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A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

By 23:44:00 , ,

To summarise my entire review in one sentence: AGOS is pure, undiluted perfection.

This book is the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic. If you haven't read it yet, please check out my review of it and let me convince you to give it a go! A Gathering of Shadows is set four months after the first one, and things have returned to normal, in a way.
Red London is preparing for the Essen Tasch - the Element Games - but in an alternate London, some much more nefarious plans are being set into motion.

Based on the 150-page sample of this that I got back in February, I said that I thought it was even better than the first, more compelling and absorbing. Now, having finished it - I just want to go back and start rereading straight away. I don't think I even have the words to explain how much I loved this book but I'll try ;)

So let me tell you a few things:

  1. This book is magic;
  2. I can't remember when I've last fangirled this hard;
  3. I don't even know what to do with my life now that it's over.

This is me, sitting in a coffee shop, "writing an essay."

Kell, Lila, and Rhy are just as wonderful, loveable, and messed-up as ever, and in this book we're also introduced to Alucard who is such an amazing character (even if he's technically not a pirate). A Gathering of Shadows is such an exciting read, and I've been so obsessed with it that my friends actually know what happens in the book even though they haven't read it - because I can't shut up about it!

The pacing is good, the story flows wonderfully, and the chapters that focus on the antagonist are just short enough to leave the reader with all these questions and fears and a quiet sense of doom. The dialogue is at times absolutely hilarious, Lila is still my ultimate girl-crush, and we get to know Rhy better.

I wasn't going to go there (again!) but I honestly think Lila is one of the best female characters I have seen in fantasy literature, and it just always makes me so happy to read about her. Kell is becoming less of a mystery, and the journey he is on is definitely going to keep me reading. The world-building is another reason why I love this series so much - the concept of alternative Londons is wonderfully inventive and interesting, and the idea is brought to life with astonishing detail. In addition, Schwab's writing is always both gripping and masterful.

AGOS exceeded my expectations. And my expectations were pretty high to begin with. If my review system had more than five stars - you know what? It's my review. I can stretch my own rating system.

So, I think I have book hangover. That's a thing, right?
Have you read any books by V.E. Schwab? And if you've read ADSOM (and possibly AGOS!) - who's your favourite character? Please tell me everything because I need some good fangirling company ;)


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