A Gathering of Shadows | 5 star review
Series: Shades of Magic #2
Also in this series: A Darker Shade of Magic
Genres: Fantasy, YA
Published by Tor Books
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.
A Gathering of Shadows is the second in a series – read my review of the first book – A Darker Shade of Magic now!
The second book in one of my most loved series and I can’t believe I haven’t written a review for it sooner. So here it is A Gathering of Shadows the review – following my most recent reread. This book and I can’t quite believe I’m saying this is better than the first. I definitely think that you connect with the characters on a more deeper level and the storyline and plot become way more complex. Plus there’s condoned one-on-one fighting and who can say no to that right?
I think the real joy in this book is Rhy and Kell’s relationship, it grows into something that has become almost a burden and you watch them struggle through, desperate to hold onto whatever they had previously. Rhy’s reaction to the dark and the shadows makes a somewhat shallow character into something deep and meaningful, Kell’s frustration and emptiness is something that brings humanity to someone who came across a little robotic in the last book. Watching them develop with each other was the real star in this book and one of my favourite parts.
Now, let’s move onto the other star of the book – Delilah Bard. The girl turned pirate. Her relationship with Alucard Emery was something almost like Kell and Rhy’s. They were each trying to find out more about each other without giving their own secrets away. I think the observations that Emery had about Lila were something special, and they brought a huge amount of vulnerability to a character that had spent the majority of her existence making sure no one saw. It was something special and I adored him and her for that reason.
In terms of plot, this book has it all. Huge suspended glass arenas where magicians are allowed to pummel the crap out of one another all in the name of politics! Don’t get me started. I love this aspect of the book, not only was it exciting but it brought something new to the table, we got to learn about other parts of the world and the other cultures of magic. I always love learning more about a culture and the world and this book did not disappoint. I was hooked.
Favourite character in A Gathering of Shadows has to be Alucard Emery, his flamboyance and relationships with Lila, Kell and surprisingly Rhy is the biggest reason he’s my favourite character. Everywhere he went he made me laugh and smile. He forced me to see characters I thought I knew in a totally different way, plus he also introduced me to others that I was so pleased to meet. All in all, he made this book a complete joy to read, and he really helped Lila grow.
The least favourite character has to be King Maxim, boy did he make me angry throughout the entirety of A Gathering of Shadows. There didn’t seem to be any logic to his actions or the way he was treating Kell throughout, plus when he was called out on it there was no real response. I suppose it was character development but it sat uneasily with me
If you haven’t read this series what are you waiting for? A Gathering of Shadows is just the second in what promises to be a great series and I can’t wait to find out how it all ends!
Have you read this series? Who are your favourite characters? Let me know in the comments!