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

5 stars

Title: A Gathering of Shadows
Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication date: February 23rd 2016
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy


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.


Read my review of the first book in the Shades of Magic series, A Darker Shade of Magic, here!

I am Delilah Bard, she thought, as the ropes cut into her skin. I am a thief and a pirate and a traveler. I have set foot in three different worlds, and lived. I have shed the blood of royals and held magic in my hands.

I’m reading so many good books lately! It’s my sixth 5-star rating in a month or so! I don’t know what’s happening to me!

A Gathering of Shadows is an amazing book. It’s everything I need in a book: sweet romances, a crazy wizard competition, pirates… WOW, it had it ALL.

The book starts with Lila being an awesome cunning pirate in the middle of the sea. I loved her so much in the first book and she is even better in the second. Her character is perfect for a life at sea. We get a lot of new characters and they’re all pretty awesome. My favourite new character is captain Alucard Emery. He’s smart and charming and he’s a really mysterious character at the beginning of the book but he really grows and ends up as one of my favourite characters in this second book.

The second book had a bit more romance than the first one. Without spoiling too much, Rhy meets an old love and it’s the cutest thing I’ve read so far in this series.

OMG, Kell and Lila! Ship it!! Although Lila could use some lessons in tact. She’s often acting so extremely distant. We know that she has a lot of bonding issues and has been trough a lot, but sometimes I feel bad for the people around her. Still she is my favourite character especially at the beginning of the book. GET IT GIRL!!! She just goes for it and always gives 100%.
Kell has a really hard time in this book. After the black night he lost the trust of his family and he isn’t as free anymore as he used to be. I feel so bad for him at times, but at least we have Rhy to lighten up the mood!

This story does feel a bit as filler. But really good, really magical and really amazing filler.  This story was very Red London orientated. Approximately 90% was situated in Red London. This was because of the tournament that was held in the city. It’s the best idea ever for this story! If you don’t like filler and character based books, you could say that this was an unnecessary event. But for me this was the perfect way to introduce all these new characters and it left so much room for the growth of the old characters. The element games were awesome!! I was imagining this as a movie scene the entire time! I would not mind seeing the element games in a movie, that would be so awesome!

I’m just starting the third one immediately! I need to know how this ends!


  • Cait @ Paper Fury

    Eep I’m so glad you’re loving this series! IT’S TRULY A MASTERPIECE AND I CAN’T LOVE IT ENOUGH. <3 Rhy and Kell's brothership is just the best though…they are so moody and precious, both of them.? And Lila is SO BADASS and terrifying. Also Alucard is hilarious?! And I'm so glad you're on a run of a ton of 5-star ratings. That's the best feeling ever!

    • Lila is so my FAVOURITE female character of 2017! The words that come out of her mouth are amazing. And I really love love love love every scene of her on a pirate ship, it’s freaking amazing! ??
      Thank you so much for your amazing comment! ?

  • I ADORED Lila in the first book! I have to admit that it’s been awhile since I read A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC but I remember being utterly entranced by it the entire time. The concept was so unique and I loved the characters. This is one of those books that I’ve been meaning to read FOREVER … but haven’t yet gotten around to it yet. Definitely next year!

    • You should definitely read the rest of the series! ? They are so good and the second book is even better than the first (and even more if you’re a Lila fan like me!)
      Thank you so much for your nice comment! ?

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