Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.
THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…
The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.
WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?
WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.
WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.
The Shades of Magic series is a wonderful fantasy and I am sad to see it end! I started reading it the day it came out and I was so happy to be back in the world with Kell, Lila, Rhy and Alucard. Especially with that cliffhanger, I just HAD to know what happened to Kell and Rhy! I am overall satisfied with the conclusion of this trilogy, although its always a little bittersweet. I never know if I want it to be more tragic, or more happy? I’m sad its over, but after sitting on it for a few days, I am very satisfied with the way things ended.
The book opens immediately where A Gathering of Shadows ended, with Lila making the decision to cross into White London to save Kell (and Rhy). The story continues with nonstop action until the last page. When they are fighting Osaron in Red London I remember thinking, “how are we going to read an entire book about this”?? But V.E. Schwab is a magnificent storyteller and I was swept away once again by the magic, fighting and characters.
I felt a range of emotions while reading this, which is when I know it was a good story! I expected a lot of action since this book essentially culminated to the final battle with Osaron, but the character development was what really made this book special. I have been waiting this entire series for some swoon-worthy scenes between my ships (Kell + Lila, Rhy+ Alucard) and all I can say is..YES YES YES! It was wonderful. My heart is so happy. You will just have to read it an experience it for yourselves. My only gripe is that I got a little tired of Lila always wanting to run away, she was so stubborn! I know it is an important part of her character, but sometimes I did want her to stop running.
While ACOL had some of my favorite moments from the entire series, it was also by far the most bloody and tragic. I appreciate that V.E. Schwab doesn’t shy away from doing what needs to be done in a world overrun by an evil character like Osaron! Another thing that is unique about this last installment is that we see a variety of POVs throughout the story. I understand why it had to be written this way as there were many moving parts to this story, but it did drag a bit for me in parts. Sometimes the chapters would end and switch so abruptly that I found myself getting a bit annoyed! This is a small complaint and overall the book was very, very good.
In ACOL, we finally see more of the mysterious Holland. I didn’t know I had room in my heart for any more favorite characters but oh my goodness did I love Holland! We see some flashbacks from Holland’s past and we learn why he is they way he is. We also see him, Kell and Lila work with each other when there is still a lot of animosity between them- and honestly, it was pretty funny at times. The interactions between all of the characters was spot on. Kell and Alucard hate each other as much as ever, but their arguments are hilarious and oddly charming. Kell and Rhy are as adorable as ever, they love each other so much and have a kind of trust that is rare to see in relationships. I loved those two! And finally, I adore Alucard and Lila’s relationship. They have each other’s backs in every situation and have some adorable, tender moments.
ACOL was a fantastic conclusion and I am sad to say goodbye to this magical world. I highly recommend this series to all who are interested, it is absolutely worth it. The conclusion is fast-paced, magical and ultimately satisfying. What makes this series truly special though, is the characters and the relationships between them.