Shades of Magic Series: A Review
I fell in love again... with another book series. This time it was A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, and A Conjuring of Light, the Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab.
I really think I could go on and on and on and on about how much I enjoyed this book series. Truly, I loved everything about it, except that it ended. I don't want to lose you in the gushing though so I'm going to try to contain myself.
These are the reasons why I loved A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, and A Conjuring of Light:
The characters are robust and diverse.
Not a single one is all good or all bad. Each character had their personal struggles, hangups, regrets, and growing pains. Lila struggled with attachment and trust. Kell struggled between wanting to be free and wanting to defend his family. Rhy struggled with his own lack of magic and fear he wasn't worthy of being king. Alucard struggled to show Rhy the truth and be himself in a world that didn't fully accept him. Holland struggled to let go of the past and forgive himself for actions he had no choice in. And those are just some of the main characters.
Lila is a total badass.
Just read the book solely to watch her come into her own and wreck those that get in her way.
Schwab highlights sexuality, in a covert way, and how judgmental society can be simply for who someone chooses to love.
I liked that she included this without it being the crux of the whole story, because it resembled the way it happens in our everyday life as well. There are always little asides that you hear or witness that bash various types of sexuality, and it happens so much that we've been desensitized to it. I think it was a clever and effective way to handle the topic in a fantasy series.
The imagery and setting were so lush.
Each London has a distinct vibe - the color association is just brilliant - and she depicts each one with such clarity that it springs forth in your mind as you read. As a writer who has a personal struggle describing setting, I love that she did it with such mastery.
Those are my main reasons, but the list could keep going. It's an action-packed fantasy adventure that takes you across and through multiple worlds. There's political intrigued, love affairs, self-realization, humor, and tension from the first page of the first book to the last page of the last book.
If you like fantasy and magic,
If you like books that sweep you away,
If you like grown up versions of Narnia and Harry Potter, minus the creatures,
Then you'll like the Shades of Magic series.