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SusannaG - Confessions of a Crazy Cat Lady

Just another GR refugee.  Other than that, I had a stroke in 2004, and read almost anything I can get my hands on, though I have a particular weakness for history, mystery, and historical fiction.

Currently reading

Ice Ghosts: The Epic Hunt for the Lost Franklin Expedition
Paul Watson
Progress: 6 %
I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life
Ed Yong
Progress: 40 %
Wizard's First Rule
Terry Goodkind
Progress: 49 %
Thomas Cromwell: The Untold Story of Henry VIII's Most Faithful Servant
Tracy Borman
Progress: 14 %
Storm in a Teacup: The Physics of Everyday Life
Helen Czerski
Progress: 20 %
The Hanover Square Affair
Ashley Gardner
Progress: 10 %
Medieval Tastes: Food, Cooking, and the Table (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History)
Beth Archer Brombert, Massimo Montanari
Progress: 10 %
Scars of Independence: America's Violent Birth
Holger Hoock
Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind
Yuval Noah Harari Dr
Progress: 9 %
Elizabeth: The Forgotten Years
John Guy
Progress: 20/512 pages

A Gathering of Shadows

A Gathering of Shadows - V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows is the sequel to A Darker Shade of Magic, which I read last year, and enjoyed a good bit. 


In that volume, we followed Kell, a magician who works as a royal messenger between the rulers of three Londons.   He is the adopted son of the rulers of Red London, where magic flourishes, and sends and receives their messages to the rulers of two other Londons - to George III and his son, the Prince Regent, in Gray London, "our" London, where there is no magic, and to the Dane siblings, rulers of White London, a choked and violent land where magic is rare and whose people will do anything to possess it.  In Gray London he met the thief Lila Bard, in his sideline as a smuggler, and together the two of them take down the Danes and save the life of Prince Rhys, Kell's brother.


Now it is four months later, Kell's parents have forgiven one son (Rhys) but are punishing the other (Kell), and the latter is a very unhappy man, while Rhys plans the ceremonies for London's hosting of the Olympics of magic.  Meanwhile, Lila Bard has gone to sea and become a privateer, though she'd rather be a pirate.  Or a magician, for that matter.


I have to give this book a slightly lower rating, despite the fact that I enjoyed it, for a few reasons.  In the first place, it has too many narrators: Kell, Lila, and Rhys in Red London, and also two inhabitants of White London.  Five narrators is a lot for one book.


Secondly, it's the second volume of a series, so much of the fun is not fresh discovery.  And it ends in a cliffhanger.  A very serious cliffhanger.  (A Darker Shade of Magic was a contained story.)


Also, is there anything Lila Bard can't do?  This is starting to head into "Ayla discovers everything" territory, from the Clan of the Cave Bear novels (I forget their group name - is it "Earth's Children"?).