Review: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2)

Title: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2)
Author: V.E. Schwab
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Source: Purchased
Format: Hardcover
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Rating: ★★★★★


Goodreads Synopsis:

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.


It’s been four months since Kell and Lila defeated the stone from Black London. They have both moved on. Lila is fulfilling her dream of sailing. Kell is pining after her, without knowing where she’s disappeared. They’re both brought back to London again for a tournament called the Essen Tasch, or the Element Games. However, the shadow that they thought was gone forever begins to come back.

This was a thrilling story from beginning to end. The two main characters, Kell and Lila, were actually apart for most of the story, but they were thinking about each other. Their paths almost crossed a few times, which made the tension between them build. I don’t usually like stories that keep the characters separated like that, but it worked in this story.

There were a couple of short scenes of a particular character in another London. The scenes were just snapshots of what that character was doing. Though there wasn’t that much action in those scenes, the way that the scenes kept appearing built the tension until that part of the storyline could join the main plot. This was a clever way to weave multiple plots together until they could all join at the end.

This story ended on a great cliffhanger, so I’ll have to read the next one soon! I loved this sequel.

What to read next:

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

Shades of Magic Vol. 1: The Steel Prince by V.E. Schwab, Andrea Olimpieri

Other books in the series:

Have you read A Gathering of Shadows? What did you think of it?


Author: jilljemmett

Jill lives in Toronto, Canada. She has studied English, Creative Writing, and Publishing. Jill is the creator and content producer of Jill’s Book Blog, where she has published a blog post every day for the last four years, including 5-7 book reviews a week. She can usually be found with her nose in a book.

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