Tuesday, 8 March 2016

A GATHERING OF SHADOWS Blog Tour: Review & Q&A with Victoria Schwab! #AGOS #ADSOM #ShadesOfMagic

I am extremely excited to be a part of the blog tour for A GATHERING OF SHADOWS!! Today, I'm sharing my review for the much anticipated sequel to A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, and I have a quick Q&A with V. E. (a.k.a. Victoria) Schwab!

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #1)
by V.E. Schwab
Source: Received an ARC from Raincoast Books Canada in exchange for an honest review.
Publisher: Tor
Release Date: February 23, 2016
Number of Pages: 512 (Hardcover)

Description from Goodreads:
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.


I first read A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC a few months after its release, and as soon as I started it...I was hooked. I loved the magic, the characters, the world-building, the writing...absolutely everything! And to prepare myself for A GATHERING OF SHADOWS, I listened to the audiobook and I was once again blown away by the story. With the A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC audiobook fresh in my mind, I dug right into A GATHERING OF SHADOWS and it was ABSOLUTELY AMAZING!!! :D

I loved getting to dive right back into Kell and Lila's world. It was just as wonderful as it was when I was first introduced to it. In fact, I think it got even better! I loved that I was a bit familiar with Kell's magical world, but like Lila, I was still finding things that were new and exciting for me...like the Essen Tasch (Element Games), an international magical competition where the best magic users from each country get together to compete! In A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, we mostly just saw Kell and Holland use magic, but in A GATHERING OF SHADOWS we see so much more! You see people who can control single elements, two elements, three elements...and we even learn about the priests who can balance them all! I loved getting to see so many new perspectives of the magic in the Kell's world...and I really, really enjoyed the spectacle that was the Essen Tasch! The battles were so intense, and they really jumped off the page. :D

Along with the superb magical sequences, I loved that we just really got a greater understanding of magic itself! It's still pretty mysterious, but as Lila learned more, we learned more, and I really enjoyed that! I've also loved both Lila and Kell since A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, and I just grew to love them more and more in A GATHERING OF SHADOWS! I love how stubborn they both are. I love how broody Kell is, and how Lila is determined to make her own way. They're both such fantastic characters! Most of all, I loved that we really got to see a lot of Rhy in this one! I loved his relationship with Kell in the first book, and it was even better in this one! They have the best bromance ever! And the new characters were fantastic! I doubt anyone can read A GATHERING OF SHADOWS without having very strong feelings for Alucard. He's quite the character. :P I also really enjoy how fluid sexuality is in this series⎯Rhy in particular intrigues me the most! I do definitely enjoy the sexual/romantic tension surrounding Lila and Kell too, but I have to admit that even though I really, really want them to get together, I love that the story really isn't about a romance between them. There's definitely a romantic element there, but the story is so much deeper than that, and I think that's pretty fantastic. :D

Magic, great characters...what else is there? Well, plot of course, and A GATHERING OF SHADOWS has a fantastic one! Told in alternating perspectives, you get to see this story from all sides. It was interesting to see how everything came together...and to try to anticipate what would happen! I'm not going to say anything else because I'm staying far from spoilers...but it is sooooooo GOOD! If you enjoyed A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC, I think you'll definitely love this one, too! :D

Overall, I absolutely LOVED A GATHERING OF SHADOWS! It was intense, captivating, and completely blew me away! I was so excited for it, and it definitely lived up to and exceeded all of my expectations!!! The characters were just as dynamic and amazing as they were in first book, and the story was amazing! As soon as I started reading, I was already dreading the end because I just want to live in Kell and Lila's world FOREVER! It's been just over a week since I finished reading...and I'm still reeling. And I'm definitely having Kell, Lila, and Rhy withdrawals. :P If you haven't started the SHADES OF MAGIC series yet, I definitely recommend it...especially if you love fantasy, magic, and intricate world-building!!!

Q&A with V.E. (Victoria) Schwab!

If you lived in Kell's world and were from Red London, which element(s) would you like to have power over and why? And yes, Antari, is definitely an acceptable choice. :) 

Oh man, when I wrote a book about superpowers, I thought that would be the hardest question to answer, but it’s definitely elements. At one of end of the power spectrum we have Priests, who have a slight/gentle influence over all elements, allowing them to nurture the world, heal it and help it grow; at the other end we have Antari, who have near absolute control over all elements, and the ability to cast blood spells; and in between we have magicians who are proficient in one, two, and, rarely, three. Tempting as it is to answer Antari, we have to remember that things usually don’t go too well for Antari, being as rare as they are. But I know if I had magic I wouldn’t have Master Tieren’s subtle balance either. I think I’d probably say earth, but only because that’s actually a very broad category, ranging from metal workers all the way to stone and soil, and I think rocking a part-Magneto, part-earthshaker power would be pretty sweet.
 About Victoria Schwab

Victoria is the product of a British mother, a Beverly Hills father, and a southern upbringing. Because of this, she has been known to say "tom-ah-toes," "like," and "y'all."

She also tells stories.

She loves fairy tales, and folklore, and stories that make her wonder if the world is really as it seems.

Love, love love Victoria's answer to my question! I think I would love having any sort of magical ability, but I definitely agree with her, power over earth would be pretty amazing!!! I think I'd also really enjoy having power over water!! You could surf or play around without any kind of gear! And if it were raining, you wouldn't get wet unless you wanted to...of course, fire would be pretty awesome because you'd always be able to keep yourself warm. :P So many awesome possibilities!!! :D 

If you couldn't tell from my review, I LOVED A GATHERING OF SHADOWS! I'm still so excited to be a part of this blog tour, and I really can't recommend the SHADES OF MAGIC series enough!!!

What do you think?
Did you enjoy my review?
Are you excited for A GATHERING OF SHADOWS?
 Have you already read it?

And what did you think of my question and Victoria's answer?
What kind of elemental power would you like to have?


  1. I would want to be an Antari! Only because then I'd get to see all the Londons haha ;)

    1. That would definitely be the best part about being an Antari, Eileen!!! :D Great choice!!

  2. Ooh what a cool opportunity to interview Victoria!! I'm super curious about these elements that you guys are talking about... not entirely sure of their significance, but I can't wait to find out for myself sometime!

    1. I was definitely super psyched to get to ask her a question for this blog tour!! It's pretty normal magic stuff..the elements: water, fire, wind, earth, and bone. ;) The Antari part is something you won't have seen before though, and you'll get to see a lot more of the magic in her world in general whenever you get the chance to read ADSOM! ;D


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