Genre: High Fantasy Rating: ⭐⭐⭐2/3
Almost everyone who reads fantasy novels has either read or heard of this trilogy by V.E. Schwab. When A Darker Shade of Magic first came out, I was intrigued by the cover, but I did not have much free time to read, so I passed it up. When I heard that Owlcrate was doing a set of 4 book tins based on the books, I figured it was probably time to read them. Overall, I don’t necessarily think this series lives up to all the hype it typically receives, but I still think it was worth reading, especially if you enjoy fantasy.
The first book in the trilogy, A Darker Shade of Magic, was a solid 4 stars for me. It introduces a complex magic system, interesting characters, and a compelling storyline. For anyone who is unsure of whether or not they want to commit to the entire trilogy, I would recommend reading the first book, and if your rating is lower than 4 stars, this might not be the series for you. By the end of the first book I was mostly intrigued by Lila’s character. The first book generally doesn’t leave you hanging, but I was definitely left wanting to read more about Delila Bard!
The second book, A Gathering of Shadows, lost me a bit. Overall, I found it slow and tedious. I understand that the author essentially used the second book to better explain the magical system and for character development, but literally nothing happens until the last few chapters of the novel. The one positive of the second book, which kept me reading, was that Lila’s character becomes more complex and you see a lot more of her personality compared to the first book. A Gathering of Shadows certainly filled my desire for seeing more of Lila Bard. In the first book she is an interesting character, but the second book adds so much depth to her. All in all, the second book is surely my least favorite out of the series, but if you enjoy the first, it is probably worth plowing through the second.
The final book in the trilogy, A Conjuring of Light, was another 4-star read for me! The characters are brought together in the plot and it is action-packed throughout its entirety. There is more development of the characters and the magic system, but the constant action was what truly kept me reading. I won’t give away any spoilers, but the characters must come together again to save Red London, and they spend a lot of the book on a quest in hopes of finding something that will help them save their city.
All in all, I frequently see people asking whether or not it is worth it to read this trilogy. I personally think that these books were worth reading simply because they are a classic within the fantasy genre, but I will warn you that you likely won’t be blown away. These books are interesting, but not world-shattering. With so many rave reviews of this trilogy I really expected more, but they were decent and now I can finally say that I’ve read them!