by Bella Gavellon
What kind of reader are you? Do you start from the last two chapters or so and, if you like the ending, only then agree to start from page one? Or are you a bit more like me, one who simply must start at page one, reserving the juicy ending, like the last of your favorite bon bons, to savor that delightful conclusion in due course?
However you read your books, if you enjoy fantasy novels you need to get your hands on V.E. Schwab’s The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, and her Shades of Magic 3-book series; A Gathering of Shadows, A Darker Shade of Magic, and A Conjuring of Light.
When Diana Belchase, Book Smart’s host on TV, suggested I read the first few evocative pages of A Gathering of Shadows, promising it wouldn’t ruin book one, A Darker Shade of Magic, if I read the first few pages of book two, I told her I couldn’t. She pressed. I resisted. She asked once more.
We all know this woman’s got incredible taste in books, but I never, and I mean never read that way. So I told her I’d think about it and requested A Darker Shade of Magic (book one), A Gathering of Shadows (book two), and A Conjuring of Light (book three), through my local library.
Lucky for me, A Darker Shade of Magic came in just before a long weekend, so I dove right in. And was tossed head over teakettle into a web of characters so strong and world-building so deliciously unique I couldn’t put the book down until I’d read it straight through. No easy feat at 416 pages!
Now obsessed, after a fitful night’s sleep, I drove to the library to search the shelves for more. A Gathering Shade of Magic was snugged right next to The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue, an intriguing title if I ever saw one, but A Conjuring of Light (book three in the Shades of Magic trilogy) wasn’t due for days. Resigned to wait impatiently, I gobbled up A Gathering of Shadows and loved every second. You know how so many books make you skim to get to the good stuff? There was none of that. No missteps or miscues in her writing.
And when book three arrived, A Conjuring of Light was just as good. Just as full of flawed people going outside their comfort zones to save their worlds, while doing things you never dreamed were possible. Simple, utter perfection.
But I digress. Still waiting for A Conjuring of Light, with plenty of reading time on my hands, I reached out, took a deep breath and opened The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue.
And was riveted. I am a wordsmith, have edited hundreds of manuscripts, and I am still, a full week later, completely stunned. There aren’t enough verbs and adverbs in the English language to explain how I feel about this novel. Magnificent. Empowering. Tragic. Breathtaking. Haunting. Brilliant. I could go on for days but if there’s one take-away it’s get this book!
So clear your calendars, find a cozy spot to read, and get ready for the ride of your life. Victoria Schwab’s gorgeous writing is, in my book, right up there with the likes of J.D. Robb, Mercedes Lackey, Kim Harrison, and all the other Sci Fi / Fantasy greats.
Senior Reviewer, Bella Gavellon, loves every kind of book there is, but is especially fond of Fantasy, Humor, Mystery, Science Fiction, and Cookbooks with lots of pictures. She’s camera shy, but not review shy, and will lead you to the hottest new and old titles she comes across.