Monday, 31 July 2017

Mini Reviews: The Shades of Magic Trilogy by V. E. Schwab

I recently read the Shades of Magic trilogy by V. E. Schwab and cannot get over how good a series it is. It would be silly to do three separate reviews for each of the books so I thought I’d just give a brief overview of my thoughts and feelings for the trilogy in mini-reviews!

A Darker Shade of Magic (Shades of Magic #1)
Publisher: Titan Books
Published: 27th February 2015
Pages: 400

I thought that this was a really solid start to a trilogy. It was new and interesting and felt like a contained book - not deliberately left hanging in anticipation of the sequel. It has some fantastic characters, namely Lila Bard, who is fearless and cocky and easily one of my favourite fictional characters. The first time I read it, I thought it was quite sluggish, but upon reading it this year I enjoyed it more. My only qualm this time around was the writing. I found that there were a lot of asides in the form of hyphens and brackets that didn’t need to be there, and that meant some subtlety was lost and things were made a bit too obvious than I would have liked. Despite that though, I still enjoyed and gave it 3 out of 5 stars.

A Gathering of Shadows (Shades of Magic #2)
Publisher: Titan Books
Published: 23rd February 2016
Pages: 508

This was where the series picked up for me. I loved how we followed Lila and Kell separately and I loved the idea of this magical championship. I did feel however that this was definitely the filler book, bridging the gap between the first and third books and drawing the series out into a trilogy. I got on much better with the writing but it felt odd to only get to the main event in the last 1/3 of the book and it was way too obvious that we weren’t going to get a rounded off ending. Additionally, whilst I liked the subplot, it wasn’t expanded nearly enough for my liking and I forgot about it, if I’m honest. With all this in mind though, the characters and the action definitely won me over so I gave it 4 out of 5 stars.

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3)
Publisher: Titan Books
Published: 21st February 2017
Pages: 666

Now this book is quite simply amazing. We have a fully developed plot, an excellent and well-rounded cast of characters, and some great action scenes. Even though it is a long book, it didn’t feel like a massive amount of work to read, and actually I would have been happy had it just continued on and on. I really felt like Schwab had a lot of time to settle into it and develop it properly and again, the writing was heavily improved. I loved how we got the backstory to characters that had been introduced to us early on in the series and how we didn’t just follow the main protagonists but most people involved in the action. It was a stunning end to the series and I awarded it 5 out of 5 stars.

Overall, I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the Shades of Magic trilogy to anyone. It’s new and exciting and has everything you could ever wish for in a fantasy and it only keeps getting better.