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A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3)
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A Conjuring of Light > THE END DISCUSSION

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message 1: by Jay (last edited Jul 07, 2017 12:13AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jay Kennedy | 92 comments Mod

(Also why am I writing this at 12:00PM when I feel exhausted? Idk, I just need to get some things off my chest I suppose! I’ll try to contain my rambling a little bit.)

To be completely honest, this ending left a much sweeter taste in my mouth than expected. I was more so expecting a bitter tragic ending, with a small ray of hope. But really, it was basically a happy ending.
I know you’re probably going to say, “But Jay, how was the ending happy? So many people died!”
Let’s talk about the MAIN deaths shall we?
Well the thing is… the people that DID die were never really any of the one’s I cared a whole lot for. I mean, I was still pretty sad when Hastra died. I liked him. But liked is the word I use there, as he wasn’t one of the characters I loved. If Kell, Rhy, Alucard, or Lila died, well then that would have been tragic. Sure Holland (my fav character besides Kell) died, but his was sort of a peaceful and liberating death. I felt content with the way that he died, not really heart broken or anything.

Now the King and Queen, their deaths were quite sad. I especially was moved when Rhy was struggling to get to King Maresh, who had closed the doors and went to face Osaron. In this moment we get a memory of when Rhy was a little boy and said “a prince needs to be with his king” (or something of the sort).
Though tbh, I’m not really sure if I believed in King Maresh’s plan in the first place. Like yeah it’s cool and all that you can make an army of metal soldiers.... but that’s going to defeat Osaron how?
The Queen’s death was also rather sad, yet it didn’t have the same effect as the King’s in my opinion.

When it comes down to it, I feel a little bit cheated. The only reason the King and Queen’s death were sad to the reader is because Schwab made us more familiar with their character in this book. Out of the three books, this third one is the only book where Rhy’s parents are even likeable. And why is that? Because they die at the end.
I didn’t care for them one bit in the first two books, actually I would even say I disliked them. From the way they treated Kell, to how bland they were, the reader really had no reason to like them. However, this third book adds a small bit of back story to them, pulls on our heartstrings a little bit, then kills them off. Yes, I feel cheated.

I was pretty disappointed- not sad –when the old blind man and the young thief on Jasta’s boat were killed. I suppose this was just to prove how much of a traitor Jasta was, but I was expecting more from their characters. When they were introduced, it seemed like they were going to be a fun small edition to the story. I wanted to know how they both became thieves and what their relation was. But after they were introduced…. Nothing else was mentioned, well, besides the old man’s terrible cooking (but who lets a blind man do all the cooking anyway??? What do you expect?). I almost feel like their characters just weren’t needed at all.

Moving on to a different topic; the Veskan Princess and Prince. This story arc I wasn’t expecting at all and it legitimately surprised me. I like surprises, and I liked how this young princess ended up going all assassin. It definitely wasn’t expected at all! However, I feel like this betrayal happened so fast and her brother was hardly even in the book, that it just didn’t have the huge effect it could have had. I think if these two siblings were pushed into the story just a bit more it would have worked.

The ending was sad, but not a whole lot. And it wasn’t overly sweet either. I’m a sucker for more of a tragic ending, but I can’t always get what I want ;) That would make books boring! Overall the ending was pretty good! I still have a lot of questions though, and I wish there was a 4th book! I feel like Alucard and Rhy’s relationship was wrapped up well, Holland was free to die in peace, Osaron was locked in the inheritor to be watched over by Mr. Tuttle, and Kell and Lila are going traveling. Though I did feel like Kell and Lila felt a wee bit stiff at the end :P

Phew, okay I got all this small critiquing off my chest. Just because I nit-pick at some of the small stuff doesn’t mean I didn’t like this book or its ending (trust me, I get critical with like every book).
In fact, I thought this book was GREAT! From start to finish it was so suspenseful! A few slowdowns here and there, but overall I thought it was really fun, and probably the best one in the entire series (however I did love the Essen Tache in the 2nd book a lot).

I’ll be putting up a video review for both this book and the 2nd one as soon as I come up with a small skit for each and get time to film ^_^ In the meantime let me know your thoughts and feels on the ending!

- Another thing, (I wasn't sure where to put this in) did anyone else feel like it felt pretty convenient that Alucard found those rings? These rings that were basically needed in order to stop Osaron.

- The character development I was pretty happy with near the end! Especially with Lila as it felt like she grew into somebody less selfish and more willing to risk her life for others. She also grew less afraid of comfort and didn't find the urge to run away as much.

message 2: by Dimitris (last edited Jul 11, 2017 01:02AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dimitris (Dimitris_Lianos) | 48 comments Finished it! I don't know why but I kept reading how everyone had tears coming to the end of this Trilogy. I did not, and I cry pretty easily. ;)

I'll agree with everything Jay wrote. A beautiful, complex, magical fairytale adventure that was such a pleasure to read. I wish it lasted longer. Maybe we can expect a spin-off series?...

I can't decide if it's a positive or a negative attribute to any book that I ended up loving the one character that I first cared about - Kell, of course! - and that I kept disliking to the very end the ones I disliked from the start, 1500 pages ago: Lila, especially the King and Queen. Ooooh, that "sad-eyed, sweet, misunderstood princess Diana who never really wanted to become queen" rip-off!... Alucard was a really nice guy (his name didn't contain any hidden vampiric meaning unfortunately...)

Rhy was very sweet but he read like an American teenage celebrity of today and not a protected heir apparent in a pre-industrial age absolute monarchy in the early 1800s. He won't make a good King, that was my opinion all through the Trilogy, were it not for that one very powerful image towards the end (p503) of him dressing up in his armour and walking across his desolate enchanted snowy capital all through the night, alone and unafraid, reassuring his unconscious subjects that he was there for them. This redeemed him of all his childish acts. I adored that scene!

The only character who showed any change was Holland (and still, it's not that he evolved or became a better person during this whole adventure, it's that his good qualities were just revealed to the reader in this final volume.)

It's definitely a strange thing to admit, but I found the world-building more complex and intriguing than the character-building. I can't recall this happening to me with any other book. (but I must read the Lord of the Rings!)

The twist with that little b*tch Cora trying to usurp the Arnesian crown in the midst of a demonic invasion that threated its very existence - and that of her own Empire! - seemed very childish, but maybe that's how V.E. Schwab wanted it?... Cause Cora was indeed a child? I expected a bit more or nothing at all, that little "Sherlock" sub-plot ("Who's the traitor? The Veskans or Lord Sol-in-ar of Faro?") was not necessary in my opinion. At the very least we should have been treated to Rhy single-handedly executing her (à la Eddard Stark), I felt we were cheated of this very regal act... VE Schwab seems in general too "cautious" not to displease / "offend" even the most over-sensitive reader or minority...

Finally, I was very disappointed that the four Londons did not come together in the end, but rather that communications ended permanently, that we learned nothing more of the severed Black London, that we didn't go to Vesk or Faro, that we were not shown what would happen to White London now that its King Holland died, if endless Winter and alternating tyrans would prevail there, that pompous Osaron's actual defeat and eternal entrapment inside the inheritor wasn't shown in all its potential raging glory, that Kell ignited the paper with his real mother's identity and last words spoken to that life-sucking smuggling crone without reading it (wtf?!!!), that we learned nothing of Lila's childhood and what had happened to her original eye back then... Pity!

I also did not get - again, my limited English - who was knocking at the doors of the Stone's Throw/Five Points at nights... Was it Osaron? And mr. Tuttle was able to repell him from possessing him by... burning sage?! Also what happened to George IV in there (p627). Did the voices get him? But... what voices could these possibly have been? Osaron had already been defeated long ago!

Unpopular opinion: I don't ship Kell and Lila. That girl didn't convince me once that she is capable of forming any healthy human relationship or that she can love anyone except her freedom, her "pirate" adventures and those ridiculous daggers she keeps on her!

But enough complaints! I really loved this book and feel rather a flop myself when I realize the author was 28 when she wrote it! Whaaat?... :) Anoshe, Shades of Magic!

message 3: by Jay (last edited Jul 11, 2017 10:29PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Jay Kennedy | 92 comments Mod
Dimitris wrote: "Finished it! I don't know why but I kept reading how everyone had tears coming to the end of this Trilogy. I did not, and I cry pretty easily. ;)

I'll agree with everything Jay wrote. A beautiful,..."

Right? Idk why people cried, I mean it was sad... but not as sad as it could have been.

I'm really hoping for a spin off series!

I definitely agree with your thoughts about Rhy. I really do like him as a character, but like you said, he did read like an American teen celebrity. I could see him maybe growing into the shoes of a king, but there was only a few instances where I saw his more noble and mature choices. The scene you mentioned, with him dressed in his armour, walking through the snow all night was such a fantastic scene.

I did enjoy the world building a lot as well! (You need to read Lord of the Rings!!)

Cora's betrayal did feel childish, and I believe this could have been what Schwab wanted, but I definitely think it needed more. It could have even been a longer sub plot, stretching throughout the novel, but the way it was delivered it just ended up feeling rushed. Hahaha yes, it's too bad Rhy wasn't the one to execute Cora. I Agree, it does feel like Schwab works too hard at trying not to offend over-sensitive people (a problem I see with many new YA authors).

YES! I was also very disappointed the four London's didn't come together! And I was really expecting for a revival of Black London tbh. Or maybe just some more info on it. Same with a lot of the characters pasts, it feels like the reader needs more then what we got.

On that note, was i the only one that felt positive that the woman who sold Lila her mask and jacket was Kell's mom? I mean, she seemed so interested in Kell and Lila's relationship....
However, this was never confirmed :( the store lady died and there was nothing more said about her....

I believe it was Osaron knocking on the door at Five Points, as the taverns all seem to be connected to the parallel London's. This means the tavern in Red London would still be connected to Grey London, even though Red London was infected by Osaron. So I think Osaron's power was seeping in from the tavern in Red London to the one in Grey.
I don't think burning the sage actually made Osaron go away XD This was just some Pagan ritual that Tuttle thought would work, since he is so new to magic. I think the only reason Osaron left, was because at that time he was defeated in Red London. At least I think that's the case

It was weird for me, I wanted to ship Kell and Lila... but their relationship ended up feeling kinda forced and unnecessary. It just never felt like a real relationship.

But I agree, I loved this book as well and enjoyed it a lot! It's always good to look at books critically and make some complaints though! I think this is an important aspect of reading every book, as it helps you learn as a writer what works and what doesn't (even if the book is really good).
Wow :O I hope by the time I'm 28 I will have a book out as good as this one!

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