Book Review, Fantasy, Young Adult

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab

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.

I picked this book up right after I finished A Darker Shade of Magic. Everything was fresh in my mind. This book did not disappoint. It continued the excitement after the first book left. The readers were introduced to new characters and exciting events.

The characters Kell, Lila, and Ryh continued to grow as the book went on. Issues and previous flaws from the previous book continued its impact in this book. Ryh ended up having a bigger role along with the royal family, with responsibilities of being the heir and soul bound to Kell, which is taking a toll on everyone. Ryh’s previous love life comes into play, which digs deeper in his character. Kell is dealing with events that happened in the first book was nice to see knowing the time between books was not long.

 I enjoy seeing all this with trilogies or tightly written series. It makes me as a reader feel like it is an actual continuation and not okay forget all of that and let us go in this direction which I have read trilogies and series like that before.

In A Darker Shade of Magic, Kell was the focal point. I am glad Lila was the main focal point in this one as she was instantly my favorite. It was interesting to learn with her toll on using magic and seeing her grow as a magician and a character.  

What was exciting was The Essen Tasch. I wish to read more on this, but it was exciting to read an Olympic like games in this world. Because of this, readers learn the exciting other kingdoms in this world. And learn more of how the magic is like a second nature. We learn most of the rules and landscapes of the arena through Lila’s eyes, and I enjoyed that. They treat these competitors like star athletes in our world. It was an interesting concept on how things worked, and it did not feel at all off from what we know about how magic works in this world. Lila gives off a whole alternative way of fighting in the arena which again, made it interesting. 

We get new characters. They are a great add to this story and helps the character (s) they interact with involve and grow. They felt well rounded for their roll, and I hope; we see them in the last book.

I recommend this book to anyone who liked the A Darker Shade of Magic, loves fantasy, and anything magic. It was a fun change from the first novel with the darkness still lurking its ugly head. 

I give this book a 5/5

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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