This was such a great addition to the series with an interesting, albeit slow plot, fantastic world-building, specular characters, and poetic writing. I can’t wait to begin the final book!
A Gathering of Shadows is the second book in the series and takes place about four months after the events in the last book. Lila is now part of a crew on a “pirate ship” while Kell and Rhy are helping to prepare for the Element Games. These games take up the majority of this book with the new threat interspersed throughout. Though it moved slowly because of this, I still enjoyed the book immensely. I was so involved with the characters, the story, and the anticipation of Osaron’s plans coming to fruition that I just couldn’t put the book down.
“Everyone’s immortal until they’re not.”
I do have to admit that certain parts did drag a bit and there wasn’t a whole lot of action (except for the games) but I still enjoyed this installment. I don’t need constant action to be entertained so I enjoyed this change of pace. The book did feel a bit long for what it was though. I loved how Schwab described the competition! There was just the right amount of detail to really get you into it, which was then interspersed with conversations from spectators. So not overly detailed and dragged out.
I was glad that this one wasn’t as confusing as the previous one and though it wasn’t complex it was still highly enjoyable.
Unlike the previous book, this one does end with a huge cliffhanger so be prepared to start the next one right away!
The world is definitely expanded upon in this one as we learn more about magic, politics, and of course the Element Games, which has been a long-standing tradition to bring other kingdoms together. We see a bit more of White London and even a tiny glimpse of Black, which was exciting!
“Kell would say it was impossible. What a useless word, in a world with magic.”
We also venture beyond the Londons for a bit!
Lila is just amazing as ever and now she is even learning magic, which makes her even more exciting and dangerous! She is so mysterious and I can’t wait to find out more about her in the next book. She is just so determined! I love it! Though also a bit careless and reckless. I thoroughly enjoyed her interactions with Alucard and later on with Kell, and watching her assume her new identity.
Kell is just as great too but there is something off about him in this one. I don’t know if it’s because of the effects of the stone or just that he needs to get out and let loose a little but he is becoming restless. He also misses Lila! You just know right away. His relationship with his brother is becoming a bit difficult with their new bond but it becomes better as they start to adjust to it more. It most definitely is having an effect on both of them. Kell is also treated differently in this book both by the citizens and the King and Queen. I love that Rhy and Kell have such a strong bond and that Rhy is always there trying to defend his brother.
“Everyone thinks I have a death wish, you know? But I don’t want to die – dying is easy. No, I want to live, but getting close to death is the only way to feel alive. And once you do, it makes you realize that everything you were actually doing before wasn’t actually living. It was just making do. Call me crazy, but I think we do the best living when the stakes are high.”
I’m so glad there was a lot more of Rhy in this one! Also, a huge surprise regarding Rhy that I did not see coming was super interesting! I hope this is developed more in the next book! We get to see a different side of Rhy in this book, which was great, as he comes to terms with his second chance at life and the guilt that comes with it.
Alucard is a new character we are introduced to and I found myself liking him as well, especially his history and the relationship between him and the Royal family.
Osaron is the villain in this book and undoubtedly in the next and though he only had a few chapters, they were incredibly interesting. I couldn’t wait to get to the end to find out what he was going to do. He does come from Black London! so the next book is going to be an interesting read for sure.
Just as great as it was in the first book. So quotable and flowed really well!
“I gave him my life, but you cannot ask me to stop living.”
Love the cover! The illustration and color scheme are amazing and I love that it is different enough but still matches the first book. This one also has a book number on the spine so that’s a plus but no series name. There are also blurbs on the front.