***Description is spoiler for A Darker Shade of Magic***
Four months have passed since the shadow stone fell into Kell’s possession. Four months since his path crossed with Delilah Bard. Four months since Rhy was wounded and the Dane twins fell, and the stone was cast with Holland’s dying body through the rift, and into Black London.
In many ways, things have almost returned to normal, though Rhy is more sober, and Kell is now plagued by his guilt. Restless, and having given up smuggling, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events, waking only to think of Lila, who disappeared from the docks like she always meant to do. As Red London finalizes preparations for the Element Games-an extravagent international competition of magic, meant to entertain and keep healthy the ties between neighboring countries-a certain pirate ship draws closer, carrying old friends back into port.
But while Red London is caught up in the pageantry and thrills of the Games, another London is coming back to life, and those who were thought to be forever gone have returned. After all, a shadow that was gone in the night reappears in the morning, and so it seems Black London has risen again-and so to keep magic’s balance, another London must fall.
Author: V.E. Schwab | Publisher: Tor Books
“I am Delilah Bard, she thought, as the ropes cut into her skin. I am a thief and a pirate and a traveler. I have set foot in three different worlds, and lived. I have shed the blood of royals and held magic in my hands.”
Alright. Book two of this trilogy, and it’s sunk its claws in even deeper. This world, these characters — I am so in love. V.E. Schwab is a master storyteller who really knows how to get out of her own way and build something you want to live in forever.
So Lila left, and Rhy survived, and Kell has found himself on a much shorter leash. Lila found a ship to sail on at last — and maybe a crew to belong with and a captain to follow, too. Meanwhile, Rhy is dealing with understandable trauma and Kell is restless and lonely. Enter: The Essen Tach, a magic competition that takes Red London by storm and offers each of them something different. And in another world, darkness gathers.
The second half of this book moved much more quickly than the first half, but I loved all of it. Every time I sit down to read these books, 100 pages flies by before I can even think about yanking myself back into the real world.
What really makes these books for me is the characters. My poor little heart is literally breaking for Kell and Rhy. And I love Lila enough to be extremely frustrated with her poor decisions (lol).
A world of warning: Have book three on hand — literally right next to you — when you finish this book. There are cliffhangers, and then there’s THIS. You’ve been warned.