And here we finally are, at the end of all things. It is very difficult to summarize this book without giving so much away but I’ll do my best to try.
A Conjuring of Light picks up right where A Gathering of Shadows left off. Kell is captured, held prisoner while his magic is bleed out of him. Holland has been overtaken by Osaron and is making his way to Red London. Lila, in an attempt to rescue Kell, journeys alone to White London, unsure if she will make it but determined to try. And Rhy is on his death bed – again.
As if all of that weren’t enough for everyone to contend with, Osaron has now been let loose on Red London. Citizens are either succumbing to his influence and becoming his puppets, dying as they attempt to fend him off but become consumed by his magic, or – in the case of the nobility – trapped in the castle with the royal family, warded by Tieren, his priests, and their spells. Osaron wants to rule Red London just as he did Black London, but without a body his plans are thwarted – and the only bodies he wants or can use are the Antari.
Kell, Holland, Lila, and Alucard must set off to find something – anything – that can trap Osaron and free Red London from his control. Meanwhile, Rhy must do what he can to protect his people while his parents become occupied with their own agendas. It will take all of them to defeat Osaron…but is it even possible?
It was agonizingly painful to read A Conjuring of Light. Not because it wasn’t a good read – faaaar from it. V.E. Schwab keeps the action going from page one. There are reprieves, but they only last a breath before the characters must dive into the next issue to tackle. No, this was painful to read because I didn’t want it to end. It took me two weeks to read this book because every page brought me closer to the end of this series. At the same time, I wanted so desperately to know what happened. It became a struggled to read while enjoyable at the same time.
I loved all of the characters in this book. Kell remains my favorite by far, but I was completely enthralled by every single one of them. Even Ned, who makes occasionally appearances and allows us glimpses into how the changes in Red London are bleeding in (almost literally) into Grey London.
I won’t spoil it, but the ending isn’t exactly a “happily ever after” affair, but it is an ending fitting to this series. I wish we could have one more adventure post-ending, a truly happy one. But I fear if we receive one, I’ll just want more. Best to use my imagination and wait to see what Schwab dreams up next – whatever it is, I’m ready and waiting.
My rating: 5/5