A Gathering of Shadows
Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: February 23rd 2016
Page Count: 512
I know…finally right? It feels like this book has been sitting on my shelf for ages just waiting to be read. I wanted to read it so badly, but I just wasn’t able to find the time. Then I got a lovely email reminding me that I had a credit waiting to be used through Audible. I figured that the only way I was going to be able to make some time to read it would be to listen to it while getting ready in the morning or taking the bus home from work. And just like that, I finally finished reading A Gathering of Shadows!
A Gathering of Shadows is the sequel to the successful A Darker Shade of Magic by author V.E. Schwab. I read the first novel in this series last year and it left me eagerly anticipating the sequel. Now as I complete the sequel, I’m left eagerly anticipating the third and final installment. The conclusion.
A few months have passed since we last saw Kell, Lila and Rhy. Lila has gone her separate ways and has since joined a crew of pirates while Kell remains bound with Rhy back in their home of Red London. After Kell saved Rhy’s life by binding their lives together, they can now feel each others pain, inside and out. This is beginning to drive both of them insane as they just want to be able to live normal lives.
I absolutely love these three characters, and all for separate reasons. Kell, for being the amazing magician that he is. He’s quiet, but observant and will do anything to protect those that he cares about. I love Rhy for being the fun, loving brother that he is. Regardless if Kell feels as though he belongs in their family or not, Rhy is always quick to remind him that he thinks of him as a true brother. I love Lila for being a badass role model for women. She’s fierce and she doesn’t take any shit. She wears men’s clothing because that’s what makes her feel comfortable and she doesn’t care what people think. I have personally never liked dressing up. I hate skirts and dresses and tight fitted clothing. I can relate to Lila which makes me love her even more. We’re also beginning to learn that Lila may have some sort of deeper magical power within her, although we have yet to discover why that is. In addition to our three favourite characters, we are also introduced to some new ones. We meet Alucard Emery, the captain of the pirate ship in which Lila has become a recent crew member and who may just have a connection to Rhy and Kell.
I love the relationship between Lila and Kell. I love that he loves her no matter how strange and quirky she may be. I love that she doesn’t automatically bow down to him and obey his every command just because he is a part of the royal family. They argue and they bicker, but yet they work and it’s real. We also learn of another relationship. This one came as a bit of a shock to me only because I definitely was not expecting it. However, I am 100% okay with it.
A Gathering of Shadows largely focuses on the Essen Tausch or the element games, a competition in which some of the most powerful magicians come to compete using element based magic. Of course, these games get interesting when some unexpected competitors decide to illegally join the competition. I found that this novel focused on these games for quite a large portion of the book. I thought it was going to lead into something bigger that would happen at the final events during the games or something along those lines, but instead we were left with a cliffhanger.
I felt like this sequel may have slightly fallen into the “second book in a trilogy curse” only because it felt like more of a filler. It felt as though this novel was leading to something intense and while it definitely is, I thought we would reach that conclusion by the end of this novel. Instead we’re just going to have to wait until the third and final book for the real action.
The Shades of Magic series has quickly become one of my favourite series to date and I really hope that the third and final book is just as amazing as the first two!