A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A Gathering of Shadows was an excellent sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic. There were no slow parts in this book and it didn't feel like the middle book of a trilogy at all. It didn't go exactly the way I thought it would, but that wasn't a bad thing. The story picks up not long after the last book with Lila joining the crew of a ship as, of course, the ship's thief. I honestly had no idea there was such a position on a pirate ship, or in this case privateer's ship, but it works out well for her.
There was good character growth here for all characters and we even got a couple of new ones. I did wish that there was more interaction between Lila and Kell, but it eventually worked out to my liking. Lila is still herself, still getting into all kinds of trouble, but there were a few times I liked her less than I did in the previous book. Maybe because I wanted her to just be honest with herself about her feelings and I hated that she tried so hard to not see Kell. Speaking of Kell, he is still my favorite character in the book.
There is a magic tournament in this book and for a while I felt like it was just a diversion from the main plot line and wasn't crazy about it. It ended up growing on me. Each of the competitors wears a mask and there are a couple of participants that want to keep their identity a secret. I bet you can guess who they are. I thought the disguises for the tournament were fun.[ I do kind of wish that Lila wouldn't have figured out who Kell was until their match. It would have been quite funny for them to both realize who each other was at the same time. (hide spoiler)]
As for the new characters, I'm not sure what I think about Alucard. I liked him at first, but then he just kind of annoyed me after a while. I'm not really sure how he is going to continue to fit into the story, but I hope it's good. The other new character, Ojka is in White London and of course she ends up being an antagonist. I liked that there were chapters in her point of view.
This book ends on a huge cliffhanger so if you hate those, you might want to wait until the third book is out to read this one. I'm waiting with bated breath to find out what happens next!
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