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.
Suspense is essential to propel a plot forward. It’s what fiction is made of as readers want to know, what happens next? An effective way to build suspense is to withhold information, make the reader guess, then reveal things later. That’s exactly what The Invisible Library sought to do. However, that for me, also was the downfall of the book. Too much information was withheld, to the point that there was little for me to hang on to. Instead of wanting to know what would happen next, I found myself asking what the point was.
A Thousand Nights is a magical book. The prose is exceedingly beautiful. If literary fiction were to bridge over to the young adult segment, this book would be a stellar example of the genre. In some ways, I think that if readers were to expect a slow story, magnificent in words over a fast-paced one, then the reviews wouldn’t have come to be as mixed as they are now.