Book Review: A Conjuring of Light, by V.E. Schwab

A Conjuring of Light, by V.E. Schwab

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

Published by Tor Books on February 21, 2017

Series: Shades of Magic, #3

Genre(s): fiction, fantasy, young adult

Format & Length: e-book, 602

Source: library

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Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.

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.

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?

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.

And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.

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I was so very excited when A Conjuring of Light came available at my local library! Now, having completed it, I am so very happy to have read it, so very satisfied to be done with it, and also a bit disappointed that it is over. Basically, my feelings are all over the place.

“Delilah Bard – always a thief, recently a magician, and one day, hopefully, a pirate – was running as fast as she could.”

Let’s start at the beginning. We pick up right where the cliffhanger from A Gathering of Shadows left off, and jump right back into the action. While I do understand the reasons for these books being broken apart where they were, there is also just SO MUCH that happens in this novel. Upon finishing it, I could barely even remember how it began.

“There’s no ‘they’ anymore, Master Kell. Magic gave so much to Man, and Man so much to Magic, that their edges blurred, and their threads all tangled, and now they can’t be pulled apart. They’re bound together, you see, life to life. Halves of a whole. If anyone tried to part them, they’d both unravel.”

As always, Schwab’s world building is incredible. I felt like I was in the middle of the action every step of the way. The characters we have grown with from A Darker Shade of Magic continue to grow and develop as well. Getting to know them feels like getting to know someone real, flaws and all. They each have their own motivations and desires, and yet, when necessary, most work to overcome their differences for the greater good.

“The darkness laughed – a sickly sound – and began to draw itself together, to coalesce into a column, and then into a man. Not flesh and blood, but layered shadow, so dense it looked like fluid stone, some edges sharp and others blurred. A crown sat atop the figure’s head, a dozen spires thrust upward like horns, their points faded into smoke. The shadow king, in his true form.”

I did feel like there was something missing, and it took me a while to put my finger on it. For me, unlike the first two books, in which every word moved the plot along, A Conjuring of Light lacked a sense of urgency. For one thing, the plot floated along in several areas, leaving me wondering why someone would give their apparent enemy days on end to do as they wish. For another (and possibly due to the previous), I found it easy to put this down and focus on other things, rather than wanting to spend all my time reading this book.

“Arnesians had a dozen ways to say hello, but no word for good-bye.

When it came to parting ways, they sometimes said vas ir, which meant in peace, but more often they chose to say anosheuntil another day.”

While these particular characters’ stories seem quite complete, Schwab has left some doors open (ha! pun intended) for future stories within this world. I, for one, look forward to that day. For those who love magical fantasy, definitely give the Shades of Magic trilogy a try!


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