Series: Shades of Magic (Book 3)
Hardcover: 624 pages
Publisher: Tor Books
Publication Date: February 21, 2017
“Witness the fate of beloved heroes – and enemies.
THE BALANCE OF POWER HAS FINALLY TIPPED…
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.
WHO WILL CRUMBLE?
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?
WHO WILL RISE?
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.
WHO WILL TAKE CONTROL?
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!