Magic is back in the forefront of pop culture. We’ll be going into more details on that later in the month but today we’re going to discuss “A Conjuring of Light” by V.E. Schwab. It’s the third and final installment of the young adult fantasy Shades of Magic trilogy. If you haven’t picked up this one yet I highly suggest you grab the first book and give it a try.
Published: Feb. 21, 2017
This book was purchased by us for the review.
This review will not contain spoilers for the book. However, it will contain spoilers for the series. If you haven’t read the previous two books yet, please do so before continuing.
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This book picks up immediately where the previous one did. In A Gathering of Shadows we see one of our protagonists tricked into traveling to White London and imprisoned by his fellow Antari Holland. His magic has been cut off from him which begins to break the tether between him and his brother Rhy, the only thing keeping him alive. Meanwhile Lila attempts to defy all odds in order to save them both. Due to the cliffhanger nature of the previous book, A Conjuring of Light starts out at a fast pace. It snares you immediately and makes it difficult to put down. I think this was the best way to begin.
Over the first two books we see a growing darkness from Black London, thought to be long dead. It begins to spread it’s influence to White London, Red London, and even Grey London. We get to see how magic consumes, destroys, thrives, and dies out by comparing the four worlds that the Antari can travel to. However, in order to wrap up all the story lines, there’s a lot to cover in this book.
The time given to both Holland and Alucard is one of the things I found perfect in this book. We get a glimpse into each of their pasts that helps shed light on their actions in story. We see more of the minor character’s histories as well. However, Schwab teases the reader with one backstory that we never end up getting.
Something I enjoyed from day one with the series is that even though it is a young adult series, it is well written. For the most part I think the young adult genre gets a bad rap due to just a few of the many books it incorporates. The Shades of Magic series is a shinning example that the books can be both an easy read while also intelligent and thought provoking. Don’t let the young adult aspect turn you off from these books.
You would think that being the third and final book in the series, we would have learned almost all there is to know about our characters. That simply isn’t true. This book sheds so much light on the past of our characters that most of our lingering questions are answered. Of course there are one or two that Schwab leaves unanswered, allowing the reader to continue to fantasize and speculate. While this information is great for wrapping up story lines, it also serves a bigger purpose. We learn why the characters make the decisions they do and how those decisions brought them to their present problems. It helps shape the sense of finality that the book brings.
The plot jumps around a lot in this book. However, I think that it is necessary in order to wrap everything up. Not only does it jump between story lines but it also jumps between the past and present. Again, this was needed to ensure we learned about the events that shaped our characters. Yet, we were left with a few unanswered questions that fans can continue to speculate about. Personally, I hope that one day we’ll get different stories within this world to answer those questions.
One of the things that really drew me to the first book, A Darker Shade of Magic, was the cover art. All three books are tied together by the artwork. There have been so many times when I’ve picked up a series and not been able to tell that the different books were related because of the change in artwork. These covers however are simple and yet powerful. Each one manages to convey the theme of the book without giving anything away.
Even though this book means the end of the trilogy, I'm itching for more stories from this world. Most story lines were wrapped up neatly but it left enough unanswered to let the readers imagination run.