Thursday, July 7, 2016

[Review] A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic #2
Version: HC
Rating: 5 stars

Release Date: February 23rd 2016

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.

I missed the beautiful storytelling, the eclectic and well-thought out characters, and the setting of Red London! Victoria Schwab has done it again! 

It has been four months since the incident in White London, in which Kell and Lila defeated the Dane twins and sent Holland into Black London. Lila has been away on the seafaring vessel the Night Spire, run by the mysterious Alucard. Kell has been watched even more closely by the King and Queen after his actions, causing him to feel even more trapped. With the upcoming Essen Tasch, or the Element Games, it gives both Lila and Kell a chance to let loose the magic they've been itching to use. But although everything appears to be going perfectly normal, trouble is brewing in diffent Londons, in places no one expected. 

It's so hard to put this book down. From beginning to end I was enticed because Victoria Schwab knows how to create compelling characters. They weren't paper or two-dimensional to me - I could picture them and their motivations clear as day. Lila was feisty as always; Rhy, I just wanted to give the poor prince a hug; Kell, I pitied him and he needs a hug too; Alucard had my heart. And I'm cosplaying Lila at NYCC (which makes me excited!!)

The action! Action galore. I loved reading about the development of our characters from book one. Especially Lila, taking Red London by storm and going wherever trouble is to be found. 

The Essen Tasch games - I liked how we got a good introduction to the key players, and the fight scenes were descriptive and fast-paced.

When Kell and Lila finally (officially) meet again, and shit goes down - that scene killed me. One of the few books where I love the romance and the slow build. And I ship practically everyone. Kell and Lila. Alucard and Rhy. Shipping everywhere. 

Now that I've caught up, however, I am left wanting more. Dammit Holland! Why can't you work together with Kell? AND THAT CLIFFHANGER HAD ME NEEDING A CONJURING OF LIGHT. I can't with this series. It's too good. 

Stas reskon. "Chasing danger." 

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