A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab – Review & Playlist

A Gathering of Shadows by V. E. Schwab: Muse Monthly book review Okay, so I have a confession to make. I have developed a huge crush on V. E. Schwab.
Not a joke. It’s a whole thing, and it’s all very high school.

(if you’re reading this V, um….I….uh….hi??)

And this isn’t the first time this has happened to me. If the writing is really good,and I mean really really good, I tend to fall in love with the writer a little bit. Neil Gaiman and Jonathan Safran Foer, and earlier, Jack Kerouac and Sylvia Plath (my dead girlfriend). I get posessive and defensive, I will gush about my writer crushes any opportunity I get, and V. E. Schwab has become the name I work into every conversation.

It’s been a long time since I’ve felt so completely drowned in a story to the point where I lift my eyes up from the pages and am disappointed in the world around me, disappointed to not be in London (which I am every day, frankly, but I’m talking about a very specific floral-scented London here), disappointed in the lack of magic, of pirate ships on the horizon, of the greyness of it all. It is, honestly, heartbreaking to be so consumed by a new fictional world and then to have to like, get off the fucking train and go to work and sit at a desk for eight hours a day, you know? But V got me, she really did. She created a world and characters that I felt such a kinship with (we’ll recall my spot-on cosplay on instagram here, call the casting director now). And you can see, I’m getting sentimental and not doing a proper review, because I fell in love a little bit and that means I can’t form proper thoughts. I have a lot of things I want to talk about and it just feels so overwhelming. Just gimme it. Gimme it all. Kell and his brooding, genderqueer Lila cutting bitches who get in her way, prince/privateer boy kisses (um, can we talk about the heart attack I had over this?), magical tournaments, all that shit. I want it.

And I find it infinitely frustrating that I can’t have it.

And I know I’m not alone in this. There’s a whole generation of readers still angry over a certain letter that was never delivered (ahem). And why are we still angry? Because we all still hold out hope that magic exists – but this is why we read, and why books like A Gathering of Shadows and its predecessor is necessary. It’s an immersive type of magic, a good book. Beautiful words and colourful, full characters are the magic we can cling to, and they is so vital to our survival in this grey world.

And, like, it helps that the writer is real cute.

I’m fine. It’s fine. I’m gonna go hide now.


  1. says

    I completely and wholeheartedly agree with you. I JUST finished AGOS yesterday morning and by the time I came home from work last night and got into bed my fiancĂ© asked me if I was reading because (always) but I quietly sighed then screamed “I FINISHED IT AND I’M REALLY SAD NOW”!! In all seriousness this was my first Muse Monthly box and I’m irrevocably content!

    • says

      Kara, I am so glad you loved both the book and your Muse Monthly package! Also, I’m glad that I’m not the only one who was totally destroyed by AGOS!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *