A Gathering of Shadows Review

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab was recommended to me by a friend on Instagram with the words ‘it will emotionally ruin you.’ He was right…

*AGOS is a second book in a series please do not read further unless you have read A Darker Shade of Magic. You can find a spoiler free review for the first book in the series HERE*

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. –goodreads.com summary

“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 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.”

Victoria Schwab (AKA V. E. Schwab) is my favorite author and has never disappointed with a single one of her books— A Gathering of Shadows is no different. The novel is perfect from start to finish since the plot is fueled by brilliant characters who feels as if they could jump right off the page.

A Gathering of Shadow’s plot reminded a lot of the plot of The Goblet of Fire in that you have a group taking part in their traditional Olympic-like games while the villain is the background plotting the hero’s demise. Of course the plot of A Gathering of Shadows is much more complex than that, but I found the similarities interesting. It was great to see what the book did different from the Goblet of Fire, such as actually showing the villain throughout the story and allowing the reader to be inside the villain’s head and better understand his motives.

All characters in A Gathering of Shadows are fleshed out and feel real. They all have their own personality and backstory that makes them who they are and you believe it! Lila was AMAZNG in this book! She has grown so much as a character even in just A Gathering of Shadows, while she is still a very untrusting and closed off person— she is starting to let her guard down more, and it’s nice. Kell and Rhy had a nice relationship throughout the book where we see how this bond has affected the two of them and how they are both dealing with the issues of the prior book. I don’t remember seeing too much about the two of them as brothers in A Darker Shade of Magic so it was nice to grow that relationship in this book. Even the king and queen, who are complete butt-faces throughout the entire novel, have their reasons and readers can understand the fact that they only want to protect Rhy and they believe this is the way to do it.

Overall, A Gathering of Shadows is AMAZING! Go read it and all of Victoria Schwab’s books if you haven’t already. The characters are spot on with motivation and realism and the plot is perfect. PS the end will ruin you emotionally so be warned… but it’s great!

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