Title: A Conjuring of Light
By: V.E. Schwab
Series: Shades of Magic #3
Published: February 21st, 2017
By: Tor Books
Genre: YA | Fantasy | Magic
Buy it: Book Depository
Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.
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.
|| Goodreads ||
“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.”
There’s no way I can start this review without saying how grateful I’m that this trilogy has come to my life because although I had some problems with this book, in particular, the story is unique and magnificent as much as the characters, who have thousands of layers in their personalities and are super intense and interesting to follow. I greatly appreciate the author’s work with this story.
With A Conjuring of Light, I feel that although I really enjoyed the beginning and the ending, the whole half was quite dense and the plot itself goes around and around a lot, I also feel that there are quite a few unnecessary scenes, in my opinion, that ended up contributing on nothing to the plot, even so, I highlight the good development in terms of characters and I can say, that it’s a solid conclusion.
This book continues immediately after the events of A Gathering of Shadows and we see how Osaron, a dark entity that proclaims himself as a god, has invaded Arnes and has touched most of the population with his dark magic, turning them crazy and thus being able to handle them to be revered. Meanwhile, our main characters must find a way to destroy him to restore the world its natural state and establish a balance between Londons, but to defeat Osaron they should embark themselves on a dangerous journey and perhaps not everyone returns.
This is a fairly long book that has a little over 600 pages, so from the beginning, I was prepared for an epic ending, and although I enjoyed several aspects as well as very solid scenes, it didn’t meet my expectations. It has a very solid beginning since it starts where the previous book ended, everything is super intense and with a lot of action, so I was on board from the first page. After it begins to develop and the characters are forced to separate to meet their personal goals, things began to get somewhat boring and dense, especially in most of the half of it. We have a lot of travel from one place to another, and you know that I’m not a big fan of that, so it could have affected my enjoyment, but then we also have MANY dialogues and filler scenes of the characters telling irrelevant stories and I’m even more annoyed about the fact that they took more time discussing what to do about certain situations than actually carrying them out and those scenes were very slow. When I reach the mark of the last 100 pages, it’s brilliant and again, I began to feel really hooked and from there I didn’t stop loving the book until I finished. ALL those last 100 pages are what the entire book should have been, it’s full of action, of difficult decisions, of losses, of unions, reconciliations and unexpected moments, I was so full of feelings, I just loved it! It was a shame not to have felt that way throughout the entire book, though.
I think the book is much more focused on the characters and their developments and relationships than on the plot itself, and being a person who enjoys character-driven stories, this shouldn’t be a problem, but as it’s an outcome to an epic trilogy then I expected much more from the plot as such. Personally I don’t think that Osaron is a villain who lives up to a conclusion book like this one, has a couple of very good scenes, one especially that broke my heart, but in general, it wasn’t as powerful everyone thought, you know? I’d have liked to see a more complex and smarter villain than an egocentric one.
As for the characters, I think I’ve already shared a lot about my thoughts about them in my previous reviews, so I’ll be brief this time. Kell’s a good character, I like him, although I think he stood out much more in the previous books than in this one, in particular, I feel that the scenes of him interacting with the other characters had a greater impact than the scenes of himself alone. I want to take advantage to emphasize that I love Lila and Kell scenes, the growth of their relationship is great and I really enjoyed the chemistry between them, I was smiling like all the time lol.
Lila, on the other hand, is a queen, I love her and I know it’s an unpopular opinion, but this time I think I understood why there are so many people who don’t like this character, her personality is quite insolent at times and she speaks too much, but even so, I really liked her because she’s super detailed and honest. I enjoyed her journey through this whole story and I love how in this book she has become a stronger woman, now that she has come to terms with who she really is. I think Lila’s character is about growing up and learning, I love that.
Alucard is my baby, probably my favorite character of all, his scenes are always incredible and super interesting and I think that in this book we see him as never before, in a much more vulnerable and honest position on his feelings, as well as we know more about the reasons for his actions and more about his family. He deserves everything good in the world.
Then we have Rhy and I’ve always had a strange relationship with this character, I’m not a big fan but finally, in this book, I could put myself in his place and I really felt the weight he carries on his shoulders for being the prince and all the responsibility that It comes with it. .I really like the position he took in this book, and how he faces really hard and heartbreaking moments in a very mature way, which I admire
I really love that the author has decided to give greater depth to the Kings and parents of Rhy and Kell in this book, knowing more about them and their pasts was something that I enjoyed a lot, in fact, I would undoubtedly read a book based on Rhy’s father I think that knowing more about his battles made me want to know more.
And finally, I can’t ignore Holland, a character that although SUPER interesting, deserved greater protagonism during this trilogy, in this book I feel that he has been given that central role he deserves because I think it’s so freaking interesting, I adore morally gray characters, knowing more about his past and his true feelings and motives behind his actions made me appreciate him much more, and I think his ending was incredible! A really shocking scene for me.
There is a very special union between the Antaris to try to defeat Osaron and I loved that!
The world is still one of the best things about these books, especially for how diverse and enormous it can be, especially because of the variety of Londons and its differences make it even more interesting to know and explore them. The characters get a map at a time to locate a fair that’s always on the move and reminded me a lot of Harry Potter’s magic, so I wanted to mention it. The incorporation of magical elements was great, I loved it and was very well used throughout the book.
I felt SO nostalgic at the ending, really although this is not the best book of all time, the nostalgia effect is the protagonist because I’ve been reading about them in the previous books, and loving their individual stories and I really wanted them to be happy and everyone had what they deserve. This was a bittersweet ending, but SO GOOD, it was worth reading this story, I think that each character has had what it deserves and has been able to break with its fears and paradigms to be able to really be and do what they want from the heart, instead of what they “should” do, you know? I confess that I was all tearful because I’m so happy and sad that this story is over, especially cause of the characters, I’ll miss them SO much.
In summary and finally, I really believe that the trilogy itself is very good and I still recommend it, my favorite book is still the second A Gathering of Shadows is just brilliant, but this ending wasn’t bad, my expectations were high and really I wanted a more shocking and captivating plot, and although I didn’t have that during the whole book, I prefer to stay with the good and highlight the very solid beginning full of action as well as a surprising and wonderful ending. I feel something very similar with this book as I feel about King of Scars by Leigh Bardugo, I feel that the characters will always be incredible but the plot needs more work, if this book had half the pages it would still have a good effect and an epic ending, I sincerely think that and yet I highly recommend it, it’s a unique idea with unforgettable characters & I feel blessed to have read it. Lila & Alucard my babies forever