A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab
Publisher: Tor (21st Feb 2017)
Series: Shades of Magic #3
Format/Source: Hardback (received a review copy from Macmillan USA International)
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.
Lo and behold, A Conjuring of Light is finally here, guys. I picked up the first book of the Shades of Magic trilogy without an idea that I would hold the books so close to my heart but after three mind-blowing, epic books, I am now quite bereft. The hurt is so real, I just finished A Conjuring of Light and my heart misses the books dearly now.
“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.”
If you have doubts about starting this trilogy, please quell them. You can’t say no to Schwab, I tell you. In fact, I implore you to pick up these books because they will be unlike anything you’ve read.
“Life isn’t made of choices, it’s made of trades. Some are good, some are bad, but they all have a cost.”
A Conjuring of Light picks up right after the cruel cliffhanger in A Gathering of Shadows, which left me reeling and feeling really anxious for the characters. I wouldn’t want to spoil it for you if you’ve not read A Gathering of Shadows – or A Darker Shade of Magic for that matter – but right from the first chapter, Schwab had upped the ante and the pace of the book picked up quickly and I was flipping the pages, eager to find out what happens to our heroes. (Oops, I think Lila Bard would have scoffed at being called a hero but still, I love her!)
“Scars are not shameful, not unless you let them be. If you do not wear them, they will wear you.”
What can I say about a book that has such a solid plot, incredibly likeable and unforgettable characters and some sassy banter thrown into the mix? This hulk of a book is about 624 pages but tagging along while the gang embarked on an adventure of a lifetime to stop a shadow king was nothing but pure fun and lots of ass kicking involved.
I still can’t get over how masterful Schwab writes. Her writing just compels you to read and read until it’s the middle of the night and you’re debating internally whether you should sacrifice sleep and continue reading or save it for another time. A Conjuring of Light was one of those books that you tell yourself that you would stop reading after one more chapter (as if…) and you wake up the next morning, hating yourself for not sleeping earlier. It was completely addictive and I just wanted to inhale this ginormous book.
I loved the chemistry between the characters, even if they might want to kill each other at times, but I seriously did enjoy their witty, often flirtatious banter. I liked that Schwab explored Holland’s backstory in A Conjuring of Light and I learned to appreciate his character more after reading his tragic past.
“Magic ran between them like a current, a cord, and he wondered who she would have been if she’d stayed in Grey London. If she’d never picked his pocket, never held the contents ransom for adventure.
Maybe she would never have discovered magic.
Or maybe she would have simply changed her world instead of his.”
And now, the highlight of the book, for me, at least, was Rhy and Alucard’s relationship. I might have blushed a bit when I was reading their scenes because man alive, if only you could imagine the things a charming character does to your inner fanboy self. Now multiply it by two. Warning: there’s a joke that revolves around a certain male anatomy in A Conjuring of Light. Or was there more than one..? Bottom line: You will be treated to random dick jokes throughout the book.
Words cannot describe my love for this trilogy. I am now currently contemplating life as this magical, badass trilogy is over…
All in all, A Conjuring of Light is epic. From the beginning to the very end, it was bursting with action, sass from our favourite heroine, swoonworthy feels from Rhy and Alucard and how could I forget Kell, our sexy brooding redhead that deserves cuddles all day?
“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.”
An unforgettable finale to an incredibly textured and widely explored instalment, A Conjuring of Light was a triumph.