Book review: A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

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A Conjuring of Light was one of my most anticipated books of 2017. I adored both A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows, so to say that my expectations were high for A Conjuring of Light would be an understatement. I love this world. I love these characters. This book, though? Don’t shoot me, but I didn’t love it.

I mean, obviously. I’m the kind of person that can power through a 600-page book in a couple nights. This book, at 624 pages, took me nearly two months. And yes, I suppose a big part of that was my library copy expiring while I was moving and then having to wait for eight people to read it before I could have it back, but still. Had I really wanted to finish it that badly, I would have either a) driven to the library to pick up a paper copy, b) driven to Barnes & Noble to buy my own paper copy, or c) just bought the ebook for myself from Amazon. And since I did none of those three things, it’s pretty clear that I didn’t really care that much about waiting.

It’s not that the writing’s bad. Because it’s not. But the book is too long. A hundred pages of fighting and bleeding could have been cut out without really affecting the plot. Like, I get it. Antari bleed. It’s their thing. But how many times can I read about these characters being tortured before I just start rolling my eyes? And how many times can I read about someone pulling out their dagger to kill someone else before I start skimming? The body count in this book is insane.

Plotwise, the first half of this book is pretty slow. That’s the part that I really slogged through. I read the last 50% over a couple hours on Memorial Weekend, but getting there was sure a hassle. There are some things that were kind of confusing, like Maxim’s whole plan to stop Osaron, but I think that Schwab meant for them to be that way. (I hope?) But, speaking of Maxim and his plan, why couldn’t all of these characters talk to each other like grown-ups and share their plans? Maybe fewer people could have died.

Spoilers ahead, because I don’t think I can fully articulate my feelings about this book in a spoiler-free review.

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