A Gathering of Shadows. V.E. Schwab. High fantasy/Young adult. 2016. 512 pages. 4 stars.
Who needs magic when you look this good?
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.
It took me 3 tries to finish this book. I didn’t like A Darker Shade of Magic and figured that continuing the series would be a waste of time but since so many of my bookish friends love this series, I told myself that I had to know what the hype was all about.
The first few tries weren’t successful, mainly because I was distracted and started craving for other books. But on the third attempt, I was able to push through some of the dragging first parts of the book and finally started reading material that excited me! A Gathering of Shadows is very different from its predecessor: it has a different (better) plot and more characters that I was emotionally invested in. I always thought that Schwab’s writing wasn’t for me, but clearly I was wrong because I devoured the action packed chapters and the interactions of not only Lila and Kell, but also Rhy, Alucard, Tieren, Ojka, and Holland.
I don’t really have much to say except that I’m glad I pushed through with this series and that I’m also hurt by that cliffhanger of an ending. I was so invested that I forgot to check how many pages were left!
4 stars (which is a great improvement when I first rated this 1 star lol)