A Gathering of Shadows by VE Schwab


*All review I write are spoiler free*

My life is just overtaken by Victoria Schwab lately. Early February I reread A Darker Shade of Magic, while eagerly awaiting the arrival of this book. The cover reveal of This Savage Song was yesterday. And now I’ve finished this beauty of a book, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

So let’s talk about A Gathering of Shadows!

A Gathering of Shadows

Title: A Gathering of Shadows

Author: VE Schwab (otherwise known as Victoria Schwab)

Publisher: Titan Books

Series Status: The 2nd book in the Shades of Magic series

Number of Pages: 508


(Found on back cover, view different version on Goodreads)


WARNING: The synopsis may contain spoilers for the 1st book. If you have not read the first book, skip ahead to the review, where there will be NO spoilers!


Kell is one of the last magicians with the ability to travel between parallel universes, linked by the magical city of London. It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into his possession and he met Delilah Bard. Four months since the Dane twins of White London fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body back into Black London.

Now Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila. And as Red London prepares for the Element Games – an international competition of magic – a certain pirate ships draws closer. But another London is coming back to life. The balance of magic is perilous, and for one city to flourish, another must fall…


I couldn’t even imagine how this story could get any better, but ohhh how it did.

I became caught up in the story almost immediately. So much happened before I even reached 100 pages; there were twists I really didn’t see coming, and genuinely surprised me. Since there’s quite a cast of characters, it’s the sort of book you easily get tangled with. I remember just wanting to know what was happening to everyone at the same time. And I was quite surprised to find there weren’t any chapters I found boring compared to the rest, due to them focusing on a certain character. Oh no, I loved them all. There literally wasn’t a single chapter I found boring in this book. It was incredible.

The story developed really well from the first book. The world was gradually evolving, and thanks to VE Schwab’s writing style, it was so easy to imagine. The scenes were just vivid in my mind, and there were moments I forgot I was reading and was living the story. I became the characters, and understood the world through their eyes.

“He still remembered watching the procession of ships and people, trying to imagine where they’d come from, what they’d seen. He couldn’t go to the world, but on those rare occasions, it seemed to come to him.”

This is one of those books that’s completely engrossing despite it not being completely action/fighting based. There’s a huge build up to this tournament – the Element Games – but the story beforehand is interesting in itself, it doesn’t drag at all. It’s like the story is a balance between politics, magic and adventure. Plus the tournament was a great way to introduce new characters – which, I might add, were very intriguing.

The more the story was built up, the more believable it became. One quote in particular stood out to me, and I just couldn’t shake it from my mind…

“Amazing, how quickly the magical became mundane; only months ago, she hadn’t known magic was real, and now she felt the urge to search for stranger things.”

There’s something about Schwab’s way of writing that really sticks with me. True phrases like that are told in such an elegant way that I can’t help but remember them. And I love that.

Towards the end I felt like my head would burst, in the best possible way. So much had happened in the book, and I kept replaying the scenes in my mind over and over again. I kept trying to imagine how the next book will start. Tried making my own theories.

I just know for sure that the wait for the third book is going to seem so incredibly long.

If you haven’t started this series already – just please do. It’s amazing.

Rated 4.5/5 stars!

4.5 stars

Order from Amazon!

Share your thoughts!

Have you read this book? What did you think?

Which edition do you own – US or UK, like mine?

Or have you read the 1st one, with this on your TBR?

Maybe you’ve not started this series yet – do you plan to?

Let me know!



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11 thoughts on “A Gathering of Shadows by VE Schwab

  1. Oh I’m so glad you liked this book!
    The whole series is brilliant but I agree with you AGoS is definitely the best so far. I hope it means the next book will be even better though at the moment I don’t see how it’s even possible to improve on this one!

    Liked by 1 person

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