“You can kill people, but you cannot kill magic.” – V.E. Schwab, A Gathering of Shadows (p. 197)
A Gathering of Shadows, released on February 23rd, 2016, is the second book in V.E. Schwab’s wildly popular A Darker Shade of Magic series (you can find my review for A Darker Shade of Magic here). Picking up some months after the concluding events of A Darker Shade of Magic, V.E. Schwab dives right back into the action, illustrtaing how Lila, Kell and Rhy’s lives have moved forward, and how the ongoing events are shaping their lives.
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…
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I picked A Darker Shade of magic by V.E. Schwab up a couple months ago from the Book Outlet, but didn’t have a chance to read it right away due to my busy school schedule. But once I picked it up, I couldn’t put it down- this book is a rare piece of modern New Adult Fantasy which cleverly weaves a daring, complex plot between worlds to create something truly remarkable.
“I’d rather die on an adventure than live standing still.” – A Darker Shade of Magic, V.E. Schwab
Kell is one of the last Travelers-magicians with a rare, coveted ability to travel between parallel universes, connected by one magical city. There’s Grey London, dirty and boring, without any magic, and with one mad king-George III. Red London, where life and magic are revered-and where Kell was raised alongside Rhys Maresh, the rougish heir to a flourishing empire. White London-a place where people fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. And once upon a time, there was Black London. But no one speaks of that now. Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, ambassador of the Maresh empire, carrying the monthly correspondences between the royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell is a smuggler, servicing people willing to pay for even the smallest glimpses of a world they’ll never see. It’s a defiant hobby with dangerous consequences, which Kell is now seeing firsthand. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs into Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She first robs him, then saves him from a deadly enemy, and finally forces Kell to spirit her to another world for a proper adventure. Now perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, they’ll first need to stay alive.
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