4.5 stars. In general, I’m not someone who rereads books. There are just SO many good books out there waiting to be read that I have a hard time going back. Even if it was a book I liked, there’s always the fear that I might not like it as much the second time. I want to keep my memory of that book pristine. The problem is, instead of remembering plots and characters, I tend to remember how I felt about a book and that is not great when you’re reading a series. I finally had to admit to myself that as excited as I was to read the final book in the Shades of Magic trilogy, I should probably reread book 2 because I had no forking idea what happened in that book.
Luckily, my initial reaction to it stands and I still really loved it! This is partially because it centers so much on Lila who is just the best character. She has plenty of faults, but I love her all the more for them. It was a joy to see her progress in the Red London world and hold her own with the strongest magicians. Speaking of strong magicians, we get to meet Alucard Emery in this book and you just can’t help but love him. Who doesn’t want to read about a charming, mysterious, powerful sea captain. I could read about Alucard and Lila’s adventures together forever and never tire of them.
The book culminates in a tournament of magicians pitted against each other to see who is the most powerful and of course Lila manages to worm herself into the competition. Funnily enough, Kell has also secretly wormed his way into the competition so there’s a wonderful tension where you’re just waiting for them to realize what’s going on.
This is definitely one of my favorite series of the last few years, so if you haven’t read it yet, I would highly recommend it.