Book Reviews, Books and Me, Uncategorized

Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E.Schwab

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A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab 4.5/5

6tag_070917-204220It 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.

Review:

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

Book Reviews, Books and Me

Review: A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E.Schwab

book-review1

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E.Schwab 4/5

14138357_1255426807842067_1603806093_nKell is one of the last Antari, a rare magician who can travel between parallel worlds: hopping from Grey London — dirty, boring, lacking magic, and ruled by mad King George — to Red London — where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire — to White London — ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne, where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back — and back, but never Black London, because traveling to Black London is forbidden and no one speaks of it now.

Officially, Kell is the personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see, and it is this dangerous hobby that sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to take her with him for her proper adventure.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save both his London and the others, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive — a feat trickier than they hoped.

Review:

Kell is a parallel world postman of sorts. Using Antari magic, he can slip between the four London’s to deliver correspondance between the rulers of each. Kell has a fascination with trinkets from the different Londons, and smuggles different things in and out for willing buyers in exchange for trinkets and objects of interest to him. That is where the problems begin. Kell is set up, and is left holding something valuable that must not fall into the wrong hands. He happens across Lila, a wannabe pirate and thief, and the pair set off on an mission to return the item to the London it belongs in… Black London. However, there are some who do not want that to happen.

First off, Schwab’s descriptions are awesome. It made it easier for me, as a reader, to differentiate between the four Londons and the characters that reside within each. The concept was great, although it took me a while to get into the book with a slow paced start. However, the action picked up, and I was submerged into Kell’s world, or should I say, worlds.

Kell and Lila’s relationship was believable and developed organically over the course of the narrative. However, I couldn’t help but think of Kelsier and Vin from the Mistborn series. The name ‘Kell’ didn’t help either in that respect. Of course, there are differences, but there was a street urchin taken under the wing of someone more experienced vibe that I couldn’t shift.

The ending was fantastic (no spoilers), and I cannot wait to read book two. If, like me, you like fantasy, magic, well developed characters, and a unique storyline, then this book is for you.


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

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