A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Twitter Summary: Raises the stakes, and lays on the characterization. A worthy successor to ADSOM.

Amazon Affiliate Link:A Gathering of Shadows and A Darker Shade of Magic

I am Delilah Bard, she thought as the ropes cut into her skin. I am a thief and a pirate and a traveler. I have set foot in three different worlds, and lived. I have shed the blood of royals and held magic in my hands. And a ship full of men cannot do what I can. I don’t need any of you.

I am one of a damned kind.

If you had shown me that quote, I’d have read the book if I didn’t know the author or had read the first one. The last line applies just as well to the author, as well. Victoria Schwab writes likes she’s running out of time. Since her first book was published in August of ’11, she’s published nine other books.

The first I read was Vicious, and though the achronological storyline had me a little out of sorts, it lead me to preorder the first book in this series, A Darker Shade of Magic. It was a good decision.

AGoS throws together pirates, wizards, royal politics, ancient evils, and a dash of pickpocketing, into a satisfying melange of a novel that deftly plays with a myriad of fantasy tropes. This was written by someone who grew up steeped in Harry Potter and other fantastic works.

Victoria is definitely an author of the “Make you love them, and then do horrible things to them” school of story writing. You want to know what happens next, and good LORD will you want the next book immediately after you finish this one.

I love tournaments. I love wizard duels. I love pirate wizards who fight in wizard duel tournaments. I love wizard duel tournaments that involve multiple wizards pretending to be other wizards. I think that you’re going to love them, too. Brilliantly written, beautifully charactered, and amazingly plotted.

Final Verdict: Thoroughly Enjoyed and GIVE ME THE NEXT BOOK RIGHT NOW.

Other Recommendations:

Badass Female Protags: Wake of Vultures (The Shadow) by Lila Bowen, Assassin’s Curse and Pirate’s Wish by Cassandra Rose Clarke (unfortunately in process of being reprinted by different publisher) , Court of Fives by Kate Elliott

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A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

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