A Gathering of Shadows is much more intense than A Darker Shade of Magic. Schwab has a way of putting words to a page that is incomparable to other authors. The wit that underpins her snarky characters is first class, and Lila is a prime example. What makes it so great is that Lila doesn’t try hard — it’s who she is. A Gathering of Shadows increased my love for her, Kell, and Rhy manifolds, and also sucked me right into the spheres of Alucard and Tieren.
Before I read A Darker Shade of Magic, I was certain that I would enjoy it. I was also sure I wouldn’t be able to wait two years for the conclusion of the trilogy. So, I did what I tend to do — pre-order the first and second books, then park them on my bookshelf. With the release of A Conjuring of Light this year, it was finally time for me to read A Darker Shade of Magic. The anticipation was well worth it! V.E. Schwab wowed me once again.
One thing to be said about Beauty Queens is that it’s way over the top. As much as many have referred to the book as satire, I think it got lost in trying too hard to be funny. Some events were just so ludicrous, they were too far removed from social commentary. Maybe it’s because of that that I was hard pressed to enjoy Beauty Queens. “Give it a chance. Things will get better after a while,” I kept thinking. Things didn’t get better—at least not in my opinion.