Author: V.E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor Books
Release Date: February 21st, 2017
Standalone/Series: Final book in the Shades of Magic trilogy
Genre: Adult – Fantasy
My rating in stars: 5 stars
My rating in words: All-time favorite
Warning: Spoilers for book one and two. Minor spoilers for A Conjuring of Light.
What it’s about:
Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.
THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…
The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.
WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?
WHO WILL RISE?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.
WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.
My thoughts (Minor spoilers):
“Anoshe was a word for strangers in the street, and lovers between meetings, for parents and children, friends and family. It softened the blow of leaving. Eased the strain of parting. A careful nod to the certainty of today, the mystery of tomorrow. When a friend left, with little chance of seeing home, they said anoshe. When a loved one was dying, they said anoshe. When corpses were burned, bodies given back to the earth and souls to the stream, those left grieving said anoshe.
Anoshe brought solace. And hope. And the strength to let go.”
Me before starting this review: “Well, let’s write up a nice, well argumented review about this book that will make people understand just how good this series is.”
This review: “OMG, THIS SERIES IS SO GOOD! AND THESE CHARACTERS… I WANT TO HUG THEM! AND THE PLOT… UGH SOOO GOOD.”
Ahem. Well, I tried.
Seriously, this is actually quite a difficult review to write, because I really don’t want to review. I want to gush. I NEED to gush. I started this series quite late (only a few months ago), but I quickly became obsessed. When I read A Darker Shade of Magic, I was in awe with the amazing plot and worldbuilding. When I read A Gathering of Shadows, I fell head over heels in love with the wonderful characters. And now I finally finished the final part in the series, A Conjuring of Light, and I am left rather speechless. What are words even? I mean, this felt like one of the best endings to a series I’ve ever read. It was pretty flawless in my mind. It was perfection. It was phenomenal.
So here’s my attempt at giving you a short overview of WHY A Conjuring of Light is so phenomenal:
– The story sucks you in right away! It picks back up immediately after the events of A Gathering of Shadows and the plot is basically one fast-paced, breakneck-speed, adrenaline-filled, magical adventure until the very end.
– Life-or-death fight scenes, creeping dread, violent pain, vicious hearbreak, witty humor, overwhelming love… they all follow eachother so quickly and it is written and balanced so, so perfectly to make you be on the edge of your seat and FEEL everything.
– Multiple POV’s never worked so well. Obviously we get the POV’s of our main characters, but even secondary characters get fleshed out and don’t even try to escape it, you will likely even fall in love with them in just a few chapters. (I personally fell in love with Lenos and Hastra the most.)
– Prepare to get your heart broken because… Holland flashbacks! We get so much insight into his past and his character and it just adds so much to the story. Also, can someone just please go and hug Holland?
– Character interactions! The only thing better than a story about these 5 main characters? A story where they interact so much and in such new and surprising combinations. Rhy and Lila, Kell and Alucard, Holland and Lila,… yes please!
– Can I just say that I live for Kell and Alucard’s obvious dislike for eachother and their petty banter? Please never change, boys.
– The ships! The ships! Yes, obviously I loved the actual physical ships, because can you imagine all these badass characters, being forced together on an actual ship with very small quarters? HAH! But also, the relationships! I ADORE the romance in this book, because it is so subtle and never takes over the story in any way, but what we get is so very well done. Kell and Lila, Rhy and Alucard: my heart just aches so much for these two couples.
– All of these characters are some of my favorite characters of all-time. It doesn’t often happen that I can hardly pick a favorite, but I just love all these characters soo much. Kell broke my heart and his love for Rhy made me cry and here I go crying again just thinking about these two and their brotherly bond. Rhy has grown so much throughout the series and I wish he could be my prince. Lila is awesome and badass and I want to be her when I grow up. Alucard has gone through so much and I actually wasn’t expecting to feel so much for him, but I did. And Holland just breaks my heart every time he’s even in a scene.
– That spell-teaching scene <3
– The ending is absolutely perfect and satisfying and made me sob throughout the entire last 30-something pages.
– Here I go hoping for one or more spin-off series because as perfect and satisfying as this was, I still have questions and I still want more. Please Victoria?
So, I hope that if this gush-fest only managed to convey one thing, it is that I absolutely love this series and I HIGHLY recommend it. It has magic, parallel worlds, dashing heroes, badass pirate thieves, danger, adventure, romance and humor. What more could be needed?
“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.”
“Caring was a thing with claws. It sank them in, and didn’t let go. Caring hurt more than a knife to the leg, more than a few broken ribs, more than anything that bled or broke and healed again. Caring didn’t break you clean. It was a bone that didn’t set, a cut that wouldn’t close.”
“I have never known what to make of you. Not since the day we met. And it terrifies me. You terrify me. And the idea of you walking away again, vanishing from my life, that terrifies me most of all.”
“Rhy shook his head, exasperated. “Kell isn’t the only one you fail to understand. My bond with him didn’t start with this curse. You wanted him to kill for me, die for me, protect me at all costs. Well, Mother, you got your wish. You simply failed to realize that that kind of love, that bond, it goes both ways. I would kill for him, and I would die for him, and I will protect him however I am able, from Faro and Vesk, from White London, and Black London, and from you.”
“You think this is a bad idea,” he said. It wasn’t a question. But it sparked something in Lila, rekindled the fire in her eyes and ignited a grin.
“Without a doubt.”
“Then why are you smiling?”
“Because,” she said, “bad ideas are my favorite kind.”
“Her hand slid beneath his shirt with all the practiced grace of a thief. But this time she wanted him to feel her touch, her palms gliding over his ribs and around his back, fingertips digging into her shoulder blades.”
Kell’s gaze shifted to the bed, sheets rumpled where Alucurd had been lying moments before. “Taking your task seriously, I see.”
“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.”