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Read a full summary of A Gathering of Shadows right here!  This page is full of spoilers so if you haven’t read this book yet click here to read a spoiler-free Rapid Review of A Gathering of Shadows. If you are wondering what happened in A Gathering of Shadows, you are in the right place!

VE Schwab

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4.41 stars on Goodreads
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Shades of Magic
#1 A Darker Shade of Magic
#2 A Gathering of Shadows
#3 A Conjuring of Light

***** Everything below is a SPOILER *****

What happened in A Gathering of Shadows

After walking away from Kell in Red London, Lila ends up on the Night Spire, a ship in the service of the Arnesian crown. The captain, Alucard Emery, allows her to take the place of one of his crewmen that she killed. Lila and the captain soon begin meeting up in the evenings so that Alucard can teach her their language and maybe even magic since he seems to be a welder of it. During her four months at sea, Lila practices magic using the game board Kell gave her. She is getting better.

Back in the city, Kell has been training in combat magic. Something has awoken in him that constantly needs letting out. The training soothes him, and lets’s the magical tension out. Rhy, his princeling brother by adoption, is more restless than ever. His and Rhy’s matching scars, the result of forbidden and irreversible magic that brought Rye back to life tethers the two of them together. They share pain, pleasure, and lives.

Kell is not trusted by the people of Red London. They believe he is to blame for the Black Night. On an outing, Kell hears that Alucard Emery is returning to land to compete in an upcoming magicians tournament. Rhy’s fiery attitude lands him in a fight and Kell can feel his pain and goes to the rescue. His show of power is great, and he is disturbed to find that he liked it. Rye seems to be angry with Kell for linking them.

Holland is the new king of White London, and he seems to be making improvements to their world. No more mind-controlled guards. Holland shares his body with someone else. Three months ago when he was sent into Black London with the black stone by Kell he awoke because a statue creature named Osaron saved him and then joined his body. Holland has created a new Antari named Ojka that is loyal to him.

Lila learns that she will be traveling to London for the tournament. She secretly plans to compete as Alucard will. Alucard continues to try to gain Lila’s secrets, and his magic lessons are paying off. Lila is becoming very strong.

Rhy, who is in charge of the tournament is hoping that it will show him as a symbol of power. He talks Kell into competing in the tournament in disguise as Kamerov Loste. K.L. Like the initials on his knife…the only thing that is truly his from his past. He doesn’t even know what it really stands for.

Royals from other countries begin arriving for the magic tournament, and Kell is constantly being put on display. A foreign princess named Cora takes an interest in Kell.

After arriving back in London, Lila learns that Alucard is a royal but his family isn’t very proud of him after he got caught pirating.

Kell trains with his guard Hastra for the tournament, who will also pose as Kell’s attendant during the event. He learns that Lila is in town and wonders why she hasn’t visited him yet.

Lila finds it difficult to find her way into the tournament, so she ends up getting rid of one of the contestants. She does this by knocking a man named Elsor out and putting him on a ship headed away from Red London. She takes up his place. Alucard sees her doing this and reluctantly helps her though he says he wants no part in this deception and tells her that her time on the Night Spire is over.

Osaron, the magical being inside of Holland, becomes restless and wants to use their power too often and too much. He is a prisoner in Holland’s body. Holland makes a deal with him that he will find a new body for Osaron. Kell will be the recipient and Osaron will go to Red London and leave White London as it is. If Kell says no, Osaron will keep Holland’s body.

Alucard visits Prince Rhy, and we learn that they used to be together, but Alucard broke the prince’s heart. Kell hates Alucard for it.

The tournament begins, and Kell, Alucard, and Lila all make it through their first two rounds of competitions. Lila realizes that Kell is one of the competitors. Before the third round, Rhy informs Kell that he must lose the next one to avoid the unmasking ceremony.

Kell is under house arrest by the king for the duration of the tournament so sneaking out is difficult. There are many that would kidnap or kill Kell to overpower their country and now that Kell’s life is Rhy’s the King thinks he must be protected.

In White London, Holland has perfected a collar that blocks a person completely from magic.

Lila faces Kell in her next match. Kell quickly recognizes her and lets her win as Rhy requested. Lila shows up at the ball that night in a beautiful gown. She and Kell, share a dance and a kiss and he tries to talk her into withdrawing because it is dangerous. But she refuses. Kell is vexed to learn that all this time Lila has been on Alucard’s ship.

Holland’s Antari, Ojka, crosses over into Red London and searches for Kell.

When Lila is hurt in a match, Kell goes to her. The king is furious that he left the castle and has him arrested. Kell is released, and he tells the king he will be leaving for good as soon as the tournament guests leave.

How did A Gathering of Shadows end?

Ojka finds Kell and tricks him into going with her to White London. As soon as he arrives, Holland puts the magic binding collar on him. From inside of Holland, Osaron seeks to enter Kell’s body. Kell says no even though he fears Rhy is dying back in Red London since the magic binding them together is diminishing.

In Red London, Rhy is in devastating pain and is fading. Lila and Alucard find him and call for help. They realize that this must mean something terrible is happening to Kell. After an onlooker describes Ojka Lila knows he is likely in White London.

Osaron completely takes over Holland’s body and walks off to travel to Red London. He leaves Kell chained to the wall with the collar on.

Lila realizes she must do something. She is not sure what she is. Maybe she is Antari; maybe she is not. The book ends as she attempts to find Kell using blood magic.

There you go, that’s what happened in A Gathering of Shadows!  There’s your full A Gathering of Shadows summary!

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5 thoughts on “What happened in A Gathering of Shadows? (Shades of Magic #2)”

  1. Thank you so much for these recaps!!!! I read a lot . . . and forget a lot. 😏 Reading this jogs all the memories so I can get started on A CONJURING OF LIGHT! You are wonderful! ❤❤❤

  2. Thank you so much for this. I barely remembered A Gathering of Shadows and I’m about to start a Conjuring of light.

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