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


It has been four mon20764879ths 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


The first book was good, but guys, this book was GREAT. A Darker Shade of Magic set the stage, introduced the characters, but AGOS truly stepped it up. It wasn’t exactly full of gripping action, but it was more of a slow buildup to an incredible climax. I NEED the next book. The writing and storytelling was absolutely wonderful and I can’t wait to jump back into Kell and Lila’s parallel worlds.

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 endingIt 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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