A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic #3) by V.E. Schwab
This was the final installment of a fantastic series that I read within a couple months because I just had to know how it ended. Although I did enjoy this book as well, the first two in the series were definitely better. This one was a touch too long and certain developments with the characters were slight disappointments. So I'm on the fence between 3.5 -4 stars.
The aspect I loved most about this series is Schwab's amazing way of creating these dark fantasy world and "anti-heroes", characters saving the world but also doing unsavory things. Although it mostly makes sense with the way the story is unfolding, this book had almost every character find redemption rather than pushing the boundaries and bending rules. This was less exciting to me than the complexity of the characters in the first two books.
This finale definitely kept you in suspense; you never knew what would happen next, who may betray whom, or who may die next in the fight against the evil plaguing Red London or just the power struggle. So the book was still interesting, especially for the last 200 pages, and had some great fight and action scenes. Schwab also added a clever magical black market and badass leader of the market which was a fun scene. Then again, it seemed out of place as London needs it's strongest magicians and yet they take a week long trip, for something important yes, but a week where everything stayed the same in this war? A bit unrealistic. This wasn't my least favorite part of the book, but rather an example that certain scenes may have been unnecessary or removed without ruining the book in it's entirety.
The way the black London magic slowly crept over Red London, and the different things the "villian" did were creative and so vividly written that it was like I could feel the magic in my room. Then again, I felt the book overall lost some of the magic that was so prevalent in the first two books. Something was missing and it's hard to give an explanation as to why. Overall, I did enjoy the series and I love V.E. Schwab, but do prepare yourself for some slight disappoint with this finale.
Synopsis: 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 TAKE CONTROL? And an ancient enemy returns to claim a crown while a fallen hero tries to save a world in decay