Magical ending to a fantastic fantasy series


Shelby Foster

“A Conjuring of Light,” the third and final installment in the Shades of Magic series, involves Kell, Lila, and Alucard attempting to prevent an ancient evil from rising and destroying all of the parallel Londons. The author of this book, V.E. Schwab, skyped with Starr’s Mill students on April 29.

Dana Gould, Staff Writer

Most readers can attest that there is truly nothing better than re-entering a beloved fictional universe, as long as the sequels can match the beauty captured by the first book. The third and final book in the “Shades of Magic” series, “A Conjuring of Light,” accomplishes this perfectly as it gives readers a chance to return to this beautifully-executed and detailed world. Fans of author V. E. Schwab and the fantasy genre in general will be absolutely amazed with the fantastic ending to this book series.

There is nothing better than re-entering the same fantasy world, only to discover it is like the reader never left.”

— Staff Writer Dana Gould

Kell Maresh is one of the last Antari, a race of powerful, time-traveling magicians, as well as the adopted son to the throne of Red London. As an Antari, Kell has the ability to travel between each of the four parallel Londons: Red London, the world filled with magic, Gray London, the world void of magic, White London, the world in ruins, and Black London, the world in ashes.

Before Kell’s life erupts into chaos, he used to smuggle items between the three intact Londons, fully understanding the extent of the crime. Kell’s smuggling days have already created many consequences for his family but the most substantial repercussion approaches.

At the end of the second book, chaos ensues as the last night of the magical tournament nears. Kell finds himself trapped in White London at the hands of Holland, the White London Antari, imprisoned in chains that deplete his magic. Back in Red London, Rhy, Kell’s brother and heir to the throne, falls ill due to Kell’s predicament. Lila Bard, the Gray Londoner thief, attempts to save Kell by drawing on her own magic to travel to White London all while a new power is rising with the intent to destroy Red London.

“A Conjuring of Light” picks up by answering the cliffhanger questions leftover at the end of the second book while addressing the coming troubles as a new evil rises. Red London once beautiful and prosperous is enveloped in darkness and falling to a foreign evil from an another London. An ancient power that lay dormant in the depths of Black London has been freed and another London must fall.

Red London is in danger of collapsing to this source of evil as citizen after citizen is cursed and brainwashed to serve this new power. Kell, Lila, and Alucard are the only ones who can save Red London and the world from this horrific power with only one question remaining: Is there still time or is Red London already past salvation?

“A Conjuring of Light” contains the same elegant writing, intense plot, and detailed universe fans of the “Shades of Magic” series would expect. Though this is the third book in the series, its strong characters and well-developed plot make it read exactly like the first book in a series. All of the previous characters are back and better than ever as they continue to develop and morph even in the final book of the series. The minor characters are extremely well-developed as well, allowing the interactions between characters to delve into their individual personalities.

Powerful details and imagery put into the setting and universe as a whole are also impeccable. While reading this novel readers will feel more like they are watching the story unfold on camera instead of reading words on a page.

As well as containing all the more general requirements of a great book, Schwab takes it a step further by allowing only mere minutes to pass between the end of the second book and the beginning of this one. Readers can finally set one book down and pick up another exactly where the previous story left off.

Between the consistent plot and almost no time passing between novels, this series feels like it is simply one really long book. The writing style is equally excellent between books and there is more of one central conflict as opposed to lots of unrelated smaller conflicts that each seem larger than the last. There is nothing better than re-entering the same fantasy world, only to discover it is like the reader never left.