SYNOPSIS: Kell is a magician from Red London with a bad habit of smuggling trinkets from one London to the next. When he is given a magical artifact to deliver, he realizes he’s made a mistake and seeks to return it from whence it came, but he didn’t plan on it getting stolen by wannabe pirate, Lila Bard.
Where do I even begin? I can’t believe that nobody yelled at me to read this book sooner! Schwab has created fascinating worlds of magic with characters that are just as interesting and unique. Kell is such a great character and I feel like we got to see so much more to him than just “the good guy hero” and the same can be said for Lila. She is a thief and a rogue, but as the story progresses we see so many different sides to her than you would expect. I love how she surprises Kell at every turn and acts like it’s no big deal how awesome she is. I also love how close Kell and Rhy are. Even though they aren’t blood brothers, you can feel that love and familiarity oozing in all their interactions. They don’t have many present day interactions, but the moments from Kell’s memory are so sweet and loving that it makes me crave more of their relationship! Schwab’s villains are also amazing. It’s not often that I just absolutely love a villain and want to know everything about them, but Athos and Astrid are positively creepy and I wish that there was more! Villains where the only driving force they have is power is the most interesting to me because they could do anything to get it and what Astrid and Athos do for power is insane! I also adore Holland and I have so many questions about him still and I hope he plays a bigger role in A Gathering of Shadows. The fact that there are four different cities all called London, but in vastly different worlds is such a cool concept and I love how each London has it’s own very distinct personality. If I didn’t already know what London the characters were in, I could tell just by character description. Out of Grey London (which would be our London but in the 1800s), Red London, White London, and (for all intents and purposes destroyed) Black London I want to go to Red London so bad. White London is absolutely terrifying and I only want to see it in print, but Red London sounds so vibrant and fantastic that I just have to see it for myself! I also think it’s cool that each London has it’s own unique scent because that isn’t a detail that I would’ve thought to use and it’s a detail that I don’t think many authors utilize (except for when talking about love interests). Usually when scent is used it is the absent of a smell that is noticed, but in this book even the magic has a specific smell to it! I’m looking forward to seeing how Black London plays a part in this adventure and how it will further affect everyone. This is just a great fantasy novel and I love the magical rules that Schwab has set up for these characters to break. I could go on and on about how much I love this book, but I think that the best way to convey it is to just yell at you all to read it!