She bent most of the rules. She broke the rest.
Title: A Gathering of Shadows
Series: Shades of Magic #2
Author: V.E. Schwab
Format: Spanish Paperback
Length: 492 pages
Rating: 4/5 ★★★★☆
It has been four months since a mysterious obsidian stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Prince Rhy was wounded, and since the nefarious Dane twins of White London fell, and four months since the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift–back into Black London.
Now, restless after having given up his smuggling habit, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks as she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games–an extravagant international competition of magic meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries–a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.
And while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night will reappear in the morning. But the balance of magic is ever perilous, and for one city to flourish, another London must fall.
Since this is the second book you can expect spoilers for the first one as well
My murder child is growing into a murder.woman and I’m so proud. I oved seeing her develop in this new world all on her own. I feel like she had way more agency than in the first book.
Give. My. Boy. A. Fucking. Rest.
The monarchs can kiss my ass, they are such assholes and nobody but Rhy seems to consider how everything is affecting him. He’s this close to snapping and killing everyone and I wish he would. Everyone wants to use him like a tool and conveniently forget that he’s an actual person. I’m glad he found Lila again because that’s the only motherfucker I trust with his heart.
I loved him. From his first appearance in the text he was my new favorite character. He’s so extra and sweet and secretive. He has everything you could wish for.
Although, I couldn’t read his name without also reading Dracula, so that’s my only drawback.
This kid just got resurrected and is dealing with the whole idea of mortality and his parents don’t have a better idea than putting him in charge of the biggest sports (???) tournament in the continent, which would also define international relations and may risk a war.
No wonder he finds a way to rebel against everything by sneaking Kell into the games. Am I the only one who saw this as a bit close to self-harm? Since he knew Kell would get hit and he’d feel every touch… Maybe that’s digging a bit too deep
or maybe projecting but I hope his self-worth gets better… if he doesn’t die again after that cliffhanger
I knew he wasn’t fucking dead!
He’s also a weak-ass-bitch who couldn’t resist the thrall of more power so I still don’t like him.
I’m… not too sure what to think about her. A fanatic who would do anything for her king but also doesn’t get that much development past that.
The repercussions on the characters from the events of the previous books. Many times we get characters who go through traumatic experiences and then are just fine, this time we get to see how Kell has to face the reactions from everyone around him.
- First of all, Rhy is no longer the happy-go-lucky prince that we first met, he resents the events that led to him being bound to Kell, even if he still loves his brother
- The king and queen are
shitheadsnot nce to Kell (even though the guy saved their child’s life, whatever)
- And the city doesn’t treat Kell as a prince anymore but look at him with distrust and fear
I loved the relationship between Alucard and Lila. It’s such a great dynamic, the aloof thief, hiding from everyone, and the charming pirate captain who hires her into his crew. The night lessons were adorable and I love how they flirted and it didn’t have to go anywhere. Sometimes you flirt with your best friend and it doesn’t mean anything. But there’s also the actual emotional vulnerability shared, especially when Lila follows him to his family’s house. It’s just a fantastic pair and I hope to read more of them in the future.
Lila and Kell pining for eachother in their own ways… I’m not usually a fan of pining but the angst. Both thinking the other is fine without them and not wanting to bother the other. Kell seeing Lila and assuming she’s just a daydream, Lila seeing Kell in the palace and not wanting to talk to him.
The Essen Tasch
Can we talk about the amaing-ness that were those games? I was actually invested in this imaginary sport of wizards trying to hit eachother. The way Visctoria described every move and strategy was enthralling.
The changing POVs were not my favorite at the start, mainly because I cared most about Lila’s than anybody else’s but I did learn to love them as the story progressed.
I’m the first to admit that I wanted to kick the king and queen on the royal jewels but that’s not something bad about the book so let’s get into the actual reason I couldn’t rate this amazing book 5 stars::
The fucking translation
It was such a huge mess that I had to go and buy the English bersion or I wasn’t going to finish the book. I loved the story but it was so badly translated that I had to keep translating it back to English in my head for the words to make any kind of sense.
- Wrong verb tenses
- Look, I know English only has three but Spanish doesn’t and it matter which one you choose
- Inconsistent use of the formal you
- Again, this isn’t something that happens in English but how hard is it to pick one form and stick to it????
- Some words that were specifically vague about the gender they were referring to were translated as purposefully heterosexual, and that annoyed the shit out of me
- Yes, I’m talking about Alucard
- Expressions translated either literally from English (which didn’t make any sense) or to an expresion in Spanish so archaich that it was equally annoying to read through
- I cryed when reading literally translated puns… why
- And just, simply, choosing the wrong way to translate a word. Either the translator isn’t a Spanish speaker or they are really bad at English.
Listen, VE Schwab is the queen of my heart and every line in her books is a Best Quote.
I’d paste the entire book here if I could…
“Oh yes, your relationship with Miss Bard is positively ordinary.”
“Crossing worlds, killing royals, saving cities. The marks of every good courtship.”
Everyone’s immortal until they’re not.
Look, everyone talks about the unknown like it’s some big scary thing, but it’s the familiar that’s always bothered me. It’s heavy, builds up around you like rocks, until it’s walls and a ceiling and a cell.
Whatever I am, let it be enough
The prince shrugged. “Who needs magic when you look this good?”
“I’m sorry.” He sounded so…earnest, which made Lila instantly suspicious. Alucard was many things, but genuine wasn’t usually one of them.
“For growing on me?” she asked.
He shook his head. “For whatever happened to you. For whoever hurt you so deeply that you see things like friends and fondness as weapons instead of shields.”