A Darker Shade of Magic #2 | 512 Pages | 2016
Crooked Kingdom at a Glance
- Overall Rating: ★★★★★
- Heroine: Girl has no boundaries
- Dude: Set him free!
- Steaminess: I bet the ice on the balcony melted
- Brutality: meh, no one melted this time
Pairs Well With
Keg stands with Rhy
Okay, so do you buy a book and let it sit on your shelf for way too long? I do all the time. I had to get the collector’s edition of A Gathering of Shadows after I fell so completely in love with A Darker Shade of Magic. These characters just own me I swear. But I have been putting this one off for just the right time. And oh boy was it.
I think this book fixed my horrible slump. It’s actually a miracle.
So we find our dear friend Lila on a pirate ship. YES! Unfortunately, she is not the captain, but she does have a sexy captain named Alucard who I love so much. Eyebrow piercings, a tan and long hair? Why hello there…
Plus, our dear captain has been teaching Lila some magic tricks. It turns out that our cutthroat miss has a serious affinity for magic.
In fact, she can do all four.
Back on the homestead, Rhy and Kell are learning how to live tethered to each other. Rhy’s reckless behavior is leaking over into Kell, who is under strict house arrest. I kind of hate King Maxim in this book. I understand he wants to protect Rhy, but it’s like Kell wasn’t even raised there. After losing his freedom, Kell feels more like a possession than he ever did their son and the king and queen reinforce this. He basically loses his family, while having to live with them constantly. My boy is not treated well.
What I loved about this book, that I can see turning some off, is that it’s character-focused.
It’s true that not much action happens. The majority of the book is spent building up this great tournament of magicians and little time is spent on the actual tournament or aftermath. But the time that you spend with Lila, Kell and Rhy is just spectacular.
I feel so bad Kell feeling trapped, Rhy wanting to grow and prove himself, and Lila grieving. We experience their pain and desires so intensely that I had to set the book down a couple of times. The angst with Kell and Lila, circling each other and not meeting up until 75% through the book! That almost killed me. And the tension and history between Alucard and Rhy? Talk about fire and confusion!
Lila was classic Lila.
Cheating her way into a tournament she has NO business being in and getting by on strength of will? Yep. I love her.
It was a lot of getting to know these awesome characters, but I absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to start A Conjuring of Light!
Have you read A Gathering of Shadows? Let me know what you thought in the comments!