A Gathering of Shadows

A Gathering of Shadows

A Novel

Book - 2016
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From #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab

"Addictive and immersive, A Gathering of Shadows cements this series as a must-read." -- Entertainment Weekly , grade A

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-and so to keep magic's balance, another London must fall...in V.E. Schwab's A Gathering of Shadows.

Shades of Magic series
1. A Darker Shade of Magic
2. A Gathering of Shadows
3. A Conjuring of Light

Publisher: New York : Tor, 2016
ISBN: 9780765376480
9781783295425
9780765376473
Branch Call Number: SCHW
Characteristics: 512 pages ; 22 cm

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RebelBelle13
Jun 30, 2018

I really had high hopes for this book after finishing A Darker Shade of Magic. Lila had left, and I was looking forward to more Kell, Rhy, and hopefully, Holland. I was disappointed immediately when the first chapter, and the bulk of the novel following, was from Lila's perspective. She was no better than she was in the first novel of the series, and if anything, she was more aggravating. She literally says several times, "I'm not like other girls." We get it. She hates dresses and loves knives. Also, apparently, she's amazing at magic and can wield at least two elements, because of course she can. To be honest, this story would have been miles better without Lila in it- and we actually wouldn't be missing much if her part was excised completely. Sure, we would have lost some insight on Alucard, but that's a sacrifice I'd be more than willing to make. Not only is she ridiculously overpowered and given too much spotlight, but she beats out 30 some other magicians with her newfound skills. I was eye-rolling so hard it hurt.
Besides Miss Thief With Godlike Powers, there is the issue of the first half of the novel dragging nowhere into the mud. The second half went by much more quickly, since it contained the magic tournament, Essen-Tash. The book could have been reduced by at least a hundred pages if you take out all the nonsense filler, and focused more on the magic battles, which is really what everyone wants to read about anyway.
I was really reading this for Holland. He's by far the most intriguing of all the characters in the novel. He really does seem like a good person, but keeps getting dragged down by evil beings. I am really hoping that he gets his freedom in the last novel of the trilogy. If not, it is a lost opportunity on Schwab's part and a damn shame.
Kell and Rhy had a much better showing here, and I was happy to see them try to work out their life bond while Kell competed in the Essen-Tash. Rhy is another interesting character that we saw far too little of in ADSoM. Also, kudos to Schwab for not letting Lila or Kell win the tournament. That would have been just a little too on-the-nose.
Will I be reading the last in the trilogy? Most likely, even though I have a strong suspicion how it will play out. I love the idea of multiple Londons and magicians being able to travel between them. The magic system and battles are also portrayed and explained well. Again, it's Schwab's main characters that fall flat for me, and kill an otherwise promising series.

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faithmurri99
Apr 22, 2018

While I found many a typo (at least in my copy, idk about all of them), I was still very pulled in by Schwab's writing style, and she has definitely solidified a permanent place in my favorite authors list.

The plot was slower, a lot slower than A Darker Shade of Magic was, and that was kind of disappointing and annoying at times, because the scenes I wanted weren't always the scenes I got, and the scenes I got likewise weren't always the scenes I wanted. However, the last part—and that cliffhanger!!!!!!!!!—really saved this book, as it brought together all the plot threads and reinvigorated me, definitely ensuring I will be continuing this series.

Kell: As usual, he was my favorite character. His alterego as Kamerov was exciting and explored a whole new side of his character. The injustices against him by the king and queen, as well as Arnesian society as a whole, were very upsetting and I really empathized with him. It gave me some serious Jace in City of Ashes vibes.

Lila: I actually liked her in the first book, but she was just so dang annoying in this one. She was constantly doing things only for herself, without any regard for others (specifically Kell), and her recklessness and narcissism really got on my bad side. She did, however, get more interesting abilities and a more important role in the plot.

Alucard: Basically everything that was wrong with Lila was partially learned from him, and in case it isn't clear, I really don't like this guy. He's a douchebag.

Rhy: I loved getting to learn more about Rhy, with him finally playing an important role in the story. His struggle with the effects of the soul-seal was very well-executed and effective.

Holland: I had a dream while reading this book that I fell in love with him and he brought me to White London, so I think that explains how much I love this character. Everything that was effective in the last book was ten-times as effective in this one, and I lived for his perspective/the White London scenes!!! They kept me reading, honestly, when so much of the book was just Lila being a brat.

Osaron: Heck yeah, big bad's back and he's better than ever, this time with the name Osaron and even more magical schemes, as well as an entire burnt-out parallel universe he calls home sweet home, but he wants more! And he's gonna do whatever it takes to get it!

Ojka: She was so interesting to read. From the moment she appeared, I was totally invested in her. I'm so very excited to see what she does/becomes of her in the next book!

Hastra: My baby Hastra was so sweet and I just loved him so much. Kell needed him. Everyone needs a Hastra (an Hastra? idk English is weird).

It was a somewhat stormy ride, but I'm very glad I read it, because that last chapter was fantastic! This book really felt more like the first book in a series, with ADSoM its prequel, because of the pacing, the characters, and the conflicts. While I didn't like it nearly as much as I loved A Darker Shade of Magic, I still really enjoyed it and highly recommend it!

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humbleworm
Nov 27, 2017

Beyond character development, this 2nd to-be-continued novel does little to expand Schwab's universe of parallel worlds unbalanced in magic. I would caution parents of self-harming children that this series does contain scenes where cutting is depicted as a powerful source of magic. A little too much of the plot and motives in this novel are contrived and predictable, but I enjoyed reading it more than many other books lately. For fans of the Delilah Bard character, I would recommend The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch.

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kwsmith
Aug 27, 2017

I really enjoyed the first book's highly original setting and complex meaningful characters. Unfortunately, this second book is simply a disappointing sequel. The first 300 pages plod along without much of a plot, and my favourite characters now resemble little more than sulky teenagers repeating the same tired conversations over and over. Oh, and I think that the author might have watched a bit too much *Avatar: The Legend of Korra* while she was writing this book! Perhaps the third one will be better?

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pspice
Dec 14, 2016

I read this book first and am waiting for the first in the series. So perhaps I missed some of the character development for Lila Bard. That said, I found her somewhat shallow compared to Kell. With a female author, I expected Lila's motivations to be understandable. But her actions seem random and therefore she is not very sympathetic to me as a reader. I'll be interested to see her story from the beginning. So three and a half stars for me. Good enough to want to keep reading but not quite "can't wait to know how it all turns out".
Reporting back now that I got the first book. It didn't change my mind unfortunately.

r
Rebole
Nov 01, 2016

LOVE IT!

k
Kyanite
Apr 27, 2016

This was a great read - if you liked the first one, here you'll find more of all the stuff that made A Darker Shade of Magic awesome. The cliff-hanger ending is unsurprising (it's a middle book thing), but still hard to live with. The next book can't come soon enough!

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humbleworm
Nov 27, 2017

humbleworm thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

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faithmurri99
Apr 22, 2018

I am in everything. I am as old as creation itself. I am life and death and power. I am inevitable.

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