Please, somebody hold me. I refuse – absolutely refuse – to believe it’s over. After meeting with author V.E. Schwab the same evening I finished the book too! My emotions just weren’t ready for what this book had in store. Please be warned! If you haven’t read ANY of the Shades of Magic series, this post will contain spoilers for the last book!
The precarious equilibrium among the 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. 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 and the Night Spire crew are attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible, as an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown and a fallen hero is desperate to save a decaying world…
Now THIS is how you end a series! There were plenty of twists, dramatic moments, and enough heart stopping chapter endings to shake a stick at! Each time a favourite character was mentioned, I was terrified to turn the page in case something happened to them. When I closed the book, I felt like I’d been through hell and back with how much emotional anguish this book put me through.
A Conjuring of Light picks up right where Schwab left off in the last book. Kell has got himself into another bad spot, leaving it up to Lila to rescue him. But this time, the terror of Black London, thought once to be gone for good, has seized White London and now, living through the demon known as Osaron, has turned its gaze on Red London, rich and thriving with power. In mere moments, Osaron has the city under complete lockdown – corrupting its citizens, killing those unable to resist the powers, and forcing the magicians into hiding in the Maresh palace. It’s a bleak outlook. With few plans and hardly any time, you’re sat wondering whether Red London will soon turn as black as the river…
What I will always love about the Shades of Magic books are the intense differences about the characters. Rhy, for example, really comes into his own in this volume. He faces his fears, doesn’t let Kell run his life, and becomes a powerful head of the Maresh household. When times get rough and all responsibility is shoved onto his shoulders, he dons his armour and braves the outside world. He protects those he is close to and makes decisions fit for a king. Although Alucard is my absolute favourite, Rhy’s character growth was impressive and inspiring considering how he was at the very start of the novel.
Another character that surprised me was Holland. In this book, we learn more about his childhood, his life in White London, and how he became the powerful Antari he is in this book. It was truly gut wrenching to read, and for Holland to have grown up with little to no trust for others in his life was devastating. It just makes him all the more likeable towards the final few chapters of the book.
Schwab is a master of the written word, and knows exactly how to write to get a reaction from her readers. When I met her a little while ago, we discussed Lila, Alucard and Holland and it was thrilling to see her have so much passion for talking to a fan about characters. I think I will always idolise her creativity and how well she crafts magical worlds. This fantasy scape was brilliantly built, had me gripped with every single page, and has left a gigantic hole in my life when it comes to reading. I cannot wait for more works from her, as I know that’ll be the only thing to quench my thirst for high fantasy.
Final thoughts: A conjuring of feelings, passions and smiles. 5/5