A Gathering of Shadows (review)

4.5 stars

Okay. First of all. WOW.
And secondly. wow

This book. Was painful. It had like…no happiness. Angst and stabbing and sass and magic = happy but also in pain bookworm. I am LIVING.

Schwab, you are a mastermind.

I loved this book, but I’ll get my few squirmishes out of the way first.

So like for 500 pages nothing happened lol. And becauseI was so caught up in the characters I didn’t really realize it, but I think if I were to reread this, I would find myself a wee bit bored because there is so much that doesn’t happen for most of the book. So much more happened in A Darker Shade of Magic with at least 100 less pages. As a result, this book took me a little longer to actually finish than the first did.

My other little thing is how Schwab blatantly like…slams Christians. And I can understand an author who doesn’t agree with a certain worldview. It’s perfectly valid for her not to, but it still made me a bit uncomfortable when Lila went off saying things like “Christians believed in an old man in the sky…” which is a hard comment to swallow from my point of view. Because that isn’t at all what it is for me from my perspective. BUT. Again, it’s personal preference. This is nothing to bash the author with.

I also actually thought that when Holland came back (which wasn’t surprising at all lol nice try) that like…he would actually do more than what he did. BUT OKAY. The set up for the next book is great (and painful) and I think Holland will become a great character more in the last book, but I felt like his pov was lacking in this installment.

Well, I wouldn’t actually eat this book. Because its full of blood and PAIN. This book is more like a jewel. A precious jewel. In the sense that the world is so beautiful and glimmers RIGHT OFF THE PAGE, but its hard and tough and if you clench it too hard, it slices you open and drains you of all feelings and blood. It’s great. #fantastic

The fighting in the games was actually riveting and really interesting. The elemental magic was approached from a new angel, and the way that the games were fought out proved to be interesting and page-turning.

The characters are my favorite ever probably. Kell is still frowny and precious and powerful. Oh and, BROKEN. He loves Rhy, who is also my favorite. Their love for another is actually one of the most beautiful things I’ve ever read. I’m a sucker for bro relationships when they’re done right. They feel so much pain in the fact that their lives are tied to one another, BUT THEY ALSO LOVE EACH OTHER SO ITS VERY COMPLICATED.

Alucard Emery is a horrible person apparently, but I love him too. He’s full of sass and mischief. And I actually hate him. But I don’t. He’s interesting and complex. Usually the new characters to arrive in book 2 are kinda bleh but this dude is sparkly and sharp like Lila’s blades. His banter with Lila is actually my favorite. And I feel like there’s a deeper side to him that we have yet to see.

Okay and LILA. Is like a really bad child that keeps making bad decisions, but you have to love her anyway because she is your child. She’s annoying as hell, she’s reckless and moody but also strong, clever, and resilient. Home girl knows what she wants and home girl gets what she wants. I love watching her change into a better person when she’s around my baby Kell.

Which. um. so them.
okay this ship is actually killing me.

Basically the whole book they deny they have feelings for each other which builds the most beautiful angst and lead up I’ve read. EVER. For me its impossible not to love them.

In conclusion, a brief list of things I love in books that this one had for me:
-angsty relationship full of denial
-magic. so much magic.
-games with magic
-clever characters
-messed up characters
-crime in general lol
-endings that leave you mortally pained and STARVING FOR MORE.

Okay, so this book was certainly my cup of a tea. A tortuous cup of tea, but one I drank anyway. I’ll be reading the last book pronto. Wish me luck.


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