Series: Shades of Magic #2
Published by Tor Books on February 23rd 2016
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction
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?”
“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.”
“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:
a bum a student again. A master’s student…oooh. procrastinator. reader. eater. sleeper. music listen-er. movie go-er. Loves food too much.