Series: Shades of Magic #3
Publisher : Tor Books
Genre : Adult | Fantasy
Page Count: 624
Synopsis : Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.
THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…
The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.
WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?
WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.
WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay. (From Goodreads)
(May contain spoilers for the first books. All Spoilers for this book are hidden.)
RIP my heart and all the characters that died in this book. RIP my soul because I sold it to Schwab and this damned trilogy of hers. RIP my mind because it has been consumed with this series for the past year and now that it’s done I don’t know what to do with myself anymore. This book did all sorts of things to me and I know that reading this and knowing that this is one of my favorite series (My reviews for ADSOM and AGOS) you’re wondering why on earth I didn’t give it 5 stars, right? Well, because I’m mad at it and frustrated at the way a certain thing was handled but more on that later.
Oh by the way, I buddy read this with some of my favorite people and closest friends, Marie @ Drizzle and Hurricane Books and Kat @ Life and Other Disasters and it was so much fun to have them to go to when this book got too much, which is more often than not.
I don’t even know why I still let the writing take me by surprise and sweep me off my feet, I should learn by now that Schwab is one heck of a talented writer. It flows nicely, the chapters are short and it has a lot of POVs. Seriously, A LOT. But the weird thing is that it wasn’t overwhelming, the transition between them -which often happened between one paragraph and the next- was very smartly and subtly done, so smooth that I didn’t even realize it was switching until I took a step back and thought about it. Besides the main four POVs, the others ones were like these outsider looks on what the MCs were doing which was a much needed perspective.
So… THIS WAS SUCH A FREAKING EMOTIONAL ROLLER COSTER. No one was safe. No one was okay and I was scared for 99% of it. Especially with the author promising death numerous times, I didn’t know who it would be. The action picks up from page 1 (literally) and never slows down until everything is resolved, the tension is palpable and the build up so damn good, I literally couldn’t put it down and had to read a few pages every free moment I had (just ask the girls, I finished it so freaking fast haha). The plot, like in the other books is intricate and unpredictable, besides the obvious Osaron, I couldn’t figure out if there were any other ennemies and who I could trust, it was a traumatizing experience, because friends turned out to be foes and vice versa.
Speaking of Osaron, that demon/egocentric jerk/smoke thingy made my skin crawl, he is so frightening and what made it worse is that some part are from his POV and they were terrifying and disturbing. The way he thinks, plots, his strength that seemed invincible had me really worried about my babies.
Onto my babies now, I think I’m running out of adjectives to describe them (see my reviews for the other 2 books) especially Kell and Lila because he is same caring, brave Kell and she is the same confident, sassy Delilah we know and love. I LIVED FOR THEIR ROMANCE, I never thought I could say “cute” about anything involving Lila but they were ADORABLE and kind of steamy as well. What I loved is that their relationship was a constant, there was no kind of doubt or drama whatsoever, like the natural course of things.
My other two children are Rhy and Alucard and I do have adjectives to describe these two especially Rhy because he went through great development. I don’t remember if I said this in my previous reviews but as much as I adore him, there was this childish and slightly selfish side of him that kind of annoyed me a little bit which wasn’t the case in this final installment, he stepped up when it was needed and showed his true potential as a person, a prince and a future king. Alucard too showed a new side of him, a softer, more vulnerable side that I cherished, his love for Rhy is so pure and amazing and it really showed in the way he was trying to redeem himself.
Here’s the thing though, and the reason behind my 4.5 stars which I ranted about for hours (yep) with my friend Mariam ( @ Mariammy Books, check her out, she’s pretty rad). I didn’t like the way their romance was handled. I thought that it needed way more page space to develop the right way compared to Lila and Kell (who got plenty… not that I’m complaining) while they were the ones with unresolved issues and whatnot, I’m really bitter about this because although we got some flashbacks from their past relationship, I needed more, like how they met, a little more of their angst and cuteness, etc… Plus, the way it was wrapped up was pretty iffy as well. Considering how long it took Rhy to forgive or even listen to what Alucard had to say, I expected that moment to make my heart explode with joy but the fact that it was so public and IT DIDN’T END WITH A KISS was very underwhelming (I wanted that freaking kiss so bad) . Add to that the fact that I couldn’t understand why Alucard had to have a demotion from Privateer to guard to be with Rhy, like, couldn’t he be something else? A counselor? Head of the guard? Or I don’t know??? Something that doesn’t feel like he’s giving up a part of himself?
I have one more character to add to my children’s list that I would give a kidney for. Holland. I KNOW, I KNOW but I love me a tortured soul, I just wanted him to be safe and happy, that’s not too much to ask, right? He deserved a bit of peace after all the bad luck that’s been thrown his way. Learning about his past was absolutely shattering, and eye opening to be quite honest, we got to see why he turned out the way he did and I’m telling you, HE DESERVED BETTER.
I just want to close this review by saying that this doesn’t mean that Shades of Magic isn’t one of my favorite series anymore because it still is. The cast of characters is one of the best I’ve ever read and I’ll love them forever, it is fantastic, with a mind blowing plot and brilliant world building, it’s just that… you know, in my opinion, Rhy and Alucard were done dirty.
That’s it until next time.
Did you read A Conjuring of Light? If so, what did you think?
Who was you favorite character? What did you think about both romances?
Hope you enjoyed, write to you soon.