Review: A Gathering of Shadows – V.E Schwab

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Synopsis: img_1308

(Synopsis contains spoilers for previous book)

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.


Okay, so I’m probably going to be dubbed with the “unpopular opinion” label here, but this book seriously suffered from the “second book syndrome”…

Like, nothing happened.

Okay, so we were introduced to Alucard, the cocky Captain of The Night Spire, who is actually one of my favourite characters just because he’s so outrageously arrogant. We also had more of an insight into Rhy’s character, which developed nicely in terms of his courage and love for Kell, and the past relationships between the three of them.

Other than this I was a bit underwhelmed, I’m not going to lie. I really enjoyed the first book (you can see my review here), and I had such high hopes for this one, but the plot was dull… I spent 500 pages reading essentially nothing, and it wasn’t until the last 80 pages that something actually happened! I mean, obviously the Essen Tasch needed to happen to allow Lila to make the discoveries she did (still love her, by the way) but it just didn’t excite me as much as I was hoping.

You may be wondering why I still gave the book 4/5 stars? Well, that’s because I still enjoyed the reading of it. I love the worlds in which the narrative takes place, and the characters are reasonably well rounded enough to make me still want to read it. And the last 80 pages were actually worth the read…

Regardless of this book not being as good as the last, I’m still looking forward to reading A Conjuring of Light – I’ve heard wonderful things and I’m excited to see how the plot will unfold!


View A Gathering of Shadows on Goodreads

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