Schwab did it again. She looped me in with just a few words in her previous novel A Darker Shade of Magic, and she has managed to do it again with her latest sequel A Gathering of Shadows. V.E. Schwab does fantasy extremely well, and has a real talent for the genre. Although I’m not sure if people would classify her book as YA or Adult (based on the content and slight language I would say Adult), this story is one that can be enjoyed with various ages. Now that I have finished reading A Gathering of Shadows, I only want more of Schwab’s magic touch and can’t wait to read the next novel in the series. This novel is on the brink of something great, and it may be the next big fantasy monomania.
Something in the air and water change from the last time we read about Lila Bard and Kell’s adventure. They are both in Red London, however they have parted ways; Kell staying close to the throne and to Rhy whose life is bound to his, and Lila wandering the seas and finding trouble per usual. New friends and enemies are made, a past is awoken, pirates set sail, and a tournament brings everything and everyone together; all the while ripping everything apart. I don’t want to give much away, as it is becomes easy to do as I soon I start discussing it. If you were a fan of A Darker Shade of Magic then no doubt you will enjoy A Gathering of Shadows. The characters are back and better than ever, drawing you in with every fight, kiss, scream, and spell.
What I like about A Gathering of Shadows, is that Schwab focuses on the magic and action in the story, and makes any romantic notions very small and minimal. It’s almost an undercurrent in the book. So many times in fantasy novels, the love interest completely dominate the story and snuff out the plot. Schwab does something different for her audience. She creates a ploy heavy novel and draws the reader in by how fast paced the actions is. The characters are deep and complex, and they all have a history to them. My favorite is Kell, as he seems to be most complicated and mysterious of them all. However this novel was extremely Lila focused as she drove most of the story. I liked the perspective of Lila, and although at times her predicable unpredictable ways are a little irksome, she really shines as a standalone character. Schwab spends time on the characters, and you can experience the fruits of her labor when you read her work. There is a major cliffhanger that will probably upset you, or if you’re like me, biting your nails to sheer nubs. I don’t have any complaints about this novel, and it received five stars on Goodreads from me. This is definitely a series worth getting in to.
Did any of you read A Gathering of Shadows? Let me know your thoughts!