review: a gathering of shadows by v.e. schwab

Published: February 23rd 2016
Genres & Keywords: Fantasy, Adult
Works From Author: Shades of Magic series, Vicious series

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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.

R A T I N G  ★★★★★

Magic is tangled, so you must be smooth.
Magic is wild, so you must be tame.
Magic is chaos, so you must be calm.

There were so many things my heart wanted to do. Travel the world. Jump out of a plane. Grow old. Now it’ll never experience these things. Because V.E. Schwab decided to mutilate it.

Dramatic? I think not.

“We’re all here for a reason, Bard. Some reasons are just bigger than others. So I guess I’m not scared of who you are, or even what you are. I’m scared of why you are.

A Gathering of Shadows picks up four months after A Darker Shade of Magic leaves off. Lila is finally living her life for herself, doing what she’s always wanted and fought for. And Kell, well, he got the shorter end of the stick. Not all wounds have healed, and now, instead of feeling like a possession, he feels like a prisoner. They’ve been set on two different paths, but this wouldn’t be much of a story if our favorite pair didn’t make their way back to each other.

And where Kell and Lila go, trouble follows.

I am Delilah Bard, she thought. Pirate, thief, magician.
Her fingertips began to thrum.I have crossed worlds and taken ships. Fought queens and saved cities.
Her bones shuddered and her blood raced.I am one of a kind.

Lila has got to be, hands down, one of the best heroines ever. Flawed, fierce, and with a sense of humor that instantly won me over, she’s one hell of a character to read about. She’s part of the reason I’ve become so taken with this series.

She bent most of the rules. She broke the rest.

^^I mean come on. How can anybody not love her.

I really sympathized with Kell in this one. The restlessness, the guilt, the loneliness . . . it’s a hard thing to bear and after everything he’d done, you can’t help but feel resentful.

Fantasy is one of my favorite genres. If you get an author that can’t write, then it’s shit. BUT if you get an author that has a gift with words and a fresh imagination, then it can be a thing to behold. The worlds are so different from our own, so unique and puzzling. So an author has to be able to sell me on it. To make me believe in it, to make me yearn for it. And that’s what V.E.. Schwab does. She not only creates something refreshing, offering a premise that is new to me, but does it in a way where it can thrive. Where it isn’t overshadowed by romance and unnecessary angst.

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

Shades of Magic reviews:
A Darker Shade of Magic ★★★★

((f.d: the visuals above were edited by myself– base images were found on google))

T H O U G H  T S ?

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