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BOOK REVIEW:

A conjuring of light

In A conjuring of light, the third and final book in the Shades of Magic fantasy series, Victoria Schwab takes readers back to her world of four different Londons, that are filled with magic, adventure, and a threat from Black London which may destroy all four worlds.

At the end of A gathering of shadows (the second book in the trilogy), the situation was tense. Kell, the Antari from Red London who can travel between worlds, was in mortal danger. The threat to Kell was also a threat against the Arnesian Prince, Kell’s brother Rhy. There seemed to be no way to save Kell, a world away in White London.  Also Kell is the only Antari in Red London, or is he?

Schwab begins this book at a breakneck pace maintained throughout most of the novel. There is a continuation and expansion of the created world, with fascinating locations and even more interesting characters. Schwab answers some existing questions about main characters, Kell and Lila, while also leaving other questions about them unanswered. Kell and Lila grow together in a way that is expected and plausible.  Schwab also develops the characters of the Maresh royal family, particularly Rhy, forcing him to grow from a frivolous, playful Prince into the King that Arnes will need.

Despite its title, A conjuring of light is the darkest of the trilogy. The force threatening Lila, Kell and the other characters is terrifying and insidious, and moves swiftly and decisively through Red London. One of the hardest parts of reading this book is realizing that readers will be saying goodbye to a number of characters whom they have grown to love.

This conclusion of the series is satisfying but bittersweet. The outcomes for certain characters could be guessed early on, others are completely unexpected. Let’s hope that Schwab has some more stories to tell in the future about Lila, Kell and the four Londons where they travel.

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