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A Conjuring of Light (A Darker Shade of Magic #3) (Shades of Magic) Paperback – 21 Feb 2017
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"Fans of "A Darker Shade of Magic" will love its sequel, and fantasy fans who haven't yet read the first book in this series should hurry to catch up. --Kirkus Reviews
"Full of magic, intrigue, adventure, deception, a bit of piracy...this will engage both adult and young adult fantasy readers alike." --Booklist
Praise for "A Darker Shade of Magic" "Compulsively readable...her characters make the book."--NPR
"[This has] all the hallmarks of a classic work of fantasy. Its plot is gripping. Its characters are memorable. [Its setting] is otherworldly yet believable. Schwab has given us a gem of a tale...This is a book to treasure."--Deborah Harkness, New York Times bestselling author of "The All Souls trilogy"
"Inventive fantasy. One for Neil Gaiman fans."The Guardian
"Feels like a priceless object, brought from another, better world of fantasy books. Schwab's writing is engaging and vivid...kept me engrossed by its story every bit as much as I was fascinated by its complex, multilayered world." io9.com on "A Darker Shade of Magic".
"London's appeal for Schwab seems to be its changeability, the way it can shift shades, from familiar to recognizable to weird to utterly alien. But for her, even the familiar has seeds of horror in it, grime and gloom and the weight of the past It s a multiple split-screen adventure, with an engaging hero/heroine pair at its center." The Wall Street Journal on "A Darker Shade of Magic".
"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 Magic" resolves 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"
"A Darker Shade of Magic" is as twisty-turny, dark, and gorgeous as the (multiple) Londons it winds through." - --Steven Brust, author of the New York Times bestselling Vlad series
A Darker Shade of Magic is smart, funny and sexy ... and Schwab keeps the excitement coming with roller-coaster plot twists that establish her as, perhaps, the natural successor to Diana Wynne Jones's contemporary fantasy crown." --The Independent (UK)
About the Author
V.E. Schwab is the No.1 New York Times bestselling author of ten books, including This Savage Song and the Darker Shade of Magic series, whose first book was described as a classic work of fantasy by Deborah Harkness. It was one of Waterstones Best Fantasy Books of 2015, The Guardians Best Science Fiction novels, and a Telegraph choice for the Best Young Adult Books of 2015. The Independent has called her The natural sucessor to Diana Wynne Jones.
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I review every book I read, so I had to write this review. But honestly - and I don't say this very often - I'd probably advise you to ignore my three star review and focus on all the four and five star ones.
I really don't know what it is about me and this series. It's objectively pretty well written and well plotted, and subjectively, it's got a lot of the elements I like in my fiction. But somehow, the characters and the stories never really get into my heart and mind. It's a bit like going on a date with someone who's a lovely person and perfect for you on paper, and having a perfectly nice evening but not feeling any real spark of attraction.
Book two came close to tipping me over the edge into actually loving the series, mostly due to the more narrowly focussed plot and the brilliant addition to the cast of Alucard. But here, the energy seemed to drain away again.
This time around, my favourite element was the reintroduction of and getting to learn about his lifestory and see his human side. At times, when he was on the page or when there was a particularly interesting plot development or dramatic or romantic scene, it almost ensnared me. Then it'd lose me again.
Even with my fairly mixed feelings, I'm suggesting this is worth a read. And nearly everyone else's view is that it's a must read. So definitely pick up a coffee. Just if you're anything like me, be prepared for slight disappointment.
The book features the fight for red London and resolves the relationship issues between Kell, Delilah, Rhy and Alucard. Along the way we learn more about each one of them and begin to understand some of the previous events in the story. We also watch the characters grow and change which is a delight especially as they begin to understand each other better. My particular favourite character has always been Delilah and I really enjoyed how the author slotted her narrative into the overall story without compromising her independence and free spirit. All of the characters are flawed but they all have the opportunity for redemption whether or not they take it.
The book is full of action and enhanced by some excellent banter between characters. It is a not a long book but i felt that the author made it all count.
If you are a fan of fantasy then this is an excellent series. It is original and full of humour. The worldbuilding works and the author makes her alternative reality very believable. An excellent read
“Love and loss,” he said, “are like a ship and the sea. They rise together. The more we love, the more we have to lose. But the only way to avoid loss is to avoid love. And what a sad world that would be.”
(prepare for minor spoilers)
Once again, Victoria's writing made me highlight about a hundred different sentences from the iBook, because it is just too good. This woman was put on this earth to write stories and create characters, and I would honestly read anything by her. I definitely recommend you read her books if you haven't already.
What I personally love the most about this series, and this book in particular, are its characters.
Alucard and Rhy are, without exaggeration, probably two of my all-time favorite characters I've read about, so every scene they're in is just a blessing. In this book, we saw Rhy grow so much. I'd say he's the one that had the greatest character evolution through the series, and I just feel like a proud mother. I felt so bad for everything he went through in ACOL, everything he lost, both literally and figuratively, and I kept worrying for his life during all almost-700-pages. I never signed up for this. However, I was perfectly happy at the end, and I probably wouldn't have wanted it any other way. He'll be a great king, especially with Alucard at his side.
"I told you to keep him safe, not cuddle." Alucard spread his hands behind him on the sheets. "I'm more than capable of multitasking."
Alucard. A Conjuring of Light made me love him even more than I already did, made me see how precious he is and how caring and thoughtful; just what Rhy deserves, and that's why that ending broke me in the best way possible. It was a complete RHY DID THAT moment, and it made me happier than probably anything else in the book:
"My brother wishes to travel, and I have granted him permission." Kell's expression soured at the word, but he did not interrupt. "As such," continued Rhy, "I require an ally. A proven friend. A powerful magician. I require you here in London, Master Emery. With me."
I could keep quoting, until he says "And I will not suffer losing you", but I think you get the point. Alucard. Rhy. I'm very happy.
Another character that positively surprised me, was Holland. I must admit I really didn't know how to feel about him in the first two books. But now, oh my god. Holland saved the world, saved every character's life like ten times throughout ACOL, and managed to show a side of himself that I'd never noticed before. I ended up liking him as much as I like Kell, and the last chapter from his point of view broke me, this time not in a positive way. It was all too much, but I'm glad he got what he wanted, peacefully, in White London.
Kell and Lila, who we've been with since the start, got even better in the last book, both individually and as a couple. Kell has been the same selfless and kind character throughout the series, and what I loved the most about him in this book was his relationship with Rhy, that became even stronger than before. It's one of the most beautiful relationships between brothers that I've ever read about, and even if they're literally bound in life and in death, they're always really close to each other's heart.
Then we have Lila, now an Antari and a captain (!!!), who remained the badass, powerful and carefree heroine she was, and she stopped running. Instead, we find her running with Kell at the end, which was so beautiful because they both have the same desire to travel, to live and to see everything. I don't know where they're going next, but I know it's going to be great. The last scene is them leaving, and it was perfect and perfectly devastating. It was the ending we deserved, but I wasn't ready for an ending, and then Kell and Rhy wave to each other and I start crying? Again, I never signed up for this. Too painful.
If you haven't read this series, I really, wholeheartedly recommend you do so. Even if you're not into fantasy, you'll probably be into this. Even finishing this review hurts me, but the thought of the movie adaptation coming out just makes it a little better. So thank you, Victoria, for creating the most wonderful world and characters, and since I refuse to say goodbye, I'll simply say Anoshe.