Blurb from Goodreads:
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.
ANOSHE! (Wipes Tears)
What can I say, book? Where do I start? I just… I bow down to your greatness! Because here’s a book that left me in a puddle of emotions, that built me a world that’s highly worth losing myself into, and gave me characters that are so complex and completely relatable they felt real. This series was never short of epic. So if you haven’t started reading this—go, start now! This is a series done right and is definitely worth binge reading!
A Conjuring of Light is the third and final installment in the Shades of Magic trilogy. I usually don’t find second and third books as riveting as the first, but this one made my heart sing! Once again V.E. Schwab graced us with her exquisite writing style. Schwab is known for her seamless world-building, balanced characterization, sinister themes, and I must say that in this book her talent is in full display. I mean, she always delivers in her books but this one just shines in a way that was unforgettable. I think this author can do no wrong when it comes to writing and telling a story. She entertains, she surprises, keeps me on edge, and at the end all of her characters claimed a spot in my memory and they stay there for a long time. Please teach me your ways, Schwab.
Magic made everything feel so impermanent, it was easy to forget that some things, once changed, could never be undone. That not everything was either changeable or infinite. Some roads kept going, and others had an end.
The story picks up right where A Gathering of Shadows left off. It’s like Schwab was done with setting up foundations and just went straight into the thrill and the action in full speed right at the very beginning of this book. It got my full undivided attention right away but I was also a little afraid that the rest of the book wouldn’t be as high as its first chapter. Because how will you keep an energy as high as that throughout a very big book? But Schwab definitely knows what she’s doing.
Here we saw a world fighting two battles at the same time—one against dangerous magic and another one against political enemies. We get just the right amount of everything in this fantastic conclusion. We had magic gone wild, a political conflict, romance with glorious ships, bloody fight scenes, perils and adventures both on land and on sea, betrayals, and deaths that will likely tear hearts to pieces. This is a dark and hardcore conclusion to a dark series but it still contain the light of strong friendships, unity, love, and hope.
This one is a big book so there’s a lot to talk about. But first, Lila Bard, I’m so… jealous!
Lila Bard was a force to be reckoned with. Whether her hands were filled with knives or fire, her voice low and coaxing or lined with steel, she seemed to hold the world in her hands.
Okay, now that I have that out of my chest let’s talk about the things that I really love about this book. There might be a little spoiler ahead so read at your own risk.
The Characters. ADSOM introduced me to amazing characters. AGOS made me know them in a deeper level. ACOL made sure that I never forget about them. I love how my beloved characters grow and change into someone stronger and more matured without losing that personality that I love seeing in them when they were first introduced in the series. Rhy has the most amazing growth in this book—from a charming prince to a king who doesn’t need magic to lead a kingdom. Then there’s Lila in her usual fierceness and recklessness. She comes to full power, she got to travel the seas with the gang, and she got to do what she always dreamed of in this book.
Head bowed, she almost looked like a saint.
If a saint dressed all in black and carried knives.
If a saint blessed using blood.
The Backstories. Holland was this character that I’ve been waiting to be redeemed even after what he did in the second book. So I particularly loved the backstories about him and if you’re like me, well, there’s enough of his sad past in this book to break your heart a little. His backstory tells about the hard things he had to go through being an Antari in a world that’s starved of magic. It was finally revealed how the Danes got him and how he end up under their spell. For a moment I wanted Kell to kill the Danes over again.
“Life isn’t made of choices,” said Holland. “It’s made of trades. Some are good, some are bad, but they all have cost.”
There’s also Alucard’s back story which was equally as interesting. Other than Kell’s and Lila’s POV, we get to see things from a lot of other character’s perspective too, including Alucard’s. Now this was like an answered prayer for me because I’ve been dying for his POV since the last book. Alucard was such a mystery to me and I just love him even more after revealing the truths about his past.
Sadly, Lila didn’t have a backstory so it remained a mystery how she lost her other eye. Worse, Kell had his chance of remembering about his past but then he chose to throw it away! And I was like, how could you Kell? I was curious about your past for so long! Now I’ll be forever wondering… and guessing!
The Ending. It was both what I wish and didn’t wish to happen but it felt amazing anyway. It’s a huge relief that most of them made it to the end, but you know Schwab. She has a way of making her readers attached to every character including the minor ones. So Sanct, it hurts! With the heartbreaking loss aside, I think everybody got what they deserved in the end. Well, except for Holland’s ending—I’m so not okay with it. He deserve to be king and lead!
“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.”
Overall, this was one hell of a conclusion. And yes, this is now officially one of my favorite series. Of all time! Honestly, I can’t speak highly enough about this book. The characters were so amazing that it’s hard to part with them. The plot was striking. The writing was fantastic. Don’t even get me started with the impeccable world-building. I think Schwab tied it up nicely although she left a few things open in this world. Like Lila owing a favor to Maris—a pirate who surely doesn’t let a debt go unpaid. That left me wishing for a book about Maris and how she came into possession of her ship and everything else that’s in it because that sounds pretty badass. I’ll definitely be on the lookout for Schwab’s next series. Really, I’d read anything this woman writes.