Before I officially start this review I’d like to take a moment to feel bad about myself! It’s been so long since I posted anything on here, mostly due to university deadlines and desperately trying to finish my dissertation (I wrote SF, surprise, surprise). Thankfully though, this means I’m done with uni reading for the summer (until I start the dreaded MA) so I can get to reading some stuff I actually want to read! Including some of the works on my 2017 Must Read list. Prepare for spoilers ahead!
I managed to read VE Schwab’s A Gathering of Shadows one of the books on my list, the second in the Shades of Magic series that are absolutely brilliant. This installment in the series followed the characters (plus one quirky addition as per) battling through a magical tournament that brings together three kingdoms. Sounds a little Goblet of Fire doesn’t it? In fact it even ends with the evil in the series rekindling in full force. Despite this fantasy deja vu, it was still a very fun read. Though the tournament did little to move the plot along in itself it offered a great look at the magical world Schwab created, opening up the story to more kingdoms, and a more detailed look at the worlds magic. It also introduced an emotionally complicated and relevant (in that it made the plot interesting not it was just thrown in for the sake of it) LGBT story line, revealing one of the characters to be bisexual, so yeah, this was basically Christmas for me.
I’d like to say that I wish more had happened, as the plot didn’t move on much, but who doesn’t love a good magic tournament? People were fighting with magic!! Schwab more than made up for the lull in the series with some action packed fight scenes that were so entertaining I couldn’t put it down!! I sped through it, and was left with a cliffhanger that essentially crushed me, thankfully, the third book had just come out so I went right out and bought it. I’d like to try and make a bit more sense with this review, maybe critique the text a little more, but this was the first book I read after finishing my uni reading list and that basically made it the best book ever for me. This series might not challenge the reader in the same way A Song of Ice and Fire, but it is genuinely enjoyable, exciting fantasy and frankly half of why I read genre fiction is just for plain fun!