A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3) by V.E. Schwab

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1.) A Darker Shade of Magic ★★★
2.) A Gathering of Shadows ★★★

“Love and loss,” he said, “are like a ship and the sea. They rise together. The more we love, the more we have to lose. But the only way to avoid loss is to avoid love. And what a sad world that would be.”

I have read one book in this series every year for the BooktubeSFF Awards. And every year I enjoy what I’m reading, I close the book pretty pleased, and then I sit down to write my review and start thinking about how these are such big books with so little happening. And I know they are character driven. One of my favorite books of all time is the most character driven thing out there, but for some reason I just don’t love this series like everyone else does.

A Conjuring of Light is the third and final novel in this trilogy that surround four different parallel Londons:
Grey London – is like our real world’s London, with no magic. Delilah Bard is from this London.
Red London – is the home of the main protagonist, Kell, where he and his royal family rule. There is an abundance of magic in this London, most coming from a red river which lights up the whole city.
White London – is a city in war with itself. It was ruled by evil twins, but now has a new king. Everyone in this London tries to fight for magic and power within this corrupt city.
Black London – and is still basically a mystery. It is essentially a lost city, since regular people cannot travel between worlds.

And after the brutal cliffhanger ending that was A Gathering of Shadows, A Conjuring of Light picks right back up after the events! And without saying anything too spoilery, since this is the concluding novel and all, our main character, Kell Maresh, and his home, Red London, are in serious danger. But with the help of a ruthless thief/assassin, Lila Bard, a swoon-worthy pirate, Alucard Emery, the best prince to have ever lived, Rhy Maresh, and a very morally grey Antari, Holland Vosijk, they are trying to save everything they’ve ever known and loved.

“Life isn’t made of choices, it’s made of trades. Some are good, some are bad, but they all have a cost.”

And even the idea of four different color coded Londons, with a handful of magical people who can travel between them, is so damn genius that I don’t even have words for it. Also, V.E. Schwab is such a talented writer. The way she echoes phrases from different books, or even sentences from previous chapters, is so powerful and is able to evoke all the emotions from me. She truly can weave and craft paragraphs together so expertly and I’m constantly impressed with her writing.

I just feel like not a lot happens in her books. Like, a few big, key, important things happen without question, and storylines get completed, but I just feel like it is such a longwinded journey to get there. And these books are so easily consumable that you don’t really realize until after you’ve closed the book. I mean, at least for me and my personal reading experiences. Seriously, go back and look at my other two reviews; I say the same thing. Also, the big bad villain just fell so very short for me. The magic started off so dang well, but the villain really ended up feeling lackluster to me.

But my biggest complaint about the other two installments in this series is that they don’t read or feel adult to me. But you know what A Conjuring of Light reads and feels like? Adult, without question. Also, just a little caveat, if an author says their work is in a certain age bracket/genre, then it is. I am just saying A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows don’t feel or read like adult fantasy to me, but I’m not saying they aren’t. But ACOL did give me those brutal moments that made me go “okay, this isn’t YA” quite a lot.

Also, trigger and content warnings for abuse, torture, abduction, slavery, captivity, talk of suicide, violence, gore, heavy blood depiction, abandonment, and depiction of grief and PTSD. Oh and I guess sexual content, too, but nothing too graphic. (Also, hello, perverted Melanie here to report that that sex scene was 11/10 and was so smooth and sexy and I actually loved it!)

“I have never known what to make of you. Not since the day we met. And it terrifies me. You terrify me. And the idea of you walking away again, vanishing from my life, that terrifies me most of all.”

But my biggest love for this series is Rhy Maresh, who has completely and without question stole my heart. He is easily my favorite character in this series. My beautiful, pure, cinnamon roll, unbreakable boy. I stan one man from this series, and it’s him. And he deserves everything good in the universe.

Breathtaking art meliescribbles

“We don’t choose what we are, but we choose what we do.”

Overall, take this review with a large grain of salt. I am for sure in the minority with not loving these books as much as everyone else. And even though this isn’t my favorite series, I think Victoria is incredibly talented and I can’t wait to see what she does next. And I truly think that these books get better and better, with A Conjuring of Light being my favorite in the series, and the last couple chapters of this book had me smiling from ear to ear in pure happiness. And I ultimately do feel really fulfilled and happy with the ending. Plus, I’m very interested (especially after gushing with my friend Julie) with reading the graphic novel series set around a character from this world. Also, I have the highest of hopes for the spinoff that Victoria is working on. I just hope I fall completely head over heels in love, instead of only just enjoying.

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Buddy read with Julie! ❤

Readalong for the BooktubeSFF Awards which is being hosted by:
🌑 Samantha from Sam’s Nonsense
🌒 Frankie from Frankie Reads
🌓 Kaitlin from Kitty G
🌔 Rachel from Kalanadi
🌕 Thomas from SFF180
🌖 Connor from Connor O’Brien
🌗 Sam from Thoughts on Tomes
🌘 Chelsea from TheReadingOutlaw
🌑 Elena from Elena Reads Books

17 thoughts on “A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3) by V.E. Schwab

  1. I go back and forth on whether to try this series since everyone seems to love it. I am somewhat apprehensive about being in the minority. I may try the first book though. I did enjoy this review. We shall see.
    x The Captain

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awh, thank you, love! Yeah… I just could never truly fall in love with this! Even though I always had a good time while reading. Such weird books for me! But you’ll have to let me know your thoughts if you give the first one a try! Happy reading! 💗xx

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your opinions is valid, whatever you would’ve said about it but I can also honestly say that I 100% get where you’re coming from. Like the things you pointed out are definitely things that I notice too.. it’s just that that’s kinda exactly what I love 😀 I LOVE YOU MELANIE ❤ (also yes that sex scene ooooof)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I LOVE YOU MORE! And I promise, this is the most positive three star review in existence. I had a lot of fun reading this. And I CANNOT wait to see what is next! Also – that sex scene was honest to god perfect. I’m still thinking about it. 😈💗 xx


  3. Don’t worry if you’re not in love with a series like everyone else is. It’d be weird and boring if everyone had the same opinion of something 🙂 I really liked the first book because it got me out of a slump and I didn’t know that I really wanted a dark, fast-paced adventure. Looking back, I really can’t stand Lila anymore tbh. She’s so forced imo. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to finish this series, but I hope that your next read is infinitely better!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Not at all! I love the book community, don’t get me wrong. Just been seeing such negative things lately on booktube regarding people getting upset at opinions that didn’t match theirs perfectly and it really struck me. I hope no one bothers you if you don’t share their opinion. Thank you!! I hope so too haha 😀

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Wonderful review, Melanie 💕
    And honestly… after reading your thoughts I kinda agree? Like, I adored ACOL, but there’s not so much happening in the whole series for the books to have this many pages 😅 Still, I think Victoria Schwab is one of the best writers out there and I adore her characters! Rhy is a sweetheart and I love him and Holland is my forever fave ♥️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Awh, thank you so much, Hannah! Yeah… I wanted to scream/preface this review with, “This is the highest three star read EVER!” because I have SUCH a good time reading these! And Victoria is so talented, she makes 600 pages feel like 200! I honestly cannot wait to see what she does next! 💗xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Awh, thank you for this comment, Danielle. This one and the Illuminae Files are both “the hyped books” that i just couldn’t get into! I didn’t dislike either, but I just didn’t ever fall in love! I really want you to read this now though, just to see where you fall! Happy reading! 💗xx


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