Review: A Gathering of Shadows (V. E. Schwab)

Genre: YA Fantasy

Rating: ★★★★★

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.

Review: (contains spoilers from A Darker Shade of Magic!)

Read here for my review of the first book in the Shades of Magic Series.

AGOS is definitely much better than ADSOM. I love how Schwab gave us more detail of Red London this time around and brought new exciting characters into the story. I love Captain Alucard Emery’s persona and we also get to see more of Lila Bard in this which is great. My indifference to her character still remains, unfortunately. I’ve never been a fan of reckless, crazy, wild female teenage protagonists but I have a feeling I’ll grow on her in the third book, A Conjuring of Light . 

The book plot itself was a bit weird in my opinion. The Element Games mentioned at the back of the book doesn’t start until middle of the book, so I’d advise you to be patient if that is what you’re looking forward to read. It is a great back story but the book focuses more on Lila and her growth after she defeated the Dane Twins in ADSOM, instead. And we also see how Kell coped after the Black Night, being imprisoned to Rhy as it takes a toll on his psychological well-being. I was rooting for him to get his own freedom until the end, but sometimes we don’t always get the story we want. 

Some cliches did occur in this book which I didn’t expect Schwab to do. But they found a way to work into the story. At least she didn’t put a love triangle into the mix, God forbids

The writing is amazing and I enjoyed the fast-paced drama and story, which is what Schwab is always known for. She is a brilliant storyteller. 

A friend told me a cliffhanger was due at the end and so I tried to guess what it was and I was right haha! Don’t you just love spoiling yourself like that. Let’s just say I am very intrigued to read ACOL next year. It’s now my anticipated book for 2017. 

Give this a go if you like magic and mild fantasy with quirky characters. You won’t be disappointed!

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