A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab 4.5/5
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.
Book two surpassed book one and left me wanting more. Once again, Schwab’s world building and character development is spot on. Building on the foundations laid in book one, this book took us deeper into the life of the Antari, the royals, and the magic.
The relationships in this book are subtle yet solid, heartfelt yet not fluffy. The anticipation of Kell and Lila meeting again was almost too much for me. I was pretty happy with the outcome. *No spoilers*.
The Essen Tasch was brilliantly flamboyant. It made me think of the Triwizard Tournament and the Quidditch World Cup rolled into one. The performance, the fights, and the parties are effortlessly written and incredibly visual.
My only niggle was the slow pace at the beginning. I had the same issue with book one. However, when it picked up, it took off like a rocket and I didn’t want to put the book down.
The opinions expressed here are those of K.J.Chapman and no other parties
All books reviewed on this blog have been read by K.J.Chapman
K.J.Chapman has not been paid for this review