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A Gathering of Shadows: A Novel (Shades of Magic, 2) Paperback – January 17, 2017
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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
- Publisher : Tor Books; Reprint edition (January 17, 2017)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 512 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0765376482
- ISBN-13 : 978-0765376480
- Item Weight : 15.2 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.62 x 1.33 x 8.24 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #18,093 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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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
I enjoyed this book a lot. But for all of my enjoyment, I did feel the "middle book" feelings. As much fun as this book was, there was not a lot actually happening to further the story and get to the endgame of the trilogy. The ending is a cliffhanger and finally gets to the real story. But I did so love the Essen Tasch! What fun and excitement that was!! Lila and her seafaring were fun. Kell's brooding was not so fun. Alucard was hilarious. There were so many side characters that were just FUN. Jinnar! Tieran! Even Lila's shipmates. The fight scenes during the tournament were just awesome. As filler-y as this book felt, it was still quite enjoyable to read. Especially where the alternate story was extremely dark and fear-worthy! Now I will go back to read A Darker Shade of Magic before reading A Conjuring of Light. Because maybe now I don't want this trilogy to end so soon!
Amazing book, if you love her work, or loved the series this is the perfect addition to your library. I just majorly warn off getting without seeing in person as my copy came damaged. For a collector this is a problem, and one that shouldn't have happened. Again AMAZING book, plot is perfect continuation of the world, but just buyer beware.
Top reviews from other countries
Following on from the first in the series, most of the action is again centred on Red London, with the majority of the narrative leading to the aforementioned tournament of magic. Here, Schwab skilfully builds the tension, while introducing a myriad of new characters, the most remarkable of them undoubtedly Alucard Emery, who is weaved into the heart of the story over the course of this book.
There is a long enough lead up to the tournament, though, and it gives ample time to explore further the character of Lila Bard, who continues to kick ass as it if it were her right in whatever world she finds herself in. She maintains her role as the most interesting character in this world.
The dynamics between Lila and Kell, and between Lila and Emery, in this book are great all round and in stark contrast to each other. Empathy abounds for Kell as he comes closer to becoming a real tragic figure, as he struggles to find his place.
The story itself is a well-contained one within this book, with lots of possible outcomes from the tournament. There’s also plenty left over for the next instalment, as the relative absence of the other Londons will almost certainly change.
A Gathering of Shadows confirms VE Schwab’s talent for world-building and characterisation. Her descriptions of people in particular are brilliant and evocative.
This is one of those strange times as a reviewer when you absolutely loved a book but can’t think of anything to say that will convey just how amazing said book is. I don’t know why I thought it wouldn’t be possible but A Gathering of Shadows is even better than I thought it was going to be. I think this is because at this stage we know enough about the world that there is a lot more action, plus there is a lot more at stake in this book.
It was great getting to catch up with Kell again, he’s a lot edgier in this book and you can feel the weight of everything that he feels burdened with. I love that he is at a kind of impasse in his position, he has a lot of power but after the events of the first book, he isn’t trusted and is starting to feel the confines of restrictions. I will admit to spending most of the book hoping and praying that Lila and Kell would come back into each others orbit, the wonderful tension of that alone could have kept me turning the pages but there was so much more to keep my interest.
The Element Games were amazing, it gave us the chance to learn more about the different cultures and gave Rhys a little bit more of the spotlight. Which is fantastic because I definitely wanted more of him and I was glad that he was his witty and charming self, but that there was a vulnerable side to him as well. The relationship between the two brothers was great, I loved that Kell was so protective of Rhys but that they could still wind each other up.
I was so happy that Lila got to have an adventure and that she was still a strong and feisty female who took every opportunity and wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty to get what she wants. But I will admit that I was extra happy to get to any chapters that were based on the ship with Lila because of the elusive and captivating Alucard Emery, what a character. I could read about him all day and the chemistry he had with numerous characters just had me itching to know more.
I really want to gush and gush about things that happen in this story but I really don’t want to spoil anything, but I can already tell that the next book is going to be an emotional rollercoaster and I can’t wait but I’m also kind of terrified to get into it.
Lila is basically on a quest to find out just who she is but now 4 months after she left, London is calling....and of course, she gets herself into more trouble!
I can't tell you how much I love Kell and I also can't even tell you how much I wanted Lila with Kell. It ate at me...actually ate at me, the angsty feeling I had, tight stomach, wishing the story along!
Another contender for my heart is Alucard.....I loved him!!!
I love Lila. She is brave, full of life and head strong. The latter made me want to strangle her sometimes!
I couldn't help thinking about Holland, what was he thinking?
This book draws us further into the world the author created and I just love everything about it!
And oh my lord, that ending! I need the last book asap!!!!