A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab
Release Date: February 1, 2017
Genre: Adult, Fantasy, Fiction
Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies. THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…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. WHO WILL CRUMBLE? 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? WHO WILL RISE? 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. WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL? And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.
“Kell wore a very peculiar coat.” A Darker Shade of Magic
A moment. A moment and maybe more is what I need to fully register this story and the fact that it is really over. I have tears in my eyes because this was not only a beautiful story but the trilogy itself is tied with another as the greatest stories I have ever had the pleasure of reading. I traveled to the wonderful London worlds and met some of the greatest and worst (in a good way because they were so perfectly evil) characters. A Conjuring of Light was truly something special that took hold of my whole being. Now that it’s done I feel dead but alive, empty but full. A tale that can do that is truly remarkable and Victoria Schwab wrote something extraordinary.
“Myths do not happen all at once…But all stories start somewhere, and that night, as Rhy Maresh walked through the streets of London, a new myth was taking shape.”
There was so much pain in this book yet so much overcoming. The deaths broke my heart and I found myself questioning like Kell “What was the use of so much power if people still kept dying.” I realized maybe that was the point. No matter how much power one can hold or think they hold death is inevitable. It sweeps across land and seas having no mercy on its prisoners but, with darkness, light always comes after. The characters grew into exceptional people and we learned more about them which made me love them even more. Schwab’s knack for story telling will never get old and I hope she never stops weaving new webs with fantastic plots & characters.
“Kell wore a coat that billowed in the wind.”
1) Characters & Their Development
I have watched these characters grow & change over the course of three books and they never cease to amaze me. With each trial and new enemies, they somehow show me even more how strong & courageous they are. I have to speak on each of them because I need to get this out.
Kell finds freedom
“Freedom itself was a dizzying thing. With every step, Kell felt unmoored, as if he might drift away. But no, there was the rope, invisible but strong, running between his heart and Rhy’s.”
His love for his brother is just as strong and the reader and the characters see him do the impossible for him. We see Kell fight to protect his home and come to the realization of what home & family is. We see his heart mended when his King & Queen soften their hearts to him again and him to them. We see him strong & weak. We see his love blossom and we see him free and for once do something selfish.
Rhy becomes King
“I am Rhy Maresh, he answered. Son to Maxim and Emira, brother to Kell, heir to this city and the future King of Arnes.”
Rhy the resurrected Prince. We see him truly grow into a King. He isn’t just a King that hides behind his castle walls and lets his people die. No, Rhy Maresh is a man who can not die and nothing can hurt him. We see him fight for his people and face a shadow King alone. We see a King who needs his brother but lets him be free.
Holland finally breathes
“It ends, he thought no fear, only relief, and sadness. He had tried. Had given everything he could. But he was so tired.”
My dear Holland, how I wished I could’ve taken you away from all the pain you endured. We see a man’s history unfold throughout the pages. A history of love then pain, love then pain, and so on until all he had was the pain. We see a man who has been a slave to magic yet yearning to breathe. We see a man so guarded and masked you don’t know if even he knows the real him. We see a man in his world at last finally inhale and breathe.
Delilah (Lila) faces the open sea
“Welcome to the Night Spire, she said, flashing a smile like a knife. You can call me Captain Bard.”
We see the greatest thief cry. We see her finally learn to run towards something and not away. We see her learn to trust and feel. We see her realize her true potential in magic and as a new Antari. We see Miss Bard learn to cope with her pain. Lila is truly a force to be reckoned with she was powerful, fierce, and finally, found a home.
Alucard comes home
“Alucard’s own heart was racing, even now threatening to run away. But there was no need. Nowhere to go. No place he’d rather be.”
We learn his history and why he left the empire or rather how he was shipped out of it. We see his heart and where it lies. Captain Emery is no Antari but he is one hell of a magician who stopped at nothing to help his kingdom. We see him lose loved ones but gain new ones. We see him face his biggest fear and finally stay where he’s always wanted to be.
2) World Building & Story Line
Victoria continuously takes my breath away with each book and A Conjuring of Light was no different. I don’t know how a story can have a good ending yet such a sad one at the same time. How does that happen? I was left satisfied yet saddened. The story line for the final installment in this trilogy was one wild ride after the next, one heart break after the next. I felt like I was taking hit after hit along with the characters yet Victoria pieces it all back together but, not fully mind you. She wove a tale that was realistic because after such an adventure you’re not really the same are you? Some parts of you are now missing but you’re ok because you’ve made it through. She built the world so vivid in life I saw it all unfolding before my eyes.
“Columns rose up from the floor, growing more like trees than marble pillars, their stone limbs branching up and out, flowering with dark-hued glass and fall leaves and beads of dew, and in their shining columns, he saw the world as it could be. So many possible transformations, such infinite potential.”
3) The Cunning Antagonist
Osaron was so evil at times I felt his words in my mind choking me and trying to take me into darkness. Schwab crafted the perfect enemy that seeps into your deepest nightmares. His dark black magic was so powerful I questioned if my favorite characters would suffer an unhappy ending. I loved seeing an antagonist that was actually arrogant and didn’t hide his venomous poison within his heart. It was a challenge that kept me on the edge of my seat and clutching my book till the very end.
“Come, he thought. Kneel at my feet like children, and I will raise you. As men. As Women. As Chosen.“
“I was distracted by everything about you Lila. I still am. You’re maddening, infuriating, incredible…And the idea of you walking away again, vanishing from my life, that terrifies me most of all.”
This was 100% more prominent in the final installment of the Shades of Magic trilogy but, it still didn’t take away from the plot. It was not overbearing or suffocating. It always came at the right moments and totally made me swoon. Kell and Lila are just perfect. A wonderful blend of push and pull, need and independence. The declaration of love left me swooning. Although I can make a whole post about pages 387-391 I will just say the magic, the kiss, Lila running to Kell not away, she wanted him to feel her, bodies sparked, he went down & she returned the favor, AND LILA FINALLY SLEPT.
“And Alucard was here to prove it. To lay his heart bare before Rhy, and the Rose Hall, and the rest of London.”
We finally got to see what happened to the Prince and the Captain. Let me tell you I was heart broken my children were torn apart because of Alucard’s trash family. I understand how Rhy felt though and how it looked to him & Kell because it seemed like he used him. Their love was so beautiful and I am just happy that Rhy has someone.
“The second is more personal…I have lost too many people to count. And I will not suffer losing you.”
5) The Unity
“They moved like pieces of the same weapon…they were blurs of motion, shards of light dancing around a coil of darkness.”
I loved how unified the characters became. As I turned each page I was putting a puzzle together and attaching this one to that one. They didn’t become best friends but they didn’t need to be. All they needed to be was a team, a unit acting as one body to confront the demon lurking in their minds and homes. Everyone was no longer working for themselves they all had a purpose, a reason to fight, and they channeled that purpose together to do what needed to be done for the greater good.
“It was strange fighting beside Kell instead of against him, the resonance of their styles, so different but somehow in sync – unnerving. “You’ve gotten better,” he observed. “I had to,” said Kell…”
6) Her Writing
How does one even say her writing gets better with each book when everything she touches turns to gold? With every story, V.E. Schwab writes I have whisked away to that world and never want to come back. She weaves the perfect tale in A Conjuring of Light that I became so immersed and had to literally pry myself away from the book. Her writing style is flawless and crafty but not overly decorated to the point of trying too hard. She doesn’t have to try hard honestly she just gets it right. The third book had so many voices (which were all distinct) and I had no trouble following along I don’t know how she kept them all so different. Besides her saying the characters name, I knew who was thinking or speaking simply because of how she made their voice distinct. She made me feel a million emotions and I am so sad this story is over because I feel like a piece of me left with Kell and this book. I will treasure it forever and I hope Miss Schwab never stops writing.
“Anoshe-until another day. Anoshe was a word for strangers in the street, & lovers between meetings, for parents & children, friends & family. It softened the blow of leaving. Eased the strain of parting. A careful nod to the certainty of today, the mystery of tomorrow…Anoshe brought solace. And hope. And the strength to let go“
Anoshe Kell. Anoshe Lila. Anoshe Rhy. Anoshe Alucard. Anoshe Holland.
Kell wore a very peculiar coat…That is how this story started and now three books later I am finished. I hate to let it go and be finished but, I know Lila wouldn’t want me to stay stuck. She would want me to be free, to travel to new worlds and meet new characters. As you can see, there is no “What I Didn’t” section because there was nothing wrong with this book except it ending *CUE BIG SLOPPY SNOTTY TEARS*. This will forever remain my favorite book(s) along with The Wrath & The Dawn. They have resonated with me so much and I will never forget the stories or the characters. I hope you enjoyed this review and this trilogy when you read it. What stories have remained with you? It’s time for me to travel to a new world so, in the words of Kell, As Travars.