Title: A Gathering of Shadows
Author: V.E. Schwab
Genre: Adult/Young adult fantasy
Holy batman, cliffhangers! Argh, waiting till next year to see what happens next in the story will be agonizing!
A Gathering of Shadows picks up only a few months after A Darker Shade of Magic left off. If you haven’t read the first book, you might want to stop reading this review!
“Oh yes, your relationship with Miss Bard is positively ordinary.”
“Crossing worlds, killing royals, saving cities. The marks of every good courtship.”
Did you see my note about spoiler alerts for the first book? I will say it one more time. Do not read any further if you don’t want the first book spoiled!
Okay, for those still with me, let’s continue onwards. So, it has been four months since an evil, vicious black stone came into Kell’s possession, and he and Delilah had to run here, there and everywhere trying to get rid of it. Four months since Rhy was gravely wounded, and Kell created a life-binding spell that does what it says, linking Rhy’s life to Kell’s. Four months since Holland was pushed into Black London, and the Danes fell. Four months since Delilah Bard exceeded all odds and crossed out of Grey London and into Red.
A lot can happen in four months.
Rhy is haunted by nightmares and guilt, and we see a side of him in this novel that didn’t come through in the first one. I am a full-fledged Rhy fan now, and I am so happy Victoria Schwab brought more depth to his character. Kell is restless and angsty, and feels as if he is being treated even more like a prisoner, after losing the trust of the king and queen. Delilah is out enjoying life on a privateer ship with the mysterious Alucard Emery. I love Alucard!! When a major new character is introduced in the middle of a trilogy, it can sometimes go horribly wrong. Not with Alucard. He is fascinating, and I can’t wait to get his full backstory.
In the midst of all this angst, is the Essen Tasch games, and Red London is filled with celebrations and preparations for the magical Games. But all is not as it was in the other Londons, and beautiful Red London is about to have its bubble burst.
“Everyone thinks I have a death wish, you know? But I don’t want to die – dying is easy. No, I want to live, but getting close to death is the only way to feel alive. And once you do, it makes you realize that everything you were actually doing before wasn’t actually living. It was just making do. Call me crazy, but I think we do the best living when the stakes are high.”
Although slow to start, it was such an interesting story, and I can’t wait for the third book in the series to be released! Delilah Bard is one of my favorite characters right now. She is wicked smart, quick on her feet, witty, and wild. She also yearns for power ,and her internal battle with herself is breathtaking to read. Almost everything she does is unexpected. And [small spoiler here]…the thing, Osaron, that comes out of Black London, it scares the bejesus out of me!