A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V. E. Schwab
Genre: Fantasy, Action, Magic
Pages: 508 (paperback)
Released: 23rd February 2016
Publisher: Tor Books
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Spoiler Alert: This synopsis contains spoilers for A Darker Shade of Magic so if you have not read that just skip ahead to the review.
It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed 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 the 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 must fall.
A Gathering Of Shadows picks up four months after the events of A Darker Shade Of Magic (my review here) and is mostly centered around the consequences of everyone’s actions during the previous book. This book has a somewhat darker tone than the previous book as the character all seemed traumatized by everything that had happened, Rhy and Kell especially of course.
This book is ADSOM plus more; more magic, more elemental control, more risks, and most importantly more pirates. V. E. Schwab built such an amazing fantasy world that got bigger in this book, this time she introduces new cultures, languages and people, we even get to see more politics with the introduction of the Element Games.
One thing I liked about this book is how we get more of Prince Rhys perspective, it was nice to get into his head a little more and we can see how much he transformed from the young and carefree prince he was to the person he is in this book. Kell on the other hand just can’t seem to catch a break – things keep getting worse and worse for him; he’s treated even worse than ever by the King and Queen and is feared/misunderstood even more by the people.
“Kell used to feel like a possession, now he felt like a prisoner”
Lila is a freaking badass I absolutely love her, she’s strong and fiercely independent, and in this book she finally gets the adventure she was always seeking, the sailing and the piracy but somehow it’s not enough so she goes and does something reckless and dangerous (nothing out of the ordinary there).
“Delilah Bard had a way of finding trouble. She’d always thought it was better than letting trouble find her.”
The way this book is written, it starts out slow but quickly builds up but even with all the action and magic, I kept waiting for the moment Kell and Lila finally reunited because they have such good chemistry, even though its not the most romantic kind.
“Crossing worlds, killing royals, saving cities. The marks of every good courtship.”
I can’t believe this book ended with a cliff-hanger, the last book could have almost been a stand-alone but this one had to leave me hanging, and now I’m dying for the next book. Wow thanks for reading my review. Happy Reading!