A Gathering of Shadows | book review

A Gathering of Shadows

Author: V.E. Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic, #2
Format: eBook
Page Count: 513
Publisher: Tor Books
Original Publication Date: 2016
Genre(s): New adult, Fantasy

It’s been four months since the events of the previous book, since Kell and Lila parted ways—Lila stealing aboard a ship and setting sail, Kell stuck in Red London underneath the King and Queen’s thumb like always. But now Red London is preparing for the Essen Tasch, an international competition of magic that will bring large crowds to the kingdom, including Lila Bard. But while Kell and Lila dance in and out of each other’s presence, another London is rising…


A Gathering of Shadows is not what I expected at all. The second installment in the Shades of Magic trilogy, I was assuming it would consist entirely of Black London’s return, or White London’s revival, or maybe both? Instead, the majority of the book focuses on the Elemental Games occurring in Red London, as well as a lot of flashbacks to Lila Bard’s four months at sea.

Lila’s story is pretty interesting. We get to see her coming into her magic, and also thriving as the ruthless thief for her crew. I’d say Kell’s side of things is just as interesting, with him and Rhy still adjusting to their shared bond but also his strange dreams and constant discomfort. And then there’s the Essen Tasch! Everybody loves a good tournament, and these Elemental Games are no different. It was really fun to have this event as the focal point of the story. Very nonchalant compared to the evil and danger lurking in the other worlds, though I guess that’s kind of how it’s always been: Red London thriving and ignoring the other Londons.

Though the only action in this book was confined mostly to the tournament, it was still a good story to read. I really enjoyed the book. I would say it’s a typical sequel—definitely not as good as the first book, but acts as a necessary bridge to the last one. That cliffhanger ending! I need book 3 ASAP! And there better be a hell of a lot more Lila + Kell action or so help me…

My Rating

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