A Gathering of Shadows, V.E. Schwab Book Review

Hello humans! Yesterday I said I’d be back to review the next book in the Shades of Magic series. I am so happy to say that this was even better than the first book! I don’t want to spill everything in this introduction so I’ll get right on with the review.

Goodreads Summary (Spoilers for ADSOM):

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.

My first excitement? Pirates. I adore when books pull in piracy and to have it in this series was just perfect. These aren’t swashbuckling, cutlass wielding, Jolly Rodger-flying pirates, it must be said, but the addition of a seafaring element made me very happy.

I also enjoyed the concept of the games. It added a structure to the story, a clear progression and a great backdrop for the rest of the action. There’s no doubt that this is a middle novel, as such it needs something like this on which to hang the plot elements you are building up for the end of a series. I was reminded a little of Godsgrave and the games in that, maybe it’s a coincidence, maybe this is the formula for a great second novel?

I am a sucker for a romance, I’m not going to fault the fact that it continued in book 2, I imagine some people might find it a little angsty, but I enjoyed the idea of two people consistently missing each other, it was a powerful incentive to keep reading and not under any circumstances put the book down.

What this book achieves is building, it builds the world more, it develops it’s characters, it builds the story beyond the walls of book one and it builds the suspense for the next book – which incidentally I must buy immediately.

It’s a great continuation from the first book and I can only hope that A Conjuring of Light continues on the same trajectory!

My rating: 5/5 stars

What say you? Did you also enjoy this? Is it on your TBR? Let me know in the comments below!



8 thoughts on “A Gathering of Shadows, V.E. Schwab Book Review

Add yours

  1. Great review!!! 😊
    I feel, pretty much, the same way about A Gathering of Shadows as you. I loved the aspect of the tournament, I ADORED Kell’s and Lila’s relationship; how they kept missing each other and still thought about the other person the whole time. It was a great book 💕


  2. Such a good ride – Games may be a bit of an over-used trope, but this was so much fun. Also, pirates. Specifically, Lila as a pirate (HOORAY) and Alucard, oh my word Alucard. I love the relationships in these books.

    Liked by 1 person

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