06 May, 2016

REVIEW: A GATHERING OF SHADOWS by V. E. Schwab

Title: A Gathering of Shadows
Author: V. E. Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic #2
Genres: YA, Fantasy, Fiction
Publisher: Titan Books
Source: Paperback / Kindle Edition
Pages: 508

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SYNOPSIS: 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.

LAURA'S REVIEW
After loving, LOVING, A Darker Shade of Magic I obviously had very high expectations and it did not disappoint! What a nice second book!


THE WORLD: It is set on the same world as the first book. There are 4 parallel Londons in line where magic flows by... Black London was the first but fell to corrupted magic and was destroyed (or not), then White London in the first book was ruled by evil twins but got defeated and now is chaotic until they find a new monarch, Red London where magic flows and is all happy, and Grey London which we would consider "normal" London in the late 1800's with no magic (disappeared a long time ago). Things are blurred though and seems like a lot is going to change... we already see some changes in this book but most of them are left for the last one *sigh*

The focus is mostly on Red London because they host the Tassen Esch (Element Games) which is an international competition of magic done every 3 years.

CHARACTERS: We have mostly the same main characters. Kell, who is dealing with many issues because he saved Rhy's life but now he is put on a leash by the royal family since Kell cannot die or the whole kingdom is doomed... he is a bit depressed by this fact. He cannot see the world, forever bound to stay on the same place, he cannot even travel between Londons anymore! Honestly my baby deserves better. At least Rhy tries to give him a bit more freedom in return. Then, well we have Rhy, who feels very guilty about causing such grief and pain on Kell because he knows he's the cause of it but he also has to deal with his royal responsibilities. The journey these two have is very complex through out the book.
We have our second main character, Lila, who is having the time of her life by being the best thief on board of a ship, which is conveniently captained by Alucard Emery. Hold onto his name because he becomes important. So Lila is now being taught magic by Alucard and she actually has great power, she's just a natural. Suspicious. Alucard can also do magic and he decides to participate in the Tassen Esch so the whole crew gets back to London. That's the part where everything becomes interesting! Omg no spoilers so I'll just shut up now.
We also have an old character and a new character... aka Bad™ and Baddest™. What's a book without a villain?

LOVE: There are only two romantic scenes but they're so worth it. I love those scenes :) also we need to acknowledge the brotherly relationship Rhy and Kell have because I think it's very representative and it's written with such care. Makes me happy.

PLUS: Once the games start everything starts going so fast! so many things going on like an endless roller coaster! I also like the new insights on to the characters thoughts and dynamics.

MINUS: Hmm the main minus is that the beginning of the book feels too slow... I think some chapters were unnecessary or focused on the wrong character but the rest was so good that I honestly don't care much about this. Just a minor point.

OVERALL: 4.5 stars because as I said the beginning was a bit slow. It was wonderfully written but I wish it was sped up a bit so that more answers could be given at the end instead of ending in a (painful) cliffhanger.



HANNAHCASSIE'S REVIEW
She made a video review. Here is the link.


What did you guys think about A GATHERING OF SHADOWS?