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

A Gathering of Shadows FinalTitle: A Gathering of Shadows  (Shades of Magic #2)

Author:  V.E Schwab

Rating:  ★★★★★

Synopsis: Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London. In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like 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.

But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again—meaning that another London must fall.

Huge thank you to Raincoast for this ARC!

Sam’s Review:

I devoured A Darker Shade of Magic when it released last year. I got completely sucked into the worlds that Schwab had crafted, and adored the cast of characters she created. Victoria Schwab has a knack for great characters, interesting world-building, and her books offer so much tension and intrigue that it’s hard not to love them. A Gathering of Shadows is no different.

Obviously, this book is a sequel and definitely requires that you have read A Darker Shade of Magic. This book occurs four months after the main events of ADSOM, and basically the book takes off from there. Kell and Rhy are in new positions, Lila’s taken up a life on the sea, and then there’s a magic tournament and a whole lot of other shenanigans. A lot of the new characters that are introduced in this novel are fantastic as well, and I quite enjoyed reading their stories. I’m interested to see where Schwab will take them in the next book since some of their narratives felt a unfinished.

I feel like reviewing a sequel is difficult, because at the end of the day, you don’t want to give away any spoilers for those who have yet to read the first book. I think if you love character driven stories full of wonder and enchantment, then A Darker Shade of Magic is sure to delight. A Gathering of Shadows is a worthy sequel that offers fantastic development of Schwab’s world and her characters. The ending left me quite surprised, and I can only hope that the sequel answers more questions that have presented themselves in this novel.

Basically what I am saying is: I need the next book now.

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