To start off I want to just say that this book is pure perfect. From beginning to end I was absorbed and never wanted to stop reading.
Its difficult to review this book without giving away spoilers from the first book, but i will try my hardest not to spoil to much.
A Gathering of Shadows starts four months after the events that happened in A Darker Shade of Magic and it opens with Lila who has joined a pirate ship. This opening chapter was one of the best chapters in the book, I loved the writing, the setting, the characters. When I came to the end of the chapter I was a little disappointed that it was not about Lila. I could read stories after stories about Lila and her own adventures, she is such a likeable and relatable character no matter what she does it is always some sort of awesomeness. After Lila, AGOS continues with Kell and Rhy who are still dealing and coming to terms with the fallout from ADSOM. As well as trying to get used to the aftermath of ADSOM they are also preparing for The Essen Tasch, which is a magical competition which involves men and women fighting with magical elements. As well as learning about happenings in Red London we are also given a glimpse of what is happening in White London. Thats all I’m going to say about the plot of AGOS because its best if you just read the book and take in all its beautiful words.
All the characters in AGOS are brilliant and you fall back in love with Kell, Rhy and Lila again when you start to read. There are also new characters introduced in this book and the main one that stood out for me was the character of Alucard. His character is a great addition to the all ready perfect cast and his interaction with Lila is great to read. AGOS is more about the characters this time round and they are the real driving force of the story, they all have to come to terms with the events that happened in ADSOM as well as trying to live their lives. I like how is this book we got to see more of Rhy’s POV and we could see how he felt about the events that happened in ADSOM. Being able to read more about Rhy’s thoughts and feelings made the character more defined and gave him a bit more depth compared to what we read about him in ADSOM. To me in ADSOM he was more of a side character whereas Kell and Lila were the main characters, however in AGOS his is now a completely developed main character.
I think V.E.Schwab is becoming one of my favourite writers because her writing is superb. When I read ADSOM i could tell that her writing was brilliant because it draws you in and never wants to let go out you, but that was just by reading one book of hers. But after finishing AGOS i know that it was not a fluke and her writing is top notch. V.E.Schwab writes in such a beautiful way that you could be reading for hours and you would never get bored. Her writing is fluid, expresssive and detailed which is perfect when reading this type of book because you are able to picture the world the characters live in.
The only down side I have with this book is there should of been more about The Essen Tasch. I loved reading about the Element Games and wished that it would of lasted longer. It was so fun to read about people using magical elements to fight each other that it seemed to be over in minutes. But this is just me being picky and it does not mean this book is any less than perfect.
This book is brilliant and is a great addition to the series, even if you have left this book on a massive cliffhanger leaving us all holding on to the edge of our seats for the next year. Anyone who loves fully developed characters thrown into heart stopping adventures, which is full of magic and danger, then this series is for you.
If you enjoyed A Darker Shade of Magic then you should definitely go and check this book out, and if you have not read ADSOM yet then I suggest you go and buy both of them and binge read both books because you will not regret it.
I rate this book 5/5 stars