Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and Bookish where we get a new topic for a top 10 list.
I was originally going to follow this week’s topic word for word and list my favourite 2016 releases so far. However, when it came to writing the list, I realised I had only actually read 6 2016 titles. Looking at the titles I had read I noticed that one book stood out as the all time favourite. So instead I am going to turn this topic into the top ten reasons you should read A Gathering of Shadows.
1. Character Insight: I’ll go into more detail about specific characters further down the list but I want to stress that this book is all about the characters. The plot is still there but the character’s take center stage. We get to learn a lot about them and get a feel for them as individuals. More than that we get to explore some interesting dynamics between the characters as some face the consequences of the events in A Darker Shade of Magic.
2. The Essen Tasch (Element Games): It is this event in Red London that ultimately brings all our characters together again. It took us a while to actually get to the games but once they start you are treated with some epic magical showdowns. A long the way, our characters find some challenges and surprises. The idea of the games themselves have been done before but they are a good way of not only bringing the characters together but it also provides some information to the wider world that exists beyond Red London.
3. Kell: In my opinion, this book belongs to Kell. Following the aftermath of his choice in the first book Kell has had to face a lot of changes. People are a lot more wary of Kell now and not only has he lost their trust but he’s also lost the trust of his adopted parents, the King and Queen of Red London. Kell noted in the first book that he felt more like a possession than a son and this feeling is heightened in A Gathering of Shadows. Kell is like a prisoner in his own home and there is only so much he can take. As we get a glimpse of the dynamic between Kell and his parents, you understand his frustration and his resentment for them.
4. Rhy: Next to Kell, Rhy is the only other character that was really affected by Kell’s choice. In this book Rhy gets his own character POV and what I loved about this is the fact that we get an insight into his mentality. Rhy is known to be a pretty relaxed and happy prince but underneath the surface, we have a character that has a surprising amount of depth. Plagued by the guilt he feels, Rhy is determined to right the wrongs he feels responsible for.
5. Brotherhood: Family does not end in blood. That is how I would summarize the relationship between Kell and Rhy. The connection between these brothers is the central relationship in this series. These two love each other so fiercely and I loved exploring the dynamic between these two. Kell and Rhy are bound together in ways no one could possibly imagine and this book really explores the way this bond has tested their relationship. There is nothing these two wouldn’t do for each other and I love seeing their brotherhood develop.
6. Delilah Bard: How could I not mention our favourtie cross-dressing pirate. Delilah Bard has finally taken the first step in fulfilling her dream and is finally setting sail on her ship. The catch? It’s not her ship. There a subtlety in Lila’s character development. On the surface she is still the same girl that has only known to trust herself. However, A Gathering of Shadows sees Lila forming some new friendships and connecting with old friends and this makes the walls she’s built around herself show some of it’s cracks.
7. Alucard Emery: Oh Alucard. You can sweep me off my feet any day. Out of all the new characters we meet, Alucard is the one that definitely made a lasting impression. He also has a somewhat complicated history with a certain prince of ours.
8. The Ships are Sailing: Romance is not central to the book but the teases we get are absolutely sizzling. We have two ships and both couples have an interesting and exciting dynamic between them. All I can say is keep you eye out for a certain balcony scene.
9. Evil Cliffhanger: This cliffhanger was all kinds of cruel. It was so painful it put me in a book coma. The tension and the uncertainty of what’ll happen next is making the wait for A Conjuring of Light so excruciating.
10. A Sign of Things to Come: Throughout this book we are treated to a glimpse of the foreboding threat that will shake up this world in the third book. By the end of A Gathering of Shadows, this threat had already made his mark but I have a strong feeling that this is just the beginning of the carnage and chaos that awaits us.
That’s my favourite 2016 release so far.
What’s your favourite?