Tag Archives: v.e. schwab

[Review] A Gathering of Shadows — Victoria Schwab

Book Title: A Gathering of Shadows 
           (A Darker Shade of Magic #01)
Author:     V.E. Schwab
Number of pages: 512


A Gathering of Shadows FinalFour 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.

(re: Goodreads @ A Gathering of Shadows by Victoria Schwab)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– Essen Tasch (The Element Games) is a Gladiator-style Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra Pro-bending Competition (for comparisons sake)
– Slowly paced in the first quarter due to backstory and “catching up” with the timing
– On plot alone, AGOS can read like a “filler” second book but this arc focuses on character development
– Bromance game is strong; romance is more prominent
– A Nikolai Lantsov (Grisha) doppelganger who is wonderful (basically a witty, fluid, and grey character)


Initial Thoughts

When I finished, I was curled up in the fetal position…#themoreyouknow

There are no spoilers in this review unless you haven’t read A Darker Shade of Magic, then I can’t help you there.

Disclaimer: The copy I read was borrowed from Shelly @ Read, Sleep, Repeat. Thank you Shelly for letting me read this in advance.

Continue reading [Review] A Gathering of Shadows — Victoria Schwab

[Review] A Darker Shade of Magic — V.E. Schwab

Book Title                  A Darker Shade of Magic (ADSOM #01)
Author:                        V.E. Schwab
Number of pages:  398


A Darker Shade final for IreneKell is one of the last Travelers—rare magicians who choose a parallel universe to visit.

Grey London is dirty, boring, lacks magic, ruled by mad King George. Red London is where life and magic are revered, and the Maresh Dynasty presides over a flourishing empire. White London is ruled by whoever has murdered their way to the throne. People fight to control magic, and the magic fights back, draining the city to its very bones. Once there was Black London—but no one speaks of that now.

Officially, Kell is the Red Traveler, personal ambassador and adopted Prince of Red London, carrying the monthly correspondences between royals of each London. Unofficially, Kell smuggles for those willing to pay for even a glimpse of a world they’ll never see. This dangerous hobby sets him up for accidental treason. Fleeing into Grey London, Kell runs afoul of Delilah Bard, a cut-purse with lofty aspirations. She robs him, saves him from a dangerous enemy, then forces him to another world for her ‘proper adventure’.

But perilous magic is afoot, and treachery lurks at every turn. To save all of the worlds, Kell and Lila will first need to stay alive—trickier than they hoped.

(re: Goodreads @ A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab)

Should this book be picked up? the tl;dr review:

– Mainly plot-driven, multi-POV story set in four parallel Londons akin to The Fellowship of The Ring with characters bringing a rock back to Not-Mordor.
– Imaginative world building that reads effortlessly with an easy-to-learn magic system
– Romance is either non-existent or is that of a slow burn (you can still ship though)
– Villains who were complex on paper but felt different in action
– Kell’s coat is made out of Doraemon fur (see picture below)


Initial Thoughts

Kell’s coat, Kell’s coat, Kell’s coat, Kell’s coat, Kell’s coat, Kell’s coat.

Continue reading [Review] A Darker Shade of Magic — V.E. Schwab