Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. SchwabA Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2) by V.E. Schwab, Victoria Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic #2
Published by Tor Books on February 23rd 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
Pages: 512

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.


Welcome to a very incoherent review of A Gathering of Shadows! I had some pretty high expectations for this and let me tell you it didn’t disappoint! The writing was enchanting, the story was fantastic and I’m in love with the characters (old and new) more than ever.

Mysteries are always more exciting than truths

I love the characters. This is definitely a character driven story. I love Lila who’s been up to a lot of shenagins. She’s still the ever consummate thief-pirate extraordinaire. She’s truly is one of a kind. I love Kell who’s still a bit broody and feeling kind of trapped, but decides to break some rules with the help of Rhy (who I also love!). Rhy is still a darling, but also a bit broody now. Both Kell and Rhy’s are struggling a bit with the consequences of their actions (from A Darker Shade of Magic) and it’s changed their dynamic, but definitely not the bromance and banter!

“A bloody handprint?” retorted Rhy. “Oh, what about a glowing black eye?”

Kell glowered.

“You’re right,” continued Rhy, I should have just drawn a frowning face. But than everyone would know it’s you.[…]”

There’s a new character, a captain, oh la la. Alucard Emery is hilarious and ridiculously charming and mysterious. I love the dynamic between Emery and Lila.

Alucard made a nose of mock affront. “Obviously,” he said, brandishing the helmet, “I’m a dragon.”

“Wouldn’t it make more sense for you to be a fish?” challenged Lila. “After all, you do live on the sea, and you are rather slippery, and–”

“I’m a dragon,” he interjected. “You’re just not being very imaginative.”

It actually ended up not being as huge of a part of the story as I originally thought, but I loved the Element Games! And ooooh ho ho ho, the romance that was basically just a wisp  of smoke in A Darker Shade of Magic, has sparked a fire in my heart, ha. For serious, I’m head over heels in love with the Kell/Lila romance!! It was probably the slowest burning build up, but man was it worth every second.

“Our paths crossed one time. Months ago. It happens.”

“Oh yes, your relationship with Miss Bard is positively ordinary.”

“Be quiet.”

“Crossing worlds, killing royals, saving cities. The marks of every good courtship.”

I just adore that fact that they both try to deny their feelings, but it’s sooooooo obvious they’ve got a thing for each other, muahaha.

You are a very peculiar girl. Anesh, Master Kell is a peculiar boy, so what do I know.

Just ignore me while I melt into a puddle over here.

“Lila,” he said, the name aching in his chest.

He wanted to kiss her.

But she kissed him first.

Of course, because Schwab is queen, to go with the freak’n adorable awesomeness, is a cliffhanger to make you cry. It’s a freaking emotional roller-coaster of doom. The set up for the next book is subtle but intense, it’s just weaved throughout the book and and then BAM, eye-bulging, profanity-laced cliffhanger. Yeah, you’ve been warned.

Overall, A Gathering of Shadows was a wonderful sequel and an entertaining and spectacular read that you don’t want to miss. I’m in desperate need of book three.


“Why did you ask me to dance?”
He almost smiled. A ghost. A trick of the light. “So you couldn’t run away again before I said hello.”
“Hello,” said Lila.
“Hello,” said Kell. “Where have you been?”


The prince shrugged. “Who needs magic when you look this good?”


“What do you want to know?”

Lila returned to the chair and leaned forward, her elbows on her knees. “Everything”


Find V.E. Schwab:

Website | Goodreads | Twitter

Purchase the book:
Book Depository | Barnes & Nobles | Chapters Indigo |


Author: Cyn

noun. a bum OT, procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.

10 Replies to “Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab”

  1. “Who needs magic when you look this good?”

    Oh my goodness, most hilarious and arrogant line EVER.

    1. Right?! haha. Rhys is one amazing prince.

  2. Cait @ Paper Fury says: Reply

    YEAH THAT CLIFFHANGER WAS NOT OKAY. *melts into a puddle of tears* I loooove this series. I SO FREAKING LOVE IT. Except I was a bit disappointed in how there wasn’t much plot for this one?! I almost didn’t care though because the characters were so adorable. Afdjaslkd I ship Kell and Lila SO MUCH. *shrieks*

    1. Gaaaah, noooo, it was definitely not okay!
      Me toooo! I was such a happy duck when I ended up loving this too! I know what you mean about the lack of plot, I had really wished the Games was a bigger deal. But yeah, this was totally a book for the characters.
      I never knew I wanted to people to be together so badly until Kell and Lila. The heat was turned up in this one! SO HAPPY 😀

  3. Oh man, this sounds absolutely brilliant! I’m ordering the second one which I want close by before I read the first. It sounds like Schwab made this one super epic as well!

    1. It is quite brilliant! And it’ll be nice to have both books (though we really need the third one now!!)! I hope you love it!

  4. I like that we get more from Rhy! I didn’t really love him in book one, and I’m still not over the moon over him, but I like him more and understand him more. I hope his ship works out. 😉 OH KELL. Like I said on my reply comment on my blog… I hope for two things in A Conjuring of Light. 1) for Kell to be okay (I literally do not care about anyone else) and 2) for more romance. MOAR KELL AND LILA! O_O

    Fantastic review, Cyn!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  5. I’ve heard a lot about this book from a good friend of mine. A lot about the author in general, really, seeing as she’s a huge fan. The first book in this series was even one of her top reads a year or so ago. I’m looking forward to diving into it myself at some point. I always love those books that a more character driven. ^-^

    Brittany @ Space Between the Spines

  6. I need to read this NOW! I haven’t even read the first book but I heard a it if AWESOME things about it! Will def remedy this soon! I actually skipped over parts of your review so I won’t be spoiled! LOL

  7. Olivia-Savannah says: Reply

    I know a lot of people have been reading this book and falling in love with it! Personally, I can’t wait to dive in myself. The world, the magical elements and all the characters combined make it sound like the kind of book I definitely don’t want to miss 😀

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