A grand magical tournament, a street-rat-turned-pirate-turned-magician, and a bisexual prince. This is my idea of an adult fantasy book!
Title: A Gathering Of Shadows (Shades Of Magic #2) Author: V. E. Schwab Publisher: Tor Books Publish Date: Feb 23, 2016 Goodreads: 4.4/5 Barnes and Noble: 4.8/5
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.
Delilah Bard just went from “so” to “woah”! Well, she was already awesome in A Darker Shade of Magic (ADSOM) even without powers. In this book, she struggles to learn magic with or without a proper teacher. This is my type of female lead – strong, intuitive and cannot be held back.
Kell is back in the palace with the Maresh Family. In the first book he felt like he was a possession, now he feels more like a prisoner. The King doesn’t let Kell out of his sight, minding the bond between Kell and Rhy.
Rhy is forever an amusing guy. Despite his fun-loving and careless nature, we see more of his soft side as well as he defies rules to help Kell become more comfortable of their situation.
Alucard. Shit. Alucard, you guys! He is fvcking awesome! Schwab can’t have added a better character to add spice to our loveable trio from the first book.
Style and Pacing:
If you have read other Victoria Schwab books, then there is nothing really different with her style of writing. It is still immersive and descriptive as ever.
The pacing was great! The events leading up to the Essen Tasch, the training, the plotting, everything was sequenced well, even the flashbacks in between battles.
Schwab doesn’t disappoint in this category. The world-building is just superb. Hands down.
Ok. Brace yourself for spoilery stuff.
What the hell was that with Alucard and Rhy?! Schwab can be such a tease. I just couldn’t stop jumping around the room when I got to that part. I didn’t expect that at all. Alucard kissed Lila in the early part of the book and there I was lead to believe he liked women, or at least he liked Lila. Then BOOM! He’s bisexual too. Rhy and Alucard are just too hot to handle.
Finally, Schwab also gave us a bit of romance between Kell and Lila. They both admitted that they had missed each other. But Schwab made it so organic that she didn’t just let Lila run to the palace and hug Kell and say she was back, instead she did it in a very Lila-ish way. Kell didn’t realize it was Lila until they met face to face in the arena.
Lila and Alucard together was just hilarious! Add Rhy and Kell to the scene and poof! What a comedy! I was laughing my ass off in the ballroom scene when the four of them got together. Kell stormed off and Lila followed him and guuuuush. So much butterflies in that scene. *insert girly scream and giggles*
Let’s not forget about Holland. Let’s not throw shade at him. (#punintended). He only wants to save his land and people, not exactly a very selfish reason. However, to save his London, he must give up another one.
A really great read. I’m so excited for the last book, A Conjuring of Light! Write more books VE Schwab! @_@
“The thing about freedom, Kell? It doesn’t come naturally. Almost no one has it handed to them. I’m free because I fought for it.”
“We all believe the same thing really, we simply give it different names. Hardly a crime.”
“Politics is a dance until the moment it becomes a war. And we control the music.”
“Perhaps power had to be tended, like Tieren said, but not all things grew in gardens.”
“She bent most of the rules. She broke the rest.”
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CHEERS TO HAPPY READING!