Wow, what was that ? I totally did not see this coming.
After a solid start with A Darker Shade of Magic I was very dissapointed with the follow-up, A Gathering of Shadows, which was tedious, boring and had a little too much ‘meh’ for my liking. The story moved slowly and seemed too have way too much text for what it tried to convey. It was only because I didn’t want to see my invested time go to waste that I picked up the final chapter of the trilogy (ok, and maybe because of that cliffhanger..), and man, am I glad I did.
A Conjuring of Light is an emotional rollercoaster from start to finish. All the effort that I put in to get to this point finally paid off. The characters have matured quite a bit and every single one of them has grown on me. Even the obnoxious Lilah Bard has carved out a place in my heart.
The story was an incredible journey, topped off by some beautiful writing. I really feel that Victoria Schwabs writing has made tremendous progress between the first book and this one.
The part of Maxim that was king knew it wasn’t right to mourn a single life more than a city, but the part of Maxim that had set the rose on his wife’s heart was still breaking inside. When was the last time he’d seen her? What was the last thing he’d said? He didn’t know, couldn’t recall. The arrow twisted. The wound ached. He fought to remember, remember, remember. Emira, with her dark eyes that saw so much, and her lips that guarded smiles as if they were secrets. With her beauty, and her strength, her hard shell around her fragile heart. Emira, who’d taken down her walls long enough to let him in, who’d built them twice as high when Rhy was born, so nothing could get in. Whose trust he’d fought for, whose trust he’d failed when he promised over and over and over again that he would keep them safe. Emira, gone. Those who thought death looked like sleep had never seen it. When Emira slept, her lashes danced, her lips parted, her fingers twitched, every part of her alive within her dreams. The body in the Rose Hall was not his wife, not his queen, not the mother of his heir, not anyone at all. It was empty, the intangible presence of life and magic and personhood gutted like a candle, leaving only cooling wax behind.
This has been one of my favorite reads this year and I’m so glad that I took a chance with it. Highly recommended!