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Magic, Intrigue, Adventure, and a Bit of Piracy: The Shades of Magic Trilogy by V. E. Schwab

Saturday, September 3rd, 2016 | Posted by John ONeill

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The second book in V. E. Schwab’s Shades of Magic trilogy, A Gathering of Shadows, made her a New York Times bestselling author. It has become one of the most acclaimed and popular fantasy series in recent memory. Booklist says it’s “Full of magic, intrigue, adventure, deception, a bit of piracy,” and NPR called it “Compulsively readable.” The Wall Street Journal labeled it “a multiple split-screen adventure, with an engaging hero/heroine pair,” and Steven Brust says “is as twisty-turny, dark, and gorgeous as the (multiple) Londons it winds through — I loved it!”

When the second volume was released earlier this year, I called it the “concluding volume” in a 2-book series. Whoops. That’s the publishing biz for you. I hope I don’t get in trouble soon for calling it a trilogy.

The series follows the adventures of Kell, a magician, ambassador, and smuggler who travels between parallel Londons, carrying royal correspondence. When a thief named Delilah Bard robs him, and then saves him from a nasty fate, the two find themselves on the run, jumping between worlds. In A Gathering of Shadows, Kell is visited by dreams of ominous magical events… as strange things begin to emerge from Black London, the place of which no one speaks.

Here’s the description for the final volume:

Londons fall and kingdoms rise while darkness sweeps the Maresh Empire, and the fraught balance of magic blossoms into dangerous territory while heroes struggle. The direct sequel to A Gathering of Shadows, and the final book in the Shades of Magic epic fantasy series, A Conjuring of Light sees the newly minted New York Times bestselling author V. E. Schwab reach a thrilling conclusion concerning the fate of beloved protagonists — and old foes.

All three books were published by Tor, with covers by Will Staehle. A Darker Shade of Magic was reprinted in trade paperback earlier this year; the trade edition of A Gathering of Shadows arrives in January, and the final volume in February. Here’s the publishing deets:

A Darker Shade of Magic (416 pages, $15.99 trade/$9.99 digital, January 19, 2016)
A Gathering of Shadows (512 pages, $15.99 trade/$12.99 digital, January 17, 2017)
A Conjuring of Light (592 pages, $25.99 hardcover/$12.99 digital, February 21, 2017)

Matthew David Surridge called V.E. Schwab’s debut novel, the superhero tale Vicious, “a well-paced and sharply-structured novel” in his BG review in 2014.

See all our recent covergae of the best fantasy Series here.

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