Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic, #2) – V.E. Schwab (Pseudonym), Victoria Schwab

Rating: 5/5 Stars

Genre: Young Adult Fantasy


ADSOM left me with so many questions:
– What happened to Holland? (he couldn’t be dead)
– Did Lila get her pirate ship and sail off into the sunset?
– And what about Kell and Rhy?
What happens next in the story?
It’s the mark of a great author if she can leave you with that burning question, evoking the desire to grab the next book, to keep reading.

As expected, Kell’s experience with the black stone and his sacrifice to save Rhy didn’t leave him unscathed. We see him struggling with his demons, to accept the consequences of his actions in ADSOM. Trying to come to terms with who he is, with his conscience. I could feel his struggles with himself, the people he loved, his magic. This was a transition period for Kell and everyone knows you don’t get through it without scars. All that angst and longing and hurt feelings.

Lila was off finding trouble as usual, learning how to be stronger, more powerful. She was already deadly with her knives. Now she was turning into a force of nature and I wondered when she would collide with Kell. She’s a scoundrel and unrepentant. You can’t help but love her crooked ways.

I loved how Kell and Lila met in ADSOM and I was a bit disappointed when they went their separate ways. AGOS shows how they evolved separately only to come together stronger than before.

Also, I loved the new characters in AGOS, namely Alucard (Captain Gorgeous) and how the supporting characters were developped further, especially Rhy. The devotion to Kell was admirable and we also find out his reasons for doing what he did in ADSOM, his regrets and his feelings.

The Element Games were in one word, Wow. I could feel the excitement in the air, the adrenaline spikes as the magicians battled each other.

And of course, Black London refused to stay buried and forgotten.

The ending chapters blew my socks off and were a seat-gripping ride. Kell’s predicament, his feelings wrenched at my heart. ADSOM was good but AGOS was superb.

Synopsis: It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London. Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as 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. And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.


I'm a die-hard bibliophile and I'm also an introvert. My blog's about books, books and more books. (yep, that was easy) I might, from time to time, write about life and its vagaries. I like taking pictures of books and doing origami.

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