There’s an All Time Low song* that starts with “Stop fucking around with my emotions.” And that’s 110% how I feel towards this book! Oh, my goodness, what a crazy ride reading this book was. I’m being completely honest here: V.E. Schwab is definitely my all time favourite author. This is the fourth book I read of hers and they’re all just so incredible! If you’d like to know more of my thoughts on A Gathering of Shadows, read it in my spoiler free review!
*It’s called The Irony of Chocking on a Lifesaver. Also, excuse the language! It’s just the lyrics. 😉 ALSO, the cover I used for the photo is the US hardback cover, although I read the UK eBook with a different cover.
“Because too little of something is just as dangerous as too much.”
The only reason it took me so “long” to finish this book, is because I was in a sort of reading slump after reading about 10% of the book. That’s all on me, because holy moly this book is incredible! It’s definitely a worthy sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic and I’m again left to wonder why I didn’t pick up this series sooner! I do think it was a little slow in the beginning, though. That could just be me, and it probably is but I just wanted to mention it.
I already discussed the characters in my review of ADSOM, so I won’t be going over everything again. All these characters from the first book have grown on me so, so much. I absolutely love Kell and Lila, and I’m sooooo happy we got to see more of Rhy! Then there’s also the plot twist-y return of one of my favourite characters! I won’t mention him/her by name but OH MY! I was so excited! And then there’s Alucard. I had no clue what his deal was and I was sort of waiting for anther big plot twist and then I got it but… moly moly I was not expecting that! Not only does Victoria write incredible characters, she creates fascinating relationships as well. I’m still amazed by the connections of some characters. I’m going to leave it at that so I won’t spoil, but it’s truly wonderful.
I think A Gathering of Shadows is even more magical than ADSOM. Part of this has to do with world building. There’s so much attention to detail and it’s captivating to read about this world. It sometimes felt like I was actually in it, and that I could see it in right in front of me. Obviously, there’s also a spectaculair magic competition… And can we talk about these foreign languages?! I mean, one was cool, but three?! It all just adds to the magic and the world(s) and I think it’s incredible how Victoria included so much detail.
I have to admit some parts felt really predictable, but looking back, they completely aren’t? Like, right now it feels more as if I had a theory and that wasn’t true than something that was actually predictable. Also, a certain element was really similar to something I’d read before. Except it was a billion times more epic, so that’s sort of a good thing? Ha, move over, Sarah J. Maas! Just kidding, I love Sarah but VICTORIA IS QUEEEEEN.
A Gathering of Shadows is an incredible, magical book with plot twists all around. The characters and their relationships are some of my favourite parts of the book. It’s a very worthy sequel to ADSOM that cliffhanger was torturously epic!
About A Gathering of Shadows
Please be aware of SPOILERS for A Darker Shade of Magic in the 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.
Have you read the Shades of Magic series yet? If no: are you planning to read it? If yes: What’s your favourite thing about this series? Let’s discuss in the comments!
* This post contains affiliate links. More info in my Affiliate Disclaimer.