Title: A Gathering of Shadows
Author: V. E. Schwab
Check this book out on Goodreads.
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. (Source: Goodreads)
Picking up 4 months after the end of A Darker Shade of Magic, we find Lila living the life of a privateer aboard a royal vessel protecting the seas against pirates, while Kell is living back in Red London feeling like a prisoner in his own life after tying his life to his brother, Rhy’s, to save him from death. While the city prepares for the Elemental Games and magicians from around the world gather in the city evil forces begin to build themselves up in Grey and White London.
V. E. Schwab has done it again, this book is another total knockout. I absolutely loved her previous book in this series and I was so excited for this one I snatched it up the moment it came into the store. I absolutely loved this book. It had all the right things we needed from a sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic. We get character growth, new and interesting characters, expanding the realm of the story, and lovely romance! I was so pleased with this book, unfortunately no one I know has bothered to read these books yet so I had to contain myself and wait to write this review.
Lila and Kell don’t see much of each other in this book, and while their chemistry was what made the first book so amazing, we get to see them develop outside of the confines of their relationship and it’s so magnificent. Lila is able to explore that pirate side of her that she always wanted to pursue, Kell and Rhy’s relationship is explored a lot more in this book. These developments are so necessary for their relationship to keep working. They both get a lot of time to also work on their magic. This book, by the way, has so much magic on display, and lots of fighting and Schwab does it all so well.
We get a couple of new characters in this book, the main one being Lila’s captain Alucard. Alucard’s past is hinted at here and there for much of the book, but eventually we learn he’s Rhy’s former lover and he’s royalty. He’s also a charming, rogue-ish, sorta-kinda pirate. He is a perfect combination of rogue and royal that you kind of love him from the first moment Lila meets him. I loved the development of his relationships with Lila and Kell, who both interact with him in very different ways.
The writing is of course amazing and I loved every moment of this book. I cannot wait to see where Schwab takes this series in the next book, I’m very excited to see what comes of the gathered shadows in the third book. I highgly recommend this book!