Thursday, August 4, 2016

New Fave: V. E. Schwab

I keep hearing good things about V. E. Schwab.  I liked the look of those black and white and red covers too, so when I noticed a copy of A Gathering of Shadows on the "Best Sellers--14 Day Loan" shelf at the library, I went ahead and got it.

Then I noticed that the jacket flap started, "It's been four months since..." and I thought--oh great, Falconer, you just picked up book two in a series.  Then I started trying to figure out how to get my hands on book one.  Luckily, although it wasn't in at my library, they were able to get it on hold within a few days, so I started out with A Darker Shade of Magic.

And I was BLOWN AWAY.  The world-building.  The characters.  The excitement and the snark and the hints of romance and the cast of characters and they way it just kept building and building, with more and more layers being revealed.  SO GOOD.  I raced through it and still had enough time to read AGOS before that 2 week non-renewable due date.

The second book took me longer to get into.  I mean, by book two, one is no longer going, "Oh my God this is so amazing, four Londons!"  And while I respect the way Schwab moved her action to new places and introduced new influences and characters, it wasn't until I hit a big reveal (and literally gasped, and called out to my husband who happened to be walking by, "Plot twist!") that I really perked up again.  But still, I wasn't as gripped as I'd been for book one until well past page 200.  At about the time many books are winding down, this one suddenly picked up for me.  All the pieces were now in place, all the intruigues carefully prepared, and Things Began to Happen.

And I was sucked back into it with a vengance.  My heart was literally pounding.  That is the second time I've used "literally" in this post, and I'm one of those annoying people who get pissy about those who mis-use the term.

And now?  Part of me is screaming and crying (but not literally) because I have to wait until some undisclosed time in 2017 to read the next book in the series.  But the rest of me is busy checking to see what OTHER Schwab books I can get my hands on in the meantime.

I did find these books to be what I'd consider YA--the main characters are all young adults, and more attention is paid to self discovery (and romance!) than to politics or quests.  Yet the author has let it be known that V. E. writes adult novels, while Victoria writes the YA.  Maybe her YA stuff is more what I'd consider MG?  I guess I'll have to read and find out.  Then again, a lot of what I used to read that was just called fantasy would probably be called YA fantasy now.  If it's not for children, does it even really matter whether it's YA or adult fantasy?

Have you read these books yet?  What did you think?  What other Schwab do you suggest I hunt down next?

I won't be posting for a week or so--family trips without computer access and the need to cram as much summer in as I can.  But I'll be reading, so stay tuned for updates later on!  


  1. Aren't those covers fantastic? I have not yet read the books but I'm anticipating the moment when there will be a hole in my reading stream and they can slip in. As to YA and adult, the distinction vexes me more and more. Any good YA novel can (and should) be read by an "adult." (Are we "old adults"?) And any adult novel a teenager will read and enjoy can be YA. Why on earth not?

  2. I haven't read these though it's been on my radar because the covers are so eye catching. This sounds absolutely fantastic and I'm glad that even though the 2nd book didn't start off quite as intensely it did pull you end by the end. I need to read A Darker Shade of Magic. It sounds like one that should not be missed!

  3. I’m glad you liked these, even if the second one wasn’t quite as gripping. Now, go read Vicious. Since I have a bizarre obsession with narrative structure, I have a lot of respect for Vicious.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  4. This is how I felt when I read This Savage Song - I suddenly realized what I've been missing out on with Schwab and I'm SO glad I bought Vicious and A Darker Shade of Magic too!

    Nicole @ Feed Your Fiction Addiction

  5. I recently read my first VE Schwab book (Vicious) and I absolutely loved it. I highly recommend it. I really need to read her other stuff.


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