The second book in the Shades of Magic trilogy.

A Gathering of Shadows Final

Publishing year: 2016

Finnish publication year: 2019

Format: Print

Finnish publisher: Karisto

Page count: 550

Finnish translator: Mika Kivimäki

The second book is set four months after the end of ”The Darker Shade of Magic.” Delilah, Lila, Bard is a pirate, just like she always wanted. She’s part of the crew of the Night’s Tower and her captain is Alucard Emery who is a privateer and a magician and full of secrets. Lila keeps her own secrets close but even so, Alucard agrees to teach her magic. Lila is from Grey London and shouldn’t have magic at all. But here in the Red world, her magic grows and she works diligently to train herself as much as possible.

In Red London, Kell and Rhy’s lives are now bound together. What one feels, the other feels as well. On the surface, Rhy acts like always: the drinking, partying, womanizing crown prince without a care in the world. But on the inside, he’s hurting. He’s convinced that he should be dead and he’s just a burden to Kell. And Kell grows increasingly restless. He trains harder than ever before and tries to keep Rhy out of trouble. But he knows that he can never be free now. The King and Queen don’t trust him, so his small freedoms have been cut off. The Queen’s cold attitude especially hurts Kell.

The highlight of the season will be Elemental Games where 36 of the best mages in three kingdoms will face each other. Rhy thinks that competing in the games will drive off Kell’s restlessness and he arranges for his brother to participate, under a false name, of course. Kell is at first furious but agrees to compete. Lila’s captain Alucard will also participate and Lila wants to do so, too. But she’s not on the list, so she will have to somehow steal an identity.

Most of the book felt like a set-up for the games but unfortunately the games were over surprisingly quickly. Lila and Kell practice their magic and think about each other. Kell’s participation in the games is interesting, if under a somewhat flimsy reason. However, Lila has only had magic for four months so it was ridiculous for her to fight against people who have trained all their lives. I also didn’t care for how much Lila insisted that she is not like other girls. Lila also often reminds herself (and the readers) that she’s unique. That’s how she explains her awakening magic to herself. We don’t know Lila’s real parents so I’m thinking that they must have come from Red London and for some reason settled in Gray London. Or maybe a certain white stone is the source of Lila’s magic.

We get two villainous POV characters and they were quite interesting.

I didn’t like this book as much as the first one and there’s a little pay-off for the huge amounts of set-up. It also ends in a cliffhanger so hopefully the last book will make it up.