A Gathering of Shadows by V.E.Schwab
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.
-Spoiler free review-
I was so pleased to jump back into Kell and Lila’s world (or worlds) after reading A Darker Shade of Magic. And as you can tell from that thrilling synopsis, this was one hell of a ride.
It was interesting to open up the book and see that there were some additional POVs! As well as Lila and Kell, we hear from Prince Rhy and 2 other characters I won’t mention (spoilers! You’ll have to read it to find out (mwuhaha)). It’s executed superbly, never too choppy between POV switches, and it ended up creating a really good pace.
The template of the element games (basically a magic version of boxing/Olympics?) helped create a good, reliable structure for V.E.Schwab to build on. And my god does she build! Admittedly it was slow at points, but when you’ve got worlds as extensive as the Londons, that is inevitable. The storyline is way too addictive (is that even a bad thing?), though I think I spewed enough on Schwab’s writing in my A Darker Shade of Magic review. In short: I love it!
The only ‘bad’ thing I can think of is the over-use of the ‘cliffhanger-now-switch-POVs’ tactic. Sometimes it works really well and forces you to keep reading late into the night, but when used too often, such as in A Gathering of Shadows, it becomes infuriating. I’m so invested in the characters, I can’t bear to read a different persons chapter when one of them is potentially dying!
I honestly cannot recommend this series enough. I (somehow) managed to convince my brother to read A Darker Shade of Magic, and he’s hooked.
And he hates reading.
A little update for this blog: so it says in my ‘about’ page, but this blog is only really going to be used for reviews, booktalks, and other more ‘professional’ things. Please check out my tumblr for my more personal blog (but I’ll still talk about books!) if you want to! I also post photography there, but if you don’t have tumblr I also have an Instagram you can follow.
I’ve been posting more reviews recently, which is great, and I’ll definitely keep doing that. As I go back to school soon it is likely I might have a slightly bigger gap between posts but no worries! Thanks ever so much for reading!
(oh and p.s. I have a little giveaway going on on my tumblr! It’s A Court of Thorns and Roses themed, and the prizes are super cool!)