A Conjuring Of Light – V.E. Schwab
The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.
Kell—once assumed to be the last surviving Antari—begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?
Lila Bard, once a commonplace—but never common—thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.
And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.
Review: This review is for book 3 in a series. I tried to avoid spoilers, but you might want to check out my (very old) reviews of book 1 and book 2.
OMG, guys, this finale is so good! Why did it take me so long to read it? Also, how am I supposed to blather about it without spoilers? Everything is a spoiler!
Okay. Deep breaths.
The third book picks up right after that heart-attack-inducing cliffhanger at the end of book 2. The doors between the parallel worlds have been opened, and something evil has escaped from Black London. It has already infected White London and Red London. Now it’s trying to worm its way into Gray London. Kell and Lila are the only ones strong enough to stop it. How many parallel worlds will fall before they can destroy the spreading darkness?
“Scars are not shameful, not unless you let them be. If you do not wear them, they will wear you.” – A Conjuring of Light
How do I review this book? The rational part of my brain keeps pointing out problems, but the rest of me is just fangirling like an idiot. There is so much Rhy in this book! Guys, I love that character. My heart almost exploded every time he was in trouble.
This series definitely isn’t a work of literary genius, but it’s so much fun. There’s adventure, and magic, and sassy badass characters. There are knife fights, and action scenes, and lots of blood. I adore the parallel Londons. They’re all unique and mysterious. I’m very happy that the author is releasing more books set in this world. There is more to see, and I’m not ready to leave the Londons yet. This world is huge. I need more magic and danger in my reading life.
“Life isn't made of choices, it's made of trades. Some are good, some are bad, but they all have a cost.” – A Conjuring of Light
My favorite part of the finale is that Kell gets to leave London. I wanted to see more of the worlds, and I finally got to see them.
All of the characters I love from the earlier books are here: Kell and his fabulous coat, Lila and her knives, Rhy and his personality. Rhy is my favorite character, and I’m happy that so much of the story is from his point-of-view. The reader gets to see him grow up and become less of a party boy and more of a ruler. Even though he’s maturing, the banter between him and Kell is still hilarious, so no worries there. In this book, the reader also gets to learn more about Kell and Rhy’s parents. Basically, there’s more backstory about all the characters. We finally get full explanations for their feuds.
“She was a thief, a runaway, a pirate, a magician.
She was fierce, and powerful, and terrifying.
She was still a mystery.
And he loved her.” – A Conjuring of Light
Okay. Here come my complaints. First, what is up with the typos? I noticed them throughout the entire series. In all three books. Does Tor not have proofreaders? These are very obvious typos. They distracted me because I had to stop reading and scowl angrily every time I saw one.
I also think the pacing in this book is too slow sometimes. The book is over 600 pages. I don’t think it needs to be that long. There are times when the characters are trapped in the palace or traveling between locations, and it seems like nothing is happening. I guess I was impatient? I wanted to see the characters kick bad guy ass, not wander around.
Since I don’t read much fantasy, I spent the whole series being slightly confused by the magic system. I understand that magicians can manipulate “elements” (air, bone, fire, water, metal). Antari magicians can travel between worlds and do other types of fancy magic. (Like bring people back to life.) But, then there’s a teacher who can cast a sleeping spell over a whole city? And there are magic objects? I never felt like I understood what magic could and couldn’t do.
Despite my issues, I’d happily read a hundred more novels set in this world. I love books about parallel universes, and this is one of the more-entertaining ones I’ve found.
TL;DR: Excellent finale. I’m eagerly awaiting the companion novels.