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A Gathering of Shadows: A Novel (Shades of Magic) Hardcover – February 23, 2016
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"A Darker Shade of Magic has all the hallmarks of a classic work of fantasy. Schwab has given us a gem of a tale...This is a book to treasure."―Deborah Harkeness, New York Times bestselling author of the All Souls trilogy
"Rich details illuminate every dimension of an extravagant city flooded with magic, and intriguing personalities evolve into complex characters...between [the characters those] the vivid setting, and the climactic cliffhanger, Schwab already has us anticipating the rest of the series." ―Entertainment Weekly, Grade A, on A Gathering of Shadows
"Compulsively readable…her characters make the book. Just as Kell has layers, Lila is a satisfyingly rich invention…the stakes feel higher because Schwab takes the time to make a world worth getting lost in. Darker Shade Of Magicresolves its plot thoroughly, but still feels like it could be the seed of a lengthy series. With so many worlds on the map, there's plenty left to discover." ―NPR on A Darker Shade of Magic
"Schwab is a fantastic writer, and this book moves along quickly: it’s an easy world to immerse oneself in, and the four Londons that we get to visit are a treat to behold: they’re vibrant, interesting and detailed. The worldbuilding here is spectacular, and it’s worth picking up the book for this alone. (Well, and the fantastic cover.)The series is set to be adapted into a television series, and both books will be perfect for that." ―io9 on A Gathering of Shadows
"This is how fantasy should be done.” ―Publishers Weekly, starred review, on A Gathering of Shadows
"Full of magic, intrigue, adventure, deception, a bit of piracy...this will engage both adult and young adult fantasy readers alike.” ―Booklist on A Gathering of Shadows
About the Author
V. E. SCHWAB's first adult novel, Vicious, debuted to critical praise and reader accolades. Schwab is the author of YA novels, including the acclaimed The Near Witch, along with writing Middle Grade for Scholastic. The Independent calls Schwab "the natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones" and someone who has "an enviable, almost Gaiman-esque ability to switch between styles, genres, and tones."
Top customer reviews
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And it makes me incredibly glad I waited for the whole of the trilogy to be released before I started the series. The only thing I have to wait for is eight hours of sleep. And it'll be torture.
It's sort of odd how much this trilogy feels like one story. Even discounting the cliffhanger, all that was accomplished in this novel was the competition and bringing all the characters together (not that she they stayed that way). And I've always looked at the second book in the series as the one that brings the characters back together, as something usually breaks 'em apart, but here it just feels so rounded and whole. I don't know how to explain what I'm thinking.
These books are not at all like I expected. And it's a very good thing.
There's London (I guess I expected that) and princes and pirates and thieves and cleverness and banter and stubbornly ruthless decisions and amazing world-building and a magical black market. And maybe my favorite magic item ever, Kell's coat.
The writing is so good and so descriptive that I almost threw up when Lila was having a claustrophobic moment.
I loved the competition, even though it wasn't really unique, and I loved Lila's magic lessons (if you know anything about me you know these are two of my favorite things) but all I wanted while reading was to have Lila and Alucard and Rhys and Kell in one room for longer than ten seconds.
My main problem with the story isn't really a problem but my own impatience and that's how we were made to wait over 50% of the book before Kell and Lila crossed paths, and no matter how amazing Alucard is I bought the book to see the two of them together.
Yeah, I'm totally reading this series purely for the characters.
They're just so real and smart and funny and different and I want them all to be happy.
I love how Lila has kept her roots and how she can't not think like she's living alone on the streets. I love how Kell hasn't lost his demeanor and how he cares for others. And I love Rhys' humor, of course, but also the way he cares about everyone else's happiness over his own life. And I love Alucard and the way he deals with Lila and, well, everything else about him too.
Don't disappoint me, A Conjuring of Light, or words will be had.
The book opens with Lila joining a crew of her own aboard the Night Spire, let by captain Alucard Emery– an excellent addition to the series and one of my new favorite characters. Lila works with Alucard to develop her magical ability, but there is still the question of what Lila is. How powerful is she, really?
Back in London, Kell and Rhy are as close as ever after Kell bound his life to Rhy. They are actually a little too close for comfort- they feel each other’s emotions, pain, and nightmares. Rhy had some of his own chapters in this book and he really grew on me. He is more complex than I gave him credit for!
Much of the book focuses on the the Essen Tach, a competition between magicians. It is through this competition that Kell and Lila finally reunite and I couldn’t have been happier. Honestly, one of my only complaints is that they spend so much time apart. Obviously it worked well with the plot but they spent so much time thinking about each other that I couldn’t wait for them to cross paths. The Essen Tach was an exiting story in itself, but we get hints of something even bigger brewing in the short chapters from White London. However, the Essen Tach was an great addition to the story line- it really highlighted the different kingdoms in this world, and the different types of magicians in it. Plus, how could you not get excited about seeing some of our favorite characters battle it out in the arena?
Aside from the well-thought out story line, I was pleased from the incredible character development from Kell, Lila and Rhy. Lila is as bold as ever, Kell as rash, and Rhy as flirtatious but they all have such complex personalities that I thoroughly enjoying delving into each one of them.
And finally, that ending. It was so explosive and brilliant. I can’t wait to read the next book. I still have so many questions about Kell, Lila, Rhy and Alucard. About the fate of White, Gray, Red and Black London. I’m hoping these are answered in the next book
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