Title : A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2)
Author : V. E. Schwab
Publication date : February 23rd 2016
Publisher : Tor Books
Genre : Adult | Fantasy
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.
“People survived by being cautious, but they got ahead by being bold”
(All Spoilers are hidden)
Remember how I said Schwab is Queen of Fantasy? I’m still standing by that statement and even more now after this. RIP ME. I’m dead, drowned in the feels, wrecked by the feels train, burned by the feels dragon. YOU GET IT ! I’M HANGOVER AND I CANNOT STOP THINKING ABOUT IT. If you follow me on Twitter you might already know this, I rambled endlessly about it all but I luckily wasn’t alone in dealing with all my feelings, I buddy-read this with the incredible, amazing Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books so I just ranted to her when I couldn’t take it anymore AND she did too. I might as well warn you now, this review is going to be a lot of Caps (aka screaming) and non-sense. So I don’t know if it’s going to be any coherent, nor constructive for that matter.
I can’t get over how beautiful the writing is. Seriously, GORGEOUS. It is so simple yet knitted so intricately that I just fell in love with it right away, but that you already know fromr my review of A Darker Shade of Magic. Just look at this, and I promise I’ll shut up about the writing:
“The memories rose like bile in his throat. The pain, the blood, the fear, and finally the quiet and the dark. The surrender of letting go, and being dragged back, the force of it like falling, a terrible, jarring pain when he hit the ground. Only he wasn’t falling down. He was falling up. Surging back to the surface of himself, and—”
I had one issue though. For one big chunk in the beginning, there’s nothing happening, just chapters upon chapters of Lila being badass in the sea, Rhy being reckless and Kell being well … Kell. Granted some characters were introduced as well as some more world building, but I feel like there were more chapters than needed. That being said I’VE BEEN BRAINWASHED BY THIS BOOK because even with the beginning being slow I just couldn’t bring myself to rating it less that 5 marvelous stars. Speaking of world-building, I loved how Schwab didn’t confine this sequel to Ames (the empire for which Red London is the capital), she introduced two more empires – Faro and Vesk – each with their separate culture as well as their own peculiar take on magic and its works, even though we don’t get to see the empires, she shows us the people and it is as good. The world is so intricate and yet very easy to keep up with and understand. What kind of sorcery is this?
Once again, when the pace picked up it was action on action on feels on screaming -on my part- which ultimately ended with a terrible hangover. Wanna know why? THIS BOOK HAS PIRATES AND PRINCES AND THIEVES AND MAGICIANS AND EVERYTHING BADASS AND AWESOME. So, there are kind of two plots. The first and main one for this book is the Essen Tasch (The element games) which is like the Olympic games for magic gladiator style, and let me just say, the way those magic battles are details is very impressive, I could imagine everything happening so effortlessly and it was SO thrilling, my heart was racing through it all especially when it was <Spoiler> Kell and Lila’s battle. I SQUEALED and started hysterically laughing because it was also their reunion AND IT WAS THE BEST THING EVER <End of Spoiler> . And the second one is THE REASON AGOS ENDED WITH A CLIFFHANGER AND I’M DEAD. <Spoiler> HOLLAND IS BACK AND HE’S CRAZIER THAN EVER AND HE HAS OSARON (Like the God of magic or something) POSSESSING HIM AND HE’S GOING TO BRING WRATH ON RED LONDON. <End of Spoiler> Someone send help, I can’t deal with all the feelings. Rip me.
Characters wise, ships have sailed and others sunk and I have no regrets because everything is just perfect the way the author makes it to be. It’s just that they ALL have so much chemistry, okay? So I’m okay with whatever couples Schwab gives me.
LILA IS THE MOST WONDERFUL BADASS POTATO EVER AND I LOVE HER AND I NEED HER TO BE MY BESTFRIEND. She’s just so
reckless spontaneous, stubborn and does whatever the heck she wants to do no matter what people might think. Oh! And I NEED to know what she is !! <Spoiler> Is she Antari, is she MORE ? I feel like she’s more and she’ll turn out being the most powerful of them all and save the whole universe and its parallels too in ACOL. <End of Spoiler> As for Kell, well, he’s all so weird honorable Kell and feels that everything that happened before is his fault which isn’t completely wrong but he fixed it. The upside to things is that this made him train like crazy and become even more kick-ass than before, and I’m more than thrilled about that. I SHIP THEM, I SHIP THEM SO HARD even though I know I said in one of my GR updates that I needed them as friends, I changed my mind. A GIRL CAN CHANGE HER MIND OKAY? <Spoiler> And that kiss outside made my life complete, I just need them to be together right now if not yesterday, they’re just perfect and their banter is so teasy <End of Spoiler>
I GOT MORE RHY !!!!! He’s the cutest thing ever as well as the best prince ever. He’s just so funny and his bromance with Kell is hands down one of the best ones I’ve read about. They’ll literally do anything for each other and their banter shows a real sibling relationship, they fight, get mad at each other and make up. They never stop loving each other. And it was really interesting to see the repercussions of that bond-thingy going on between them.
Last but not least, the new comer, Alucard, the
pirate privateer who has this mysterious vibe about him and I really really liked him. He’s hella sarcastic and charismatic, just all around awesome. I also liked his friendship with Lila and the way they circled around each other, trying to know each other’s secrets. This is mostly the reason why I am okay with Lila and Kell eventually not being friend, I got another AWESOME UNCONVENTIONAL FRIENDSHIP. And let’s just talk about <Spoiler> Rhy and Alucard for a second. WHERE DID THAT COME FROM ? That steamy scene was so unexpected but I LOVED IT AND I SHIP THEM <End of Spoilers>
So, are you going to read it now, or do I need to throw the book at you? This review went on for WAY too long and got more rambly than necessary. More like out of control and crazy but it’s okay because that’s to be expected from me, right ? Now, can someone fast forward to 2017 because I CAN’T WAIT THIS LONG FOR A CONJURING OF LIGHT !!!!
P.s: Click on the fanart to be redirected to the source.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read A Gathering of Shadows ? If so, what did you think of it?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.
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