Tag Archives: author: v.e. schwab

2016 in Review: #6 & #5

ID-10088833

Another year come and gone–and some fantastic reading adventures along with it! As I typically do in January, I want to take some time to review some of my favorite reads of 2016. In week three of this series, we move up to the next two books on my top ten.

Note: These are the best books I read in 2016, not necessarily published in 2016.

#6 Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing by Jamie Holmes

Nonsense

Yes, I have some nonfiction on this best-reads-of-the-year list. And this one is what I would call a must read. Not only does it provide great insight into how we approach ambiguous or unclear situations, but it also provides some great strategies for how we can use those situations to our advantage. I also found myself looking at some situations that otherwise perplex me (like the 2016 election for the President of the United States) in new light. And it’s a fairly easy and accessible read. Consider picking it up!

Read my review from January 1 for more on this title.

#5 A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

There are so many examples of a sequel to an amazing fantasy title just sort of falling flat: this is definitely not one of them. V.E. Schwab takes readers right back into the work she created in A Darker Shade of Magic, and I found I didn’t want to leave. I am very much looking forward to the next installment in this series due out this year.

Read my review from December 29 for more on this title.

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

A Gathering of Shadows

A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Series: Shades of Magic, Book 2
Published by: Tor Books on February 23, 2016
Rating: 4 stars (★★★★☆)

In the four months since the events of A Darker Shade of Magic, both Delilah Bard and Kell have tried to put those things in their past. While Lilah has found a place on a pirate ship by putting her skills to use in acquiring things for the captain, she’s still finding her place in a world that isn’t hers. She’s learning to use magic, and she knows she can’t avoid returning to Red London (and Kell) forever. For Kell, it’s been much harder to distance himself. In the aftermath, he finds himself kept in the palace more than ever before, with tensions between him and King Maxim seeming only to grow with each passing day. But Red London is preparing for a major tournament–the Elemental Games–which may provide just enough distraction for everyone and some much needed relief. But one must be careful of distractions, as they have a tendency to distract from other dangers lurking beneath the surface…

I’ve had a copy of this since it was released, but it has taken me some time to get it open and read. That’s not because I wasn’t excited for it–I really have been. A Darker Shade of Magic was one of the best books I read last year. And that’s exactly why I waited. I wanted to make sure I had the time and space to truly experience and enjoy the next installment in this series. And it didn’t take long to get into the rhythm of these characters, to remember the wonder that these worlds left me with the first time around, and to try to anticipate some of the twists that really did surprise me. If you like high fantasy that doesn’t get bogged down too much in the details at the expense of keeping the plot moving, this is honestly a series for you. And I am personally looking forward to the conclusion in the early part of 2017.

2015 in Review: #2 & #1

ID-10088833

With another year drawn to a close, I wanted to take some time this month to go back and highlight some of the best books that I read in 2015. I didn’t read quite as many this year as I did last year (287 vs. 306), but I attribute that to taking on proofreading (which is a slower read for a book) and starting a certificate program during the final quarter of the year. Still, I’m happy with the total. But enough about that…onto the books I wanted to take a moment to revisit…

Note: These are the best books I read in 2015, not necessarily published in 2015.

#2 Greenwode (The Wode, Book 1) by J. Tullos Hennig

23571391

Perhaps the absolute best retelling of the Robin Hood story in existence! Not going to post much more here, as this is one where I tried to keep spoilers to a minimum. This simply just has to be experienced (I also may have gifted a copy or two for Christmas to people I thought might enjoy it).

Read my review from May 28 for more on this title.

#1 A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, Book 1) by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade final for Irene

In a world of parallel universes, there is one constant: London. Though every world is very different, they all have a city named London in the same place and it serves as the loose thread that holds them all together. And the thread is loose because there are only a few who can travel between them. Kell is one such Traveler, and has become the ambassador (and an adoptee) of the royalty of Red London to carry correspondence back and forth with Grey London and White London. But on his visits, Kell engages in a hobby of smuggling artifacts back and forth, despite the objections and warnings of his adopted brother. But neither of them know the true extent of the trouble Kell might wade into without even thinking…

Read my review from April 27 for more on this title.

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab

A Darker Shade final for IreneTitle: A Darker Shade of Magic (A Darker Shade of Magic, Book 1)
Author: V.E. Schwab
Published: February 24, 2015
Pages: 400
Publisher: Tor Books
Author Website: link
Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Review:

In a world of parallel universes, there is one constant: London. Though every world is very different, they all have a city named London in the same place and it serves as the loose thread that holds them all together. And the thread is loose because there are only a few who can travel between them. Kell is one such Traveler, and has become the ambassador (and an adoptee) of the royalty of Red London to carry correspondence back and forth with Grey London and White London. But on his visits, Kell engages in a hobby of smuggling artifacts back and forth, despite the objections and warnings of his adopted brother. But neither of them know the true extent of the trouble Kell might wade into without even thinking…

I have to start by saying I LOVED THIS. A high fantasy filled with magic, intrigue, royalty, and betrayal? Sign me up over and over again. But more than that, Schwab has created a world that is well-developed and has that ring of truth that is so important when writing speculative fiction of any kind. The complexity of the characters and the relationship dynamics are just as important to the story as the world serving as the backdrop, and there are no disappointments there, either.

I highly, highly recommend this to anyone who has even the slightest interest in fantasy. I think it’s a fair bet you will not be disappointed.