Book Review: A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab (A Darker Shade of Magic #2)

  Hi guys! I know its been awhile since my last post, but this month seems to be even crazier than my last! Soon enough it will be December and I will be freaking out over finals and not having enough time to buy gifts, or stressing out about some other inconsequential thing ( such as what happens in my next episode of Gossip Girl or Riverdale). 

  Anyway enough about my holiday season stresses (although I will probably rant on about them in my next few posts because I will not be able to stop myself. It's a problem I know) 
  NEWSFLASH: I finally got around to reviewing this book! I know it has been FOREVER since I've read it and rated it on Good Reads ( 5 stars of course because V.E. Schwab deserves no less) I am literally so excited to read the Raven Boys and This Savage Song and all the other greatest hits! Chances are though I'll proably get distracted by a bunch of other shiny, inciting books telling me that I need to read them ASAP and won't get around to it soon enough! 
(I seriously cannot have enough pages to rant about the AMAZINGNESS that is this book but for all our sanity's I will try and keep it as concise as possible) 

A Gathering of Shadows 
 By: V.E. Schwab

Rating: 5/5 stars

Summary: 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.
 



AHHH reading this book was like coming back to meet an old friend. It was like no time had passed between me finishing A Darker Shade of Magic (although looking back now it really was only a couple of days... they felt like WEEKS!) The characters got even better than the first time around (Like how is that even possible?) I thought my heart was going to explode from all the love I was feeling for these characters! Plus Schwab had to put in PIRATES! Like I think my face is going to explode from smiling so big. The way she describes the world in this book is just so increible its like I can invision every little detail in my head! ( i'm sorry Gossip Girl but sometimes reading is better than TV) 

“Everyone thinks I have a death wish, you know? But I don't want to die - dying is easy. No, I want to live, but getting close to death is the only way to feel alive. And once you do, it makes you realize that everything you were actually doing before wasn't actually living. It was just making do. Call me crazy, but I think we do the best living when the stakes are high.” 

 Also Delia gets so amazing I cannot even deal! Her first few chapters were SO intriguing I could not stop reading them! (in fact I finished this book in a single weekend and this is why I have bags under my eyes in the morning) Although it drove me crazy having her and Kell apart, even though they did briefly mention him a few times (not enough to keep me satisfied of course). Also how she deceives that pirate ship in the beginning was giving me all sorts of pirates in the caribbean feels! 

“What are you supposed to be?” she asked in Arnesian. “A fish?”
Alucard made a noise of mock affront. “Obviously,” he said, brandishing the helmet, “I’m a dragon.”
“Wouldn’t it make more sense for you to be a fish?” challenged Lila. “After all, you do live on the sea, and you are rather slippery, and—”
“I’m a dragon,” he interjected. “You’re just not being very imaginative.”

 Also her crew in fabulous and everything a good pirates ship crew should be! Alucard is especially interesting and the time they spend together is definitely intriguing (wink, wink) Not to mention all the secret magic that is going on (I won't say any more because I don't want to spoil anything!) Also they introduce new islands (A secret island because that is how amazing this book is) its located between the edges of all three kingdoms in Red London and contains a black market, but for all things magical! (I'm literally smiling just thinking about it!) Delia grows into such a strong person, even stronger and more stubborn than the first book and I honestly don't know how she has the will power to remain apart from Kell for so long! The two of them were killing me with how long they didn't see each other, even when the were SO CLOSE! The irony alone (and also low key the reason I got no sleep until they said more than one word to one another)

“The memory caught him like a blow. Lila.”

 Also the magical GAMES in this book! I mean wow, just flat out wow. They were amazing. The skills each competior had and the fact that they had to each wear masks just made it that much more mysterious. Also there ends up being some pretty interesting competitors... just saying. The ending is not what I expected, at least for how the games ended, no the ending ending blew me away and annoyed me with the power of a hundred suns. It just ended so god dang abroublty I could have screamed! 

“To clever plans,' said Kell, toasting his brother. 'And dashing princes.'
'To masked magicians,' said Rhy, swiping the wine.
'To mad ideas.'
'To the Essen Tasch.'
'Wouldn't it be amazing,' murmured Rhy later, when the bottle was empty, 'if we got away with it?” 

 KELL. We need to take a moment to apricate the greatness that is Kell. I mean I love him to death but he gets hecka dark in this book. I mean he's always been a little bit bruiting but I thought it was all just a part of his charm. In this book however, he gets flat out crazy crazy dark. Like Kell might turn into a killer of magic or something dark. I should have seen this coming a little more (and honesty should not be this surprised and all) because the opening scene was him practicing beating people up with his magic (in some weird training room or other) and his whole thing with Rhyland weighing very heavily on him (it is a big responsibility though, and super stressful I have to admit so I understand where his darkness is coming from and all, it just didn't hit me until this book) 

“No!” Kell shouted, reaching toward his brother, uselessly, desperately, but as his hand brushed the nearest person, the darkness leaped like fire from his fingers to the man’s chest. He shuddered, and then collapsed, crumbling to ash as his body struck the street stones. Before he hit the ground, the people on either side of him began to fall as well, death rippling in a wave through the crowd, silently consuming everyone. Beyond them, the buildings began to crumble too, and the bridges, and the palace, until Kell was standing alone in an empty world. And then in the silence, he heard a sound: not a sob, or a scream, but a laugh. And it took him a moment to recognize the voice. 
It was his.” 

 Kell still has my heart though because he continues to search for Deliah even though he has no idea that she is really back in London again (for a crazy reason I must admit but there none of the less) and even though Deliliah avoids him she secretly misses him as well. (I sense romantic tension..)  Plus they have to throw in a Ball, as if I possibly could not love this book any more (throw in a masquerade and stop right there- I'm sold) 

“Oh yes, your relationship with Miss Bard is positively ordinary."
"Be quiet."
"Crossing worlds, killing royals, saving cities. The marks of every good courtship.”

Rhy was fabulous as always but also had his dark times during this book. Some of the choices both him and Kell made had me shaking my head at them at times. Also the love between Kell and Rhy is as wonderful as it is frustrating. Half the time they hate each other so much so that they are beating one another up, whereas the other half their inseparable and each other best friend! Though I do suppose that sums up siblings. Plus there is a suprsing romantic encounter with Rhy and someone you do NOT expect and I must say it was STEAMY! (prepare yourself ahead of time) 

“At the sunroom doors, he cast a glance back, and found Rhy looking at him with an expression that might have been I’m sorry, but also could have been fuck off, or at the very least we’ll talk later.” 

Overall this book stole my heart and I am head over heels for this series! You simply must read it! (DO IT!) Hopefully you will fall madly in love with the characters just as I have! Also the ending is totally a cliff hanger  and lets just say things don't get easier with White London any time soon. Hope you get a chance to check it out this holiday season! (If you've already had the pleasure of reading it let me know what you think in the comments below!) 
-BubblyBooks


Comments

  1. AHHH SO GLAD YOU ADORED THIS ONE! I swear, Schwab books just keep getting better and better and her magic systems and characters are just SO incredible and complex and marvellous. And...ahh, ok I'd just gush for years.😂 Kell is the actual best. Also I love how the books are still funny even though teh stakes are super high and pretty serious bad stuff go on too?!

    (Also I don't know if I misread your intro about looking forward to reading the Raven Boys and This Savage Song...but The Raven Boys is by Maggie Stiefvater not VE Schwab.😂😂But I might've totally misread and those are just two books you're looking forward to. IN ANY CASE: omg they're both sooo good and I hope you read them both soon!!)

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    1. IK I love Kell! And I totally agree that the book has its funny moments, even if its at inappropriate times and a little cynical.

      hahaha ya I just meant two books I was looking forward to reading, sorry about the confusion!

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