Taking one of my list. I probably bought this book right after I finished Victoria’s other series, Shade of Magic. Which I read in 2018 so yeah I bought a while ago.
It’s that time of year where we take a look back at everything we have read this year and come up with our best of the year. It’s a tough job but not one we take lightly. It’s been a very diverse year for me.
1.Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi –This fantasy was like nothing I’ve ever read. A little bit of magic, a little bit of adventure and a little bit social commentary. It took me on a wild ride as Zelie discovers her own powers and does what she can to help her people from the evil King who has done all he can to erase her people. It was a breathtaking first book.
2. A Cruel Prince by Holly Black-Holly Black is at her best when she is writing about fairies. It really is her element. The lush world that Black has created is so rich and vibrant that I almost wanted to go if it wasn’t filled with blood thirsty fairies. Looking for a fantasy full of royal intrigue this one is also for you.
3. Shades of Magic Trilogy by V.E. Schwab –Technically I read the first book last year but I finished the trilogy so I’m counting them all as one. It was one wild fantasy series. From truly vile villains, pirates, royalty magic and supernatural forces it really did have everything but never felt too much.
4. Dread Nation by Justina Ireland- This one I think I liked for the very beginning. Jane was born a slave but when the dead of Civil War come back to life, Jane is sent to a boarding school that teaches her and other girls of color how to fight zombies so they may one day work in a nice home as protection. Jane is resourceful, smart and funny. She knows how to kill a zombie.
5. The Princess Diarist by Carrie Fischer –Carrie was truly one of a kind and is sorely missed. Her diary that she wrote while filming the first Star Wars was honest, raw and funny. Really what you would expect from Carrie Fischer.
6. Shadow and the Fox by Julie Kagawa- Add a little fox, a trained warroir with a demon infused sword and Japanese mythology and you get one fun book. I really enjoyed the story building and characters as they try to steal save the scroll that will summon the dragon that will grant wishes was great.
7. Two Dark Reigns by Kendare Blake- The third book in the series was definitely a keeper. I mean they all were but it was still great. We finally get to see more of the world outside of Fennbirn Island and how the Queens became to be. The mythology is really coming together and it’s going to lead to an epic finale.
8. Wildcard by Marie Lu – Emika is so cool. As she unravels the mysteries and tries to save not just Hideko from himself but everyone else from an even bigger conspiracy. It was a fun novel and reminder that not everyone on the internet is your friend.
9..Reaper at the Gates by Sabaa Tahir- Elias, Laia and Helene are on opposite sides of the fight against the Nightbringer and keeping the balance. It’s a thrilling race against time to bring down the Nightbringer and the Empire and Elias Mom, who is just frightening.
10. Truly Devious by Maureen Johnson- I’m still waiting for the last book in her Shades of London series but this filled the void. Who doesn’t love a good boarding school mystery? Stevie decides she wants to go to this exclusive boarding school because she wants to be the one to solve it’s biggest mystery of who kidnapped and killed the daughter and wife of the school’s founder. Twice and turns abound in this one.
The Shades of Magic trilogy is quite a ride and A Conjuring of Light is no exception. For a book that has to do with multiple Londons, magic and power this is book isn’t really about any of those things. It’s about where do people really belong. Kell is an Antari, a very powerful magician that can travel between worlds. He is raised as a Prince, treated as the brother and son of the Royal family in Red London but never truly feeling that he is one of them because he knows he can’t leave. Rhy is the crown prince of Arnes in Red London and for all his privilege and charm he has no magic. There are no rules or reason as to why some people have magic and while others don’t. Rhy is the heir to the throne but feels unworthy because he doesn’t have any magic and in this world is seen as a weakness. Lila is talented thief from Grey London struggling to get by. She ran away from home when she was young and has been running ever since. She had no friends as she sees any kind of attachments as a weakness she cannot afford because she has big dreams of seeing the world. Holland grew up an White London, a hard world that Magic has been slowly going away thanks to it’s nearness to Black London. In his London magic is a gift and curse those who have it have power and those who don’t will do anything to get it. Holland is an Antari like Kell and for that reason he is both feared and targeted. He grew up with stories of a King that will bring back magic to his world and he dreams of being that King but he suffers greatly from those who loved and cared for. Alucard was born to the aristocracy but was cast out of his family because of who he loved and now travels the seas a Privateer for the Crown. All of them are powerful in their own rights and all of them are searching for their place in their world or worlds. Their stories is what makes this series so compelling. As they all struggle to overcome a power far greater then them individually it was their discovering of themselves and overcoming their own fears that allowed them to overcome the darkness and save their world and themselves. One of the themes throughout the book is that magic needs a balance. Just like the Force for there to be peace the Light must balance the Dark. Magic needs to be balanced with non-magic because even Magic has it’s limits. Black London was destroyed before the action of the trilogy because Magic had no counterbalance and burned it down. For Kell, Lila, Rhy, Holland and Alucard, they are all looking for that counterbalance in their lives and until they found it they couldn’t defeat Osaron who was pure magic. I feel like I’m getting real deep here but I think this is true in all of our lives. The Shades of Magic is truly entertaining series. It did have few bumps along the way. I said of the second book about how it started off slow and a little harder to get into and this book I felt had a little unnecessary side trip to a mysterious black market, in the end these are minor missteps to a enjoyable trilogy. A trilogy that I wonder if may become more one day because I think she left things open to a return to Grey London in the future. I kinda hope so because I would love to visit Kell, Rhy, Lila and Alucard again.
I’ll admit that I had a little trouble getting into this one. I get the feeling that V.E. didn’t plan on this being a trilogy originally because while there were a few loose ends it was wrapped up pretty nicely and could have ended where it did. That meant that she sort of had to start all over again setting up the world and the characters. Lila had left Red London to seek adventures and find herself on a privateer’s boat. Kell and Rhy are left dealing with the new bond between them and the knowledge that their lives are tied to each other. If one dies so does the other. All three are restless in their new realities so of course it’s a good time to put on an international tournament of magic. The Essen Tasch, a competition with neighboring nations Faron and Vesk. A good way to expand the universe but it also meant it took a lot of pages building up the games that by the time we finally do and we get all of characters in one place again, the book is more then two thirds over and you blink and the games are over. I just felt it needed a little less setup and more action. Especially since the real story was going on in White London and we only get a glimpse of. The one saving grace is it has one hell of cliffhanger, with not just one or two but at least three characters lives in peril at the final page. It’s a good thing, I went ahead and bought the last book because I have to know what happens next.
What the hell was that ending!? Thank goodness I planned ahead and bought the last two books in this series because KELL! RHY! LILA!! This is not going to end well.
I knew from the description of this book it would be one I would love. I don’t know why I waited so long to pick it up. Kell is an Antari, or a person who has special magic that allows him to go between different worlds. He travels from Red London to Grey London to White London and back. He is the official ambassador between the different Monarchs of the different but he also has a side business of fencing items between back and forth which is strictly forbidden after what happened to Black London. Black London was overrun by magic that it devoured itself. Red London shut it’s doors to the other London’s leaving White London to deal with Black London and Grey London without magic at all. Delilah (Lila) Bard is a thief in Grey London, stealing to get by. She has big dreams of being a pirate and leaving London behind. When one of Kell’s transactions goes bad he is forced to team up with Lila to save all the Londons. It’s a fun read that is full of twists and turns and has some great characters. Kell seemingly has nothing to be upset about being he is treated like a prince and is like family to the Royal family of Red London but he knows he is just one of their possessions. He may live with them and treated as a soon but he wouldn’t be if he wasn’t useful to them. Lila is a orphan who only has herself to rely on. Together they make one of a hell of team. Lila is one smart cookie. On more than one occasion it’s her wits and fast thinking that gets them out of trouble. Kell is not so bad himself. When he figures out what is going on, he knows whatever he has to do and it means sacrificing himself to save others. I can’t wait to read what happens next for Kell and Lila.
I’m so ready for Pirate Captain Delilah Bard.
I’m not sure why I haven’t read this yet. It seems like right up my alley.