Book Review Time: A Conjuring of Light | V.E. Schwab


Book Details

Series: Shades of Magic (Book 3)

Hardcover: 624 pages

Publisher: Tor Books

Publication Date: February 21, 2017

Goodreads Synopsis

Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.

The precarious equilibrium among four Londons has reached its breaking point. Once brimming with the red vivacity of magic, darkness casts a shadow over the Maresh Empire, leaving a space for another London to rise.

Kell – once assumed to be the last surviving Antari – begins to waver under the pressure of competing loyalties. And in the wake of tragedy, can Arnes survive?

Lila Bard, once a commonplace – but never common – thief, has survived and flourished through a series of magical trials. But now she must learn to control the magic, before it bleeds her dry. Meanwhile, the disgraced Captain Alucard Emery of the Night Spire collects his crew, attempting a race against time to acquire the impossible.

And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay.”


I’m always worried about the quality of the third and final book in a trilogy. Sometimes the book just doesn’t live up to expectations. But I really didn’t have to worry about that with A Conjuring of Light. This book was phenomenal and a perfect example of how you should end a trilogy!

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

The events that occur in this book are, simply put, both heartrending and heartfelt. Not one of our main characters are left unharmed, both physically and emotionally, and not one of the main characters remain as they were. Lila, Kell, Rhy, and Alucard all undergo a change that is shaped by their roles in trying to preserve and save the four Londons from one massive threat.

Schwab has already shown she knows how to create fun and relatable characters. She takes it a step further by allowing us to become closer to both side and minor characters, all of whom are further explored and introduced in this book. You develop a connection with many of these characters, but as the story progresses, you begin to understand that no one is safe and that all the characters you’ve come to care for may not make it all the way to the end.

“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.”

Though we may have been angry at the king and queen for their behavior toward Kell in the previous book, it’s hard to remain angry at them in this conclusion. A dark and merciless villain in the shape of pure black magic threatens their family and kingdom and both the royals must deal with this eerie foe as well as they know how. We are finally treated to the king and queen’s much-needed point of views, and their narratives help us to further understand their choices and to empathize with them even more.

Both Lila and Kell grow as individuals and as a couple. Their connection finally makes itself clearly known and they become even stronger than before. Alucard, too, faces many challenges and does his best to confront his internal and external issues. What’s more, his connection to Rhy is further strengthened by his personal growth. While all three characters are notable, I think Rhy and Holland are the stars.

“Scars are not shameful, not unless you let them be. If you do not wear them, they will wear you.”

Rhy tosses aside his playboy persona to don the face of a brave prince, or rather, a courageous king. During a time of fear and lingering death, he fights and uses his unique status to become a source of hope for his people. All the while he remains a good brother, a good son, and a good person above all else.

On the other hand, Holland shines in his complexity. Holland has always been a favorite as he is not fully good nor fully bad. He does what he can to revive his White London, and in doing so, he becomes less a villain and more a anti-hero. After reading the last page of this amazing book, I couldn’t think of a more fitting end to his story.

“Death comes for us all,” said Holland evenly. “I would simply have mine mean something.”

A Conjuring of Light proves to be a wonderfully bittersweet conclusion to an enthralling trilogy that forces you to care about its characters and the world that they live in. Schwab’s writing is, as expected, potent in the way that it moves you and the way that it conjures up vivid images to transport you to the four Londons of her fantastical world. There is much action to be found as well as death and happiness. It’s a very fun and tragic book that takes you on an adventure and brings you to a very hard yet hopeful ending. This series is near perfection and will always be a favorite of mine!

My Rating:

5 stars


14 thoughts on “Book Review Time: A Conjuring of Light | V.E. Schwab

  1. great review! 🤗
    the only thing that i didn’t like were the short chapters and the fast bouncing between all those POVs. i felt like kell got into the background a little bit and i wanted more from him. my kell… 😍
    but other than that it was perfect and it’s also one of my favorite series! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! And I agree that Kell kind of faded into the background a bit with all the added POVs. But at least the ending allowed for him to return to the spotlight! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a beautifully written review. A Conjuring of Light moved you to eloquence! That is such a good point you made by the growth that every character experienced. Truly, none of them were untouched and unchanged by the end.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Why thank you! The characters were all given a chance to shine and evolve in this finale. I’d recommend this series to anyone who loves a well-written fantasy 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh this is such a wonderful review!!! I am so glad you loved this book, and I know what you mean about final books in trilogies…I will always worry because of Allegiant haha. I love Holland, I really hoped he would get a better deal but then at the same time his ending was fitting. I feel like we really good get more out of this world in the future, so I hope we get more from these characters down the track.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much! LOL, I’m so happy I missed out on that Divergent train, especially after hearing how it ended. Holland is an amazing character. I love it when a character is many shades of grey. At first I was sad about his ending, but it really was fitting once I thought about it! I’d love to see more of this world in the future. Fingers crossed for spinoffs! 😀


  4. I had a bit of trouble getting into this one at the start and I have no idea why considering lots was happening. I finally clicked in about a third of the way through and was like, this is amazing still. Haha. It was great to find out more about how Holland came to be who he was and putting Lila, Kell and Alucard on one ship was fantastic. Great review! I’m hoping for more books *crosses fingers and toes*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, yeah sometimes it takes a while to get into some stories. And then they just end up being one of the best books you’ve read in a while! Glad it finally clicked with you! 😀 Holland’s arc was wonderful and the ship part was possibly my favorite part. Really hoping for more too! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great review for this book Azia, and oh I am so so glad you loved this one to. The whole of the first paragraph I was thinking ‘YES’ constantly, both because I was thrilled to see how much you loved this book and also because it was exactly how I felt about this one as well. I think I was more excited about ACOL to worry about how it wouldn’t live up to my expectations, but there’s always a slight worry especially when it’s such an anticipated book and the last in the series. 🙂
    V.E. Schwab is an incredible writer, and she’s created amazing characters. What I loved was how you can go from disliking a character in the first book but loving him (Holland) in the last. I think that’s a brilliant skill to have.
    Again great review, and oh so glad you loved this book too! 😀 ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much, Beth! 😊 Third books are so scary haha. You really want them to be the best so that your favorite series finishes out strong. Thank god I didn’t have to worry about this one LOL. And yes, Holland’s character was so brilliantly written. His complexities were top-notch haha.
      Thanks again! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That’s all right, and I completely get what you mean. There have been a few third books that I’ve been really let down by but I think I knew this was never going to be one of them. It was by V.E. Schwab so it was always going to be epic! 😀

        Liked by 1 person

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