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“Everyone thinks I have a death wish, you know? But I don’t want to die – dying is easy. No, I want to live, but getting close to death is the only way to feel alive. And once you do, it makes you realize that everything you were doing before wasn’t actually living. It was just making do. Call me crazy, but I think we do the best living when the stakes are high.”

It seems like just a few days ago that I read A Darker Shade of Magic, but looking back into my Goodreads history, it looks like it was actually back in December 2014.  (I guess that explains why I was a little fuzzy on the details when I started A Gathering of Shadows.)  Anyway, ADSoM was one of my favorites of 2014, and AGoS will probably be one of my favorites of 2016.

I love this world.

So many fantasy novels delve too far into the romance.  They set their plot aside, particularly in sequels or as the series continues on, for the sole reason of developing their love interests.  One of my favorite things about this book, this series actually, is that the focus is on the action.  The focus is on the magic.  On the different worlds.

Don’t get me wrong, there is some serious romantic tension building between Kell and Lila.  (I’m definitely hoping for some resolution there in the next book!)  But for most of the book, Kell and Lila are on opposite sides of the world.  Even when they’re not, the focus is on the Essen Tasch, a magical tournament bringing all of the (Red) world’s empires together.

It’s not all fun and games, though.  A threat lurks in White London.  Kell and Prince Rhy must deal with the aftermath of the spell that saved Rhy’s life, but bound it to Kell’s.  Add to that a cruel, cruel cliffhanger, and I am eagerly anticipating book three.

Please don’t make me wait too long for it!

Final rating:  ★★★★☆

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