Book Review

A GATHERING OF SHADOWS by V.E. Schwab

Rating: 4.5 / 5

After rereading A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC by V.E. Schwab last month to kick off a buddy read of the whole Shades of Magic series with one of my booksta besties, I was so excited to continue on with the series. I went into A GATHERING OF SHADOWS with high expectations and thankfully it did not disappoint!

A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC is once again set in a world of parallel universes. Our characters are spending their time primarily in the magic filled world of Red London, but there are variations in the different universes. White London is still caught in political upheaval, Grey London is a dull with little to no magic and Black London is still thought dead and gone.

This second installment in the series picks up a few months after the conclusion of book one. Our main characters Kell and Lila have gone in different directions, though there is overlap in their stories as we shift POV back and forth between them. Both are drawn to the Element Games, a big magical competition in Red London featuring the best of the magicians.

As I said, this installment in the series did not disappoint. I loved that this book leaned into the magical systems even more. It explores the benefits and the costs of that magic, especially as Lila explores the subject, being new to the world just like the readers. The big magical competition provides flash and pageantry which provides a distraction from some of the darkness in the background. Schwab does a good job of balancing in the emergence of new or returning foes, political intrigue with Kell’s adoptive family and a lot of relationships. This book threw in some twists that I wasn’t expecting too which is always a good thing!

I am really excited to get going on the third Shades of Magic book, A CONJURING OF LIGHT to see how this trilogy wraps up!

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