Review: A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2) by VE Schwab

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A Gathering of Shadows is the second installment in the Shades of Magic series and is a strong follow-up to A Darker Shade of Magic.  It’s extremely easy to read with strong world building and character development.  It has all the makings of a 5-star read for me.

However, I just can’t click on the 5th star so I’ve decided to live with a 4-star rating.  When I examine my feelings against that 5th star, I can only come up with one explanation – I don’t like Lila.  You see, Kell was the main character in book one but it’s Lila who takes center stage in AGOS.

On paper, she should be one of my favorite female characters.  She is sassy, strong, tenacious and smart.  But she is also selfish – like wrapped up completely in herself to the detriment of almost everyone around her, selfish.  I know, I know.  She has…reasons…to be the way she is.  Don’t care.  Selfish annoys me.  I will avoid spoilers but what cemented my feelings was one scene towards the end where she smiles at someone when something happens.  (Vague enough for you?)  It’s a smarmy, smug smile and she’s proud of the fact that she is getting away with something yet they aren’t.  This person didn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of that smile and it sealed her fate with me.  I’m hopeful that she can redeem herself in book three but we shall see.

4/5 stars.

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