A Gathering Of Shadows: A Novel by V. E. SchwabA Gathering Of Shadows: A Novel by V. E. Schwab

A Gathering Of Shadows: A Novel

byV. E. Schwab

Hardcover | February 23, 2016

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author V.E. Schwab

"Addictive and immersive, A Gathering of Shadows cements this series as a must-read." -Entertainment Weekly, grade A

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-and so to keep magic's balance, another London must fall...in V.E. Schwab's A Gathering of Shadows.

Shades of Magic series
1. A Darker Shade of Magic
2. A Gathering of Shadows
3. A Conjuring of Light

V. E. SCHWAB's first adult novel, Vicious, debuted to critical praise and reader accolades. Schwab is the author of YA novels, including the acclaimed The Near Witch, along with writing Middle Grade for Scholastic. The Independent calls Schwab "the natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones" and someone who has "an enviable, almost Gaiman-...
Title:A Gathering Of Shadows: A NovelFormat:HardcoverDimensions:512 pages, 8.54 × 5.88 × 1.6 inPublished:February 23, 2016Publisher:Tom Doherty AssociatesLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0765376474

ISBN - 13:9780765376473

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Prepare Yourself for a Slow Beginning I'm giving this book a four star rating because of the excellence of the writing, the world building, and the author's creativity. Typically, I put more weight in my personal reading experience but if that was the case, this book would be rated more of a three star and I don't think that is fair. The imagination and creativity behind this book is incredible, V.E. Schwab thoroughly created this world (or worlds) from top to bottom in her own unique way and it clearly showed how amazing she is as an author. This book and I had our own problems from the start. I don't think this needs to be said but alas: I do not recommend reading this book six months after reading the first one, especially if you have read over 60 books in between. I know that sounds obvious but it wasn't until 100 pages into this novel that I realized I didn't really know what was going on, I didn't realize which characters we had been introduced to before, and I only had a vague remembrance of the main events in Darker Shades of Magic. At this point, 100 pages in, I quickly listened to Darker Shades of Magic via audio book and once that was finished reread the first 100 pages in this novel. It all made sense this time around. Moral of the story: do not leave that amount of time in-between books. This story has a lot of details even put into the world building aspect and to fully understand what is going on, it's helpful to remember the first book. Now, even after rereading (or listening to) the first novel, I have to admit the beginning of this book was SLOW. As in, slow for approximately the first 200 pages (it may have even been 300). It may have been necessarily slow because there is a lot of introductions to people and their histories as well as world building (how many times can I write that in this review). I know I mentioned it above but V.E. Schwab is extensive in creating a world and it's really impressive. From magic system to the world (or worlds) she covers it all and she covers it with intensity. I can only compare her world building to Brandon Sanderson in that they both are extremely detailed and thorough. Overall, if I was judging based on enjoyment I would say that I enjoyed the first novel more. But this novel was still important and I feel more invested in the characters and can see how they have developed within this novel. This novel was still good it just took longer to get into. I did learn my lesson and I will be reading the next novel now, immediately after concluding with this one. I'm excited to see where the story goes from here, especially with that cliffhanger.
Date published: 2018-01-05
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this book! Great second book to the series! Love V.E. Schwab's writing.
Date published: 2017-11-19
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Breathtaking A marvelous description of a tournament with some of the highest stakes I've seen yet. Deception, passion, incredible feats of magic - this book has it all. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough! Schwab's writing is legendary.
Date published: 2017-10-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING Better than the first and made me fall in love with the characters even more.
Date published: 2017-08-07
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Still ok I am not a huge fan of this series, but it's still an ok read.
Date published: 2017-06-30
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not quite as good as the first This was good, but failed to live up to the magic of the first. Felt too derivative of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and just felt like the story was intended to fill the space between books 1 and 3 without anything actually happening to advance the plot. The characters are still loveable, although Lila was not my favourite and the book was so heavily focused on her.
Date published: 2017-06-26
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Second book syndrome I was really looking forward to this follow up to A Darker Shade of Magic however I was a little disappointed. I enjoyed catching up with Lila's adventures at sea and I found the Essen Tasch entertaining but there were about 150 pages between the two that could have been edited out. Thankfully the ending was great and I'm excited to read the third book.
Date published: 2017-03-12
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Novel!! I really love this book, I highly recommend it.
Date published: 2017-02-10
Rated 5 out of 5 by from SOOOOO GOOOOOOD!!!! I am really loving this series! I seldom will read a book two if book one didn't rock my world and A Darker Shade of Magic definitely rocked my world. I devoured A Gathering of Shadows and really appreciated the character development of Kell, Lila and Rhy, the introduction of new characters, like Alucard, and the further development of the world of Red London. The dynamics between Rhy and Alucard was very compelling - I want more! And Lila and Kell - Good lord the tension!! I want more of that, too! And now, I must wait until book 3 to find out what happens......
Date published: 2017-01-25
Rated 5 out of 5 by from JUST SOOOOO GOOD!!! I am really loving this series! I seldom will read a book two if book one didn't rock my world and A Darker Shade of Magic definitely rocked my world. I devoured A Gathering of Shadows and really appreciated the character development of Kell, Lila and Rhy, the introduction of new characters, like Alucard, and the further development of the world of Red London. The dynamics between Rhy and Alucard was very compelling - I want more! And Lila and Kell - Good lord the tension!! I want more of that, too! And now, I must wait until book 3 to find out what happens......
Date published: 2017-01-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Can't wait for #3 I really enjoyed this story. And once again, I love how the story is divided into parts, which are further divided into chapters. The characters are very compelling, and I ended up staying up til 12:30 am just to find out what happened. I'm looking forward to the last book next month and am glad it's already pre-ordered!
Date published: 2017-01-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from THE BEST V.E. Schwab is definitely one of my favourite authors! I adore her characters so much, especially Lila Bard! 10/10
Date published: 2017-01-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love it I literally just finished this book and it was amazing. I liked it better than the first book which is rare. There was a lot of things going on and a lot of excitement in this one.. the ending was a cliffhanger but it was sooo good. I can't wait for the next one to come out
Date published: 2016-12-16
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazingly Well Written Although the summary puts more emphasize on the Essen Tach, the actual games was only a slight focus of the overall story. This sequel allows for more character development and it was really interesting seeing this slow, gradual but detailed development. It was very well done and creates a more emotional bond with reader and character. I loved the first book and this second book brought me much more into their story.
Date published: 2016-11-30
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Just okay I bought this book because the cover art was interesting. By that I mean that I have not read the first novel in this series (I didn't actually know it was a series as I've never heard of V.E. Schwab before now). So you may wish to take what I have to say with a grain of salt as I had no prior attachments to the characters in this story before reading this story as the other reviewers did. This story follows a lot of the tropes of this generation. A strong female lead. Representation from the LGBTQIA community. Overly angsty male characters that male readers will be unable to identify with and will therefore feel disconnected from the story. A politically charged tournament. Someone from our world stepping into a fantasy parallel (if you watch anime this is 90% of shows nowadays). The list goes on. Because of this I never found this story really grabbed my attention, everything felt too samey. If you have read a fantasy novel in the last 5 years you'll feel right at home with this story. The pacing is awkward and misleading as well. The story starts with a very well written action sequence involving our strong female lead, Delilah Bard, as she single handedly commandeers a vessel. Make no mistake from what appears to be a scathing review, Bard is awesome. If the story was just about her and her initial privateering business, this would have been a five star review. And after the initial two chapters, I was lead to believe that this would be the tone of the story. Then it slowed down, essentially to a grinding halt. The story changes perspectives and we are put behind the eyes of two terribly emo men. Their past escapades that are eluded to from the first novel sound entertaining enough, but what these two do in this story is bemoan their fate at every chance. The excitement from the first couple of chapters were apparently just a ruse to get you to stick it out until page 400 when the excitement initially promised finally makes it's return. But what a slog to get there. And when you get there it isn't even a return to Bard's exploits in trickery to perform amazing things that initially hooked the readers but rather a complete 180 on her sea life and now just a typical politically charged tournament setting to maintain peace between nations. Whoopie! There is also my issue with a very hamfisted relationship thrown in halfway. Literally half, like page 250. I won't elaborate on it, since there was no real build up or indication of it happening so I guess it may excite some readers but its place in the plot really sticks out like a sore thumb. Especially in Kell. I am a male reader and can appreciate the perspective of male characters. It may pain some people to know that guys who's mind function like Kell's do not exist. So when a guy reads a book like this it is essentially impossible to get invested in characters like Kell and Rhy who are overly emotional and full of angst. Poor pacing also rears its head near the end of this story as well. The climax of this novel is hard to distinguish from all the events that happen in the last hundred pages. Typically novels are paced so events happens where they build to a crescendo throughout the course of the story and conclude shortly thereafter. This novel on the other hand seems content to have nothing of importance happen for 400 pages, and a tournament for the next 100 that while exciting for the well written sequences of action involving Bard (Kell's parts are almost all just glossed over making him feel pointless) the end result is a climax that really held no barring on the plot. Everything that happens up to this point is simply there without any real substance. Then the story wraps up in 10 pages by taking a character who was occasionally in the background for the whole novel but never once interacting with any of the main characters and therefore having absolutely no effect on the story in anyway until now, appears and creates a cliffhanger for the next book. With everything I complained about so far I'd still say this is an okay book. I would not recommend it to a friend but it does find redeeming qualities in Delilah Bard. An abridge version of this story of just her parts would be an excellent read. Some of the mechanics in the world Schwab created are entertaining as well. The multiples Londons are intriguing even if you are like and are getting sick of the influx of parallel world stories lately thanks to anime and Sword Art Online. And some of the ideas behind magic are interesting, even if it is mostly just the generic western fantasy idea of magic being something you simply feel out versus something like say the King Killer Series where Rothfuss puts a great deal of effort into explaining the mechanics behind his version of magic. That's it for my review. I'm probably gonna read the first novel now as the events eluded to in there sound interesting. Though as I'm not keen on Kell and apparently that story is all from his perspective, I may have an even harder time with it than this one. Third story should be good when it's released because what this book ends on will have you thinking, "Why wasn't that the book I was reading instead of this poorly paced mess?"
Date published: 2016-07-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Highly Recommend This 4.5* I loved A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC (and everything else V.E. Schwab has written) so I went into this one with high hopes and it delivered. I thought that this was a good sequel, but also felt like a sequel, and that cliffhanger was just rude. Schwab's writing was flawless, as always, with the right mix of describing the setting and the characters while giving us a detailed look at the motivations behind actions. It was nice to be inside the heads of more characters this time around (especially Rhy!!!) because it gave us a broader picture of what was happening in the entire world rather than just in Kell's world. I think the pacing was on point with enough time to build up to the main event but not so much that we were dragging our feet waiting for action and adventure. I would have liked just a tad bit more time spent on the Games but I did like that it wasn't such a heavy focus on the games, but rather what the Games meant to the broad scheme of things. I thought the Games were a bit of a convenient way to have everyone in the same place at the same time but I wasn't too bothered by them. I also thought they were pretty similar to the idea of HP4 but again, not too bothered by that. I also would have liked a bit more of an explanation as to Alucard and Rhy's relationship and why that meant Kell was against the idea of Alucard ever setting foot near Rhy again because while I get the brotherly connection, I feel like I was missing something. But overall I didn't think these things really detracted from the story or made me not enjoy my reading. I thought the plot was well constructed, maybe even better than ADSOM, because it felt like this one needed more to be a full story arc but still WAS a full story arc on its own. I liked the expansion of magic and the idea that it is all about a cycle. I think Schwab has a good grasp on how the magic works and effortlessly explains it to the readers in a way that makes sense but also shows that as much as each of the characters know isn't everything to be known about the magic of this world. I think the characters gained a lot this time around. I liked seeing Kell restless and wanting to fight but scared of what it meant for Rhy. I also really liked seeing Rhy as a less bright version of himself because I feel like we are getting to see the "real" Rhy behind whatever masks he had on before. And I mean, I will always support bisexual characters. Yes please! I love Lila, I thought she was the best character this time around. I feel like the growth she showed in terms of starting to trust people more and not see relationships as a sign of weakness were offset with how naive and reckless she was with her magic. I feel like I understood that she wanted to use it but the way she went about it was offputting to me. But they felt like choices she would really make so it made sense. *SCREAMS ALOUD* THAT CLIFFHANGER THO. SEE THIS IS WHY I WAITED TO READ IT. OMG.
Date published: 2016-04-26
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Review from This is the Story of My(Reading) Life It's funny that this book can be both a good time and horrifying. Which is a total compliment. I feel like Schwab was trying to lessen her readers anxiety by throwing in a magical tournament. It was like the Twi-Wizard tournament on acid minus Voldmort ruining life. Because this world got enough problems without Voldmort. Anyhow, weird comparison... Besides the obvious that carries over from book one, Lila being on a pirate ship was everything I wanted. Because you know what pirate ships bring? A captain my friends. And Brittany is like a moth to a flame when a character that dawns the title captain is involved. Alucard is like the missing puzzle piece to this series. He fits right in with his jagged edges full of secrets, intrigue and wit. Add in that "development" with Rhy and GIMMIE MORE. But it's not all about Alucard. Lila is certainly proving to be a force to be reckoned with. After book one I just knew she had so much more in store. And yup, that lady is truly kick ass in her troublesome ways. Can't say the same for Kell. He is withdrawing into guilt which is really isolating him. Loneliness hello thy name is Kell. He is constantly worried over Rhy's safety. And well he's not a happy guy. Rhy is pulling away from Kell. He's festering with resentment towards Kell. And really the toll in their relationship is spiraling downwards. A Gathering of Shadows is again ripe with coat porn and imagery of London(s). I ultimately was not surprised with the climax or some of the events. But that does not take away from the painful and nasty cliffhanger. Schwab is a cruel cruel human.
Date published: 2016-04-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Spellbinding & Unforgettable In A Gathering of Shadows, V.E. Schwab once again sweeps you away into a world of magic and alternate worlds quite unlike anything you've ever read before. Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell's possession and completely changed the fate of London—all four of them. Red London is now preparing for the Element Games, an international competition of magic that has all eyes on Arnesia. Ever since Kell used forbidden magic to bring Rhy back to life, guilt and worry has settled heavily over his heart. He can't forget his failure to protect his brother from the Dane twins, the former rulers of White London, not when nightmares haunt him and his adoptive parents can barely look at him anymore. The people of Red London have always revered him as an incredibly rare Antari magician, but ever since the Black Night, they also regard him with fear. But while Kell struggles with his guilt and feeling trapped in the royal court, Lila is far, far away from Red London, flourishing in a world of magic and infinite possibilities. An unapologetic thief and proud of it, Delilah Bard is happily living the life she dreamed for so many years back in dreary Grey London, working as a privateer on the Night Spire and learning as much about Arnesia and magic as she possibly can. But in her heart, she knows she's not seen the last of Kell yet. If you haven't read A Darker Shade of Magic or A Gathering of Shadows yet, then you're absolutely missing out on an amazing cast of characters, and an intricate plot that builds the tension and suspense until you're at your breaking point. Every page brings new wonder and delight. And I was torn between hurriedly rushing to reach the end, or savouring each captivating chapter. Revelations quietly—and not so quietly— hit you in the chest and you blink in incomprehension until your brain catches up and you realize yes, that really did happen. (Or maybe it's because it's 4 am in the morning and you're tired but can't possibly put the book down until you've reached the very last page.) Dispel any doubts you had that A Gathering of Shadows couldn't possibly live up to the high expectations set after reading A Darker Shade of Magic. V.E. Schwab has delivered another spellbinding, unforgettable fantasy novel that will leave you desperate for the final installment in the trilogy.
Date published: 2016-03-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Out-of-this-World Brilliant! V.E. Schwab does it again but it's no surprise really. I have loved every single one of her book so far. She's created yet another masterpiece and I am simply in awe. Even though my brain is still in a fog (a good one) processing all the happenings in the book, I can tell you, A Gathering of Shadows is out-of-this-world brilliant. Victoria's writing- her words are like silk. They slide, mold and fit perfectly on your tongue, in your mind, however which way you read. You never want the words to stop flowing. A Gathering of Shadows sucked me in from the very beginning and held me down until the very end. I'm so happy with the progression of the story line. Victoria spins in just enough of the Element Games to satisfy our thirst for action while carefully building up side plots and adding in character arcs. I loved the dynamic characters and their delicate developments. Powerful yet flawed, they took charge of the story and drove it into my heart. In the aftermath of the Dark Night from A Darker Shade of Magic, Kell is struggling more than ever to not feel like a possession. A tool to be used. What happened in the first book (regardless of the end result) has cost him dearly. I have no words to describe the depressing and unfair treatments he had to endure in A Gathering of Shadows. It made me so mad and sad for him. Kell was suffocating. He was lost. Rhy and Lila grounded him though admittedly, they were also the source of most of his heartache and anguish. I loved how much and how fiercely he cared for them. I really need Kell to find his HEA (with Lila pleaseeeee)! Lila, Lila, Lila. "...but if anyone could make the strange seem ordinary, the impossible look easy, it was Delilah Bard." (p. 222). She continues to kick butts even in the direst situations. Throughout the book, I held my breaths several times because of the reckless things she does. But let's face it, she wouldn't be Lila without the trouble, right? No matter what trouble finds her I had complete faith in her. She sailed through whatever problem she encountered with effort and a lot of luck. Her confidence and boldness is like no other. "...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 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." (p.448). The one and only Delilah Bard. Lila and Kell are separated for most of the book but neither was far from the other's mind (yay!). It was slow torture for all of us to be watching them think of each other but not know where or what the other was doing. Their reunion was exquisite. Delicious. Passionate. It was everything I hoped for. So fulfilling. I'm loving the direction things are going in. My heart is both giddy and content <3 Yes to more of Rhy's voice! He definitely has a more prominent role in this second book than he did in the first. Rhy's not just the carefree alluring jokester prince he puts on. We see how heavy of a burden he carries and how serious he takes his position. Rhy is thoughtful, stubborn and gets his ways. His charms rival Alucard's. They seem to have a pretty complicated history which I can't wait to decipher. A little more steamy scenes would be nice too~ The bromance between Kell and Rhy is super sweet. They poke and prod at each other like an old bickering couple. Even though being able to feel each other is not fun and quite inconvenient most of the time, I don't see it as a weakness to them. I'm curious to see if this bond they share will somehow help them. After all, magic is volatile and acts in strange but fascinating ways. Now V.E. Schwab has left me in a book hangover. I have been slain. This series with its strong characters, rich worlds and incredible story is absolute perfection. Such a delightful and nail-biting read. A Gathering of Shadows gets double the Ripple Stars because I can't express my love enough! LOVEEEEE!!
Date published: 2016-03-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Gathering of Perfection I was so nervous this book was going to have second book syndrome (when the second book isn't half as good as the first one). I am so, so happy it didn't. If anything, I enjoyed this book more than the first. (I mean, it only took me 10 hours to read it, I obviously loved it.) V.E. Schwab so effortlessly world builds and incorporates the fictional languages that it seems as though they have always been there in the back of your mind. I am so in love with this world, the multiple London's, and getting to know more about Red London was so fantastic. Even just the small details, they end up painting a big picture of hey, this is what a few months in RL is like. I love the world building so much, and I'm very happy with the way she does it so it doesn't feel overwhelming. Let me talk about these fantastic characters next. So much growth in this novel. I love that Lila is more of a prominent character in this novel and we learn a little bit more about her and her journeys since she got her ship. Not only that, but there was some subtle relationships in the making and the fact that they don't take up the whole story makes me rejoice. Everything V. E. does and writes it so effortlessly woven in it comes out perfect, or damn near it anyways. She brings back characters without it being like, what are they doing here. The character growth and backstory in the novel is more than I could ever have hoped for. The story itself was so perfect I cried when I finished. No joke, I cried. How am I supposed to wait until 2017 for the last novel? I may not last. Following ADSOM I was scared this wouldn't live up to the hype that ADSOM had created in my itty bitty heart, but it surpassed it. If you were hesitant to read the second book, thinking about second book syndrome, I can assure you this novel is no less than amazing. The series continues to become even better with every edition and I cannot wait until the third book.
Date published: 2016-02-26

Editorial Reviews

Entertainment Weekly's 27 Female Authors Who Rule Sci-Fi and Fantasy Right Now RT Book Reviews' Choice 2016 Best Fantasy NovelBuzzfeed Most Anticipated BooksBustle Most Anticipated BooksBusiness Insider Most Anticipated BooksPop Sugar Books We Can't Wait to ReadRT Book Reviews Top Pick! Review"A Darker Shade of Magic has all the hallmarks of a classic work of fantasy. Schwab has given us a gem of a tale...This is a book to treasure."-Deborah Harkeness, New York Times bestselling author of the All Souls trilogy"Rich details illuminate every dimension of an extravagant city flooded with magic, and intriguing personalities evolve into complex characters...between [the characters those] the vivid setting, and the climactic cliffhanger, Schwab already has us anticipating the rest of the series." -Entertainment Weekly, Grade A, on A Gathering of Shadows"Compulsively readable.her characters make the book. Just as Kell has layers, Lila is a satisfyingly rich invention.the stakes feel higher because Schwab takes the time to make a world worth getting lost in. Darker Shade Of Magicresolves its plot thoroughly, but still feels like it could be the seed of a lengthy series. With so many worlds on the map, there's plenty left to discover." -NPR on A Darker Shade of Magic"Schwab is a fantastic writer, and this book moves along quickly: it's an easy world to immerse oneself in, and the four Londons that we get to visit are a treat to behold: they're vibrant, interesting and detailed. The worldbuilding here is spectacular, and it's worth picking up the book for this alone. (Well, and the fantastic cover.)The series is set to be adapted into a television series, and both books will be perfect for that." -io9 on A Gathering of Shadows"This is how fantasy should be done." -Publishers Weekly, starred review, on A Gathering of Shadows"Full of magic, intrigue, adventure, deception, a bit of piracy...this will engage both adult and young adult fantasy readers alike." -Booklist on A Gathering of Shadows