This year I wanted to go through some of the series that were on my shelves for some time, waiting for me patiently to get to them! One of those was the “Shades of Magic” trilogy and I am so happy I read it! The whole 4 different Londons Universe that V.E. Schwab has created is so amazing and servers so many different purposes. It gives a connection to our current world with Grey London. It lures us with a world of beautiful Magic like in Red London. It reminds us of the ugliness magic could do in the wrong hands with White London. And then it gives us an image of what could go totally wrong if we let black magic take over with Black London.
“A Conjuring of Light” is the third and final instalment of the series and it would be really hard to keep it spoiler free. I will try my best though as I hate spoilers myself! So many have happened in the previous two books that have change the course of events and the world as our characters know it. We also got to know them more thoroughly and saw how they have come to grow, not only in character but also in magic and abilities, in their relationships with others, their own lives and their feelings.
“Love and loss,” he said, “are like a ship and the sea. They rise together. The more we love, the more we have to lose. But the only way to avoid loss is to avoid love. And what a sad world that would be.”
― A Conjuring of Light
V.E. Schwab was made a great job in this third and last book. The action is there in so many different ways and aspects. Love and betrayal is also there to remind that royal relationships are always precarious, but also that true love like the one between siblings or the love of a mother to her child, be it birth child or not, is one so powerful as the one between true lovers. Those that are of the same kind understand each other better and they will do the right thing after all. They will try to protect their own, like a pirates crew does.
“Scars are not shameful, not unless you let them be. If you do not wear them, they will wear you.”
― V.E. Schwab, A Conjuring of Light
I really loved reading about one of my favourite characters this year, Delilah Bard, the girl with the heart of a thief, the sturdiness of a pirate and the abilities of a magician, but deep inside a lonely child has developed into a wonderful woman, a capable person that always carries one or more knives hidden somewhere in case they are needed. She is a now woman that still acts spontaneously but will also put some thought in her actions whenever she sees fit.
“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.”
― V.E. Schwab, A Conjuring of Light
I think we all pretty much expected things to reach to some point between Lila and Kell and this last book was the last chance for this to happen. Well, Schwab actually delivered on that part too! She wouldn’t leave us hanging there, not after all they’ve been through and not after planning happy endings on other relationships as well. Those two have a dynamic that shows even from the previous book. Especially the ending of that part was what lead to the beginning of this one and promised steps towards this direction. You will not be disappointed!
Kell lifted himself onto one elbow above her. He looked down at her for a long, searching moment, and then a mischievous grin flickered across his face. “All right,” he said. “I’ll teach you.” His copper lashes sank low over his two-toned eyes. “There’s As Travars, to travel between worlds.” She rolled her eyes. “I know that one.” He lowered himself a fraction, bringing his lips to her ear. “And As Tascen,” he continued, breath warm. “To move within a world.” She felt a shiver of pleasure as his lips brushed her jaw. “And As Hasari,” he murmured. “To heal.” His mouth found hers, stealing a kiss before he said, “As Staro. To seal.” And she would have let him linger there, but his mouth continued downward. “As Pyrata.” A breath against the base of her throat. “To burn.” His hands sliding beneath the fabric of her shirt. “As Anasae.” A blossom of heat between her breasts. “To dispel.” Above her navel. “As Steno.” One hand unlacing the ties of her slacks. “To break.” Guiding them off. “As Orense.” His teeth skimming her hip bone. “To open…”
― V.E. Schwab
The story ends with some loses and some winnings. You can expect to have it all when an enemy such as the one that consumed Black London is set free and out in the open. If there were no actual loses, it would not be realistic and Schwab knows that well. She nearly had everyone killed in this one, but she spared us of some of them! Thank you for that V.E. Schwab. I can’t wait to see what else you have in store for us in this Universe!
Kell wore a coat that billowed in the wind. It was neither royal red, nor messenger black, nor tournament silver. This coat was a simple, woolen grey. He wasn’t quite sure if it was new or old or something in between, only that he’d never seen it before. Not until that morning when, turning his coat past black and red, he’d come across a side he didn’t recognize. This new coat had a high collar, and deep pockets, and sturdy black buttons that ran down the front. It was a coat for storms, and strong tides, and saints knew what else. He planned to find out, now that he was free.
― V.E. Schwab