A Conjuring of Light — V. E. Schwab

August 3, 2018

A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

TITLE: A Conjuring of Light
AUTHOR: V. E. Schwab
SERIES: Shades of Magic, #3
RELEASED: February 21st, 2017; Tor Books
GENRE: Fantasy

SYNOPSIS: 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.


book 1 | book 2

I’ve been putting off writing this review for a month, which is about the same length of time I put off finishing the book itself, because I simply have not been prepared to say goodbye to this trilogy. Reading these three books has been one of the most emotional, anxiety-inducing, and genuinely magical experiences of my entire life. I have so much to say, with no idea how to express any of it.

“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 can safely say that I have never loved every character in a series the way I do with this one. I mourned every loss, laughed and cried tears of joy over each close call, every triumph, every kiss and reunion. The thing about this trilogy is that there are certain evils which must be faced and conquered, but what really stays with you is the build-up of these characters and their relationships with one another. I can’t even choose a favorite, because I love them all so much, in such different ways.

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

In typical Schwab fashion, though, the action scenes are downright glorious. I love that, no matter how many moving pieces are in a battle, I never struggle to keep up with exactly what is happening, because her writing is so immersive that it transports you right into the center of the fight. You never know quite what twist or slight of hand to expect next.

“What are we drinking to?”
“The living,” said Rhy.
“The dead,” said Alucard and Lila at the same time.
“We’re being thorough,” added Rhy.

Of course, it’s not all war and heartache; there are always these gorgeous moments woven in of bonding, of bickering and playful banter. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so much in so many moments of sheer and utter anxiety, but that’s this series in a nutshell—especially the second and third installments. I actually joked recently that I’m so happy there is going to be a spin-off series, but at the same time, I need ample room to recover before putting my heart through the misery of another book with these characters scaring me half to death and breaking my heart every other chapter.

“Death comes for us all. I would simply have mine mean something.”

I don’t know what else to say at this point. I wanted this review to be eloquent and thorough, but when I think back on this story, I am immediately pulled into such reminiscence for the feelings it drew out of me that I have a hard time viewing it subjectively and squaring it off into little, easy to describe compartments.

Anoshe was a word for strangers in the street, and lovers between meetings, for parents and children, friends and family. It softened the blow of leaving. Eased the strain of parting. A careful nod to the certainty of today, the mystery of tomorrow. When a friend left, with little chance of seeing home, they said anoshe. When a loved one was dying, they said anoshe. When corpses were burned, bodies given back to the earth and souls to the stream, those left grieving said anoshe.

Anoshe brought solace. And hope. And the strength to let go.”

A month after completing it, I feel comfortable in now saying that this is the single greatest series I have ever read in my life, and Victoria Schwab has solidified a permanent place in my heart. I will buy anything and everything she writes in the future, and I will doubtlessly reread this trilogy over and over again. The writing is so flawless, and frankly, you could just tattoo this whole damn trilogy onto my body if there was enough room, and I’d be just fine with that, thank you.




More about Destiny @ Howling Libraries

Just a horror aficionado/geek girl trying to juggle motherhood, reading, blogging, gaming, and everyday life.

Leave a comment
    1. I’m so glad you loved it and that it left such an impression with you!! It wasn’t my favorite series of hers, but her books are now some of my most highly anticipated writers because of this series. 😀

      1. It is so wonderful! I was left so satisfied by the ending, and that’s extra exciting because I frequently say that the finale in a series is my least favorite (ACOWAR, Allegient, Bright We Burn, the list goes on), so for this to have been so good was just doubly perfect haha.

    1. Yes! I recently finished the whole trilogy and I love it so much. I read the books when I was having examinations and while it was kinda a distraction for me, it gave me a place to escape to and relieve my stress. I knew it’s gonna go to the top of my all-time favourite series list since the first book. Cannot wait to read more of Victoria Schwab!

      1. Thank you! I hope you get it soon. 🙂 And yes, she actually came and did a random last-minute signing at my Barnes & Noble a few months ago and there was no limit, so I took all of the books I have from her! It was so cool and she was SO nice.

    1. I absolutely adored all the quotes you chose for this review. You managed to get such a nice range of beautiful, funny, and touching. I read this book about a year ago and it reminded me of all my favorite parts.

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