carrying the burden and blame of the events that fell that night.
But that ship is about to dock back in Red London. *Fangirling pun completely intended.*
Schwab has created an amazing sequel. Usually the second/middle books in a series aren’t that great, but Schwab has managed to give us the same storyline as well as a whole new one in this book.
We get the continuation of what happened at the end of ADSOM in White London, which is hungry for magic and power and without a ruler. But that story seems to take a step to the side in order to build up our characters and send them fully into the events for the last book.
Our favorite characters are of course back. Kell is in a darker place in this story, due to the shit he is taking for..you know..saving Red London (eye roll). Rhy is dealing with the guilt of having a life literally tied to Kell’s, and wants to do everything he can to make it up to him. And Lila is a complete badass, again, and is learning that she might be even more unique than she could have imagined.
We are also blessed with a wonderful new character, Captain Alucard Emery. His ties with Lila, Rhy, and Kell reveal and intertwine themselves through the Element Games. As the group gets built up more, you know they will all be playing a bigger part in the third (final?) book in the series.
I really have to limit myself in what I say because THERE IS A CLIFFHANGER that is…oh my gosh. So much is hanging in the balance, that waiting for the next book is going to destroy my soul. But I have high hopes for where we will find ourselves when the next book is out.
I will leave you with this non-spoilery information: Schwab is an amazing writer and creator of fantastical worlds, Kell needs a hug, Lila is as badass as ever!, and I have a new ship to sail with my other ship.
What did you think of my review? Have you read AGOS? What did you think?