Author: V.E. Schwab
Rating: 4 stars
“They danced in silence for several long moments, spinning together and apart, a slower version of their cadence in the ring. And then, out of nowhere, Lila asked, “Why?”
“Why did you ask me to dance?”
He almost smiled. A ghost. A trick of the light. “So you couldn’t run away again before I said hello.”
“Hello,” said Lila.
“Hello,” said Kell. “Where have you been?”
Spoilers ahead for those who haven’t read the first book.
The second story in the Shades of Magic trilogy picks up four months after Kell and Lila went their separate ways. Kell is haunted by nightmares as is his brother. Both are now linked and in a certain way life between the two became more difficult. They share an even deeper bond than before and the question is if they can survive each others thoughts, desires and torments. Lila finally found her ship and maybe a crew she can grow attached too? The stone with dark magic from Black London is gone, along with Hollands body. When the Element Games approach – an international contest of magic – new power is on the horizon. Another London is slowly restoring itself, but at what cost? And who is restoring it?
“The world is neither fair nor right, but it has a way of balancing itself.”
A Gathering of Shadows has the same amount of beautiful magic and its interesting world. The story has a more personal touch when it comes to Kell, Lila and Rhy. We learn more about their desires, thoughts, wishes and then their demons. Especially the demons that were created in the aftermath of the first book.
The way Schwab creates this world is astonishing. If I compare this series to all the other fantasy books I’ve read, Schwab created one of the most easiest worlds to imagine. It makes it even greater if you think of all the secrets and details it holds. Her evocative storytelling is what makes this book perfect.
Now, you may wonder why I’ve given it 4 stars, while I gave the first book 5 stars. The first book holds a more compelling story to me than the second one. The second book is absolutely not bad, because I loved it but it felt right to give it 4 stars and not 5 stars. It’s not that I missed something, it’s more a feeling that I can’t put into words when I rated this book.
Let’s talk about the ending! Not the biggest surprise maybe, but… OH MY GOD I am so excited to read the third book! I can’t wait to see what happens with Kell, Lila, Rhy and the new addition Alucard Emery. Schwab made me so fund of all those characters that I really grew attached to them.