A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab 💫 Spoiler Free Review

Title: A Gathering of Shadows
Series: Shades of Magic
Author: V.E. Schwab
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publication Date: February 23rd, 2016
Pages: 512
Publishers: Tor Books

Goodreads 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.

So I may as well get my negative out of the road first and then we can look at the positives. The pacing & not being as action packed as expected was my 2 negatives. This book was fairly slow reading which was impacted by not only the pacing but with the minimal actual fast paced action.

Now as for the things I liked, firstly the word & the world development! The Shades of Magic world is very vivid & fleshed out. V.E. Schwab has a way of describing worlds that just come alive on the page and it’s one of my favourite things about her writing!

Then there was the POV. In this book we follow many POVs which is more than book 1 I believe. It’s been a long time since I read book 1 but I think it was only from 2 POV, I could be wrong though. Anyways, the multi POV in this one was done very well. The characters that we had many chapters from had a distinctive voice to the writing. They felt individual and the characters personality came through. I also just enjoyed that we had so many points of view. It added an interesting twist to the story line that we wouldn’t of gotten with just 1 or 2 POVs.

Next I really enjoyed the plot of this one! I hadn’t read a synopsis going in and I just loved this game/challenge aspect that was introduced. It was very different from book 1 but also had that underlying plot which has continued from book 1 which I enjoyed. Even though it didn’t fell super action packed the story itself was intriguing and I’m super keen to find out where this is all going!

Lastly we have the characters! Much like the world all the characters are very fleshed out and well developed. This was helped with having the multi POV as you get to learn about the characters from their own view point as well as the views of others. My favourite character is definitely Lila. She is just super interesting and stubborn and kinda badass and I love her! I do also of course love Kell but Lila is my fave.

So overall I really enjoyed this one and I’m keen to get to book 3, which I hoping will be a bit more action packed! Now I just need to read it soon rather than waiting a couple years like I did between books 1 & 2!

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