A Conjuring of Light
By V. E. Schwab
V. E. Schwab. We did not get this as a Galley, but this book is so phenomenal that I had to review it. I honestly can't express all the emotions I felt when reading this book, but I can say that tears were shed. The Shades of Magic series is one of those rare series that get better with each book that comes out. There was neither the sequel-slump nor the third-book-letdown that can often occur in fantasy series; instead, each book grew exponentially in quality as the series progressed. While the plot of the books initially draw you in (who can resist a world of alternate universes with varying degrees of magic that can be traveled by a select few), the characters are the ones who keep you reading. The series is centered around a cast of main characters: Kell, the eternally grumpy adopted brother of the prince who uses his magic to run a smuggling business between worlds; Lila, an aspiring pirate who steals her way into the plot; Rhy, the dashing prince with a rebellious streak and a heart of gold; Holland, whose redemption arc rivals that of Zuko; Alucard, who has a cat; among others. These characters are so lovable and genuine and flawed that I felt proud of all their development over the three books.
A Conjuring of Light picks right up from the cliffhanger at the end of the second book, and the first hundred pages are pure action. I don't want to give away any spoilers, and hopefully this review remains mildly dignified as I try and contain all the emotions I have for this perfect ending to a pulchritudinous series. The blood never seemed to stop flowing, the evil kept multiplying, and the pirate ship battles increased in intensity with every quest. At the end of the book, a few plot points were left open, leaving me very hopeful for a sequel series!
Overall, I would compare A Conjuring of Light to the tiramisu I could have eaten in an Italian restaurant had my brother not gotten completely lost on a mountain (it was all his fault, he deserves no sympathy). Wonderfully fluffy, slightly exotic given that tiramisu is not as common in the United States as it is in other parts of the world, subtle notes of chocolate, and a unique taste that reminds you of far off places and foreign adventures. The Shades of Magic series is a brand of fantasy that is completely exciting and a bit more piratey than expected, but totally deserving of 5 out of 5 stars.
To learn more about V. E. Schwab and her books, visit her website at https://veschwab.wordpress.com.