“Life isn’t made of choices, it’s made of trades. Some are good, some are bad, but they all have a cost.” // Review of A Conjuring of Light by V. E. Schwab

Title: A conjuring of Lights (Shades of Magic #2)
Author: V. E. Schwab
Genre: New Adult/Fantasy/Historical
Date Read: 17/03/2017 – 28/03/2017
Rating: ★★


That’s it. It’s time for me to admit that V. E. Schwab and I just aren’t meant to be. I’ve tried, I really have, but with the exception of A Darker Shade of Magic, none of her books have really worked for me. I’ll try to keep this brief, and not too ranty.

The thing is, she is a great writer. She has an amazing way with words. And I think she has great ideas. I think her plotting is where she falls down. In my review of This Savage Song, I noted several moments where I thought the plot or world-building were quite weak, and it was the same in this book. It was too long for a start, and there were so many sections from the points-of-view of characters we barely knew, because they had only ever been on the sidelines in the previous books, if that.

On top of that, this was one of those books where I never felt like the stakes were particularly high, even when I could objectively see that they probably were. The Big Bad is threatening, sure, but he never moves beyond that. He just sort of… hangs around and postures? I get that the idea was that he was robbed of his power source, but it just took the life out of him. And I found I had lost my love for the rest of the characters. I don’t know if that was because it had been so long since I read the previous books, because I was feeling slump-y while reading this, or because eventually the book got too long for me and I just wanted it to be done. But whichever it was, the fact was that I was no longer rooting for them. I’ve got to admit, I kind of ended up on the Holland bandwagon, just because he was more interesting (and I do like hardened characters who make bland comments at the others) though at the same time, I didn’t really see the flashbacks to his past as necessary.

Anyway. Obviously Schwab is a good writer and her books have rave reviews so don’t take my word for it. I honestly think it is a case of “it’s me, not you” and I feel like it is only fair to give an author a decent chance (especially when I did like the first of her books that I read). But now that I’ve concluded this series, it’s time to jump off that bandwagon.

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#WWW and #WIPpet Wednesday -29 March, 2017


Welcome to WIPpet Wednesday! This is a weekly blog hop hosted by yours truly. If you’re a writer, you are very welcome to join us by posting an excerpt from your WIP that somehow relates to the date. You can click the blue guy on the right of this blog to be taken to the link up.

This will be my last week sharing from my Wizard of Oz retelling (for now). Last week, Dora and Julia were discussing the cheesy fantasy movie Dora was auditioning for. Today I’ve got 11 lilnes (2+9 for the 29th) from her audition.

“Are you ready?” asked the guy in glasses who had brought her into the room.

She nodded, trying not to lose focus.

“Princess Ruby, are you up there?” he called, only putting a small amount of expression into the line. He didn’t have a hero’s voice. It was sort of squeaky. Dora tried not to let it distract her too much.

“Yes, I’m up here!” she responded, fixing her eyes on a point on the wall about foot from the floor. She visualised the craggy rocks and the brambles that led up to the tower where the princess was being held, and imagined catching a glimpse of the hero as he fought his way past them towards her.

“Don’t move! I’m going to get you out of there!”

“Andre, watch out!” The script described a dragon appearing behind Andre, so Dora flung out one arm, pointing.

“That’s good,” said Oliver Zamik, breaking into the scene. Dora gave herself a shake to come back to herself, and then turned back to the panel. Only four lines? Was that all they needed?

Auditions are weird, y’all. I don’t know what’s weirder, that some people have to do them for a living, or that I put myself through them with no promise of a pay cheque later (I do community theatre, for those who might be new here).

I’m honestly not sure what will happen with this project. I would like to see it through, but I was having trouble even getting the scenes that were firm in my head down on paper, let alone the ones that needed teasing. I am back to working on Memories and Magic at the moment, but I will be finished the first draft of that soon, and I want to put it away for a while before I start editing (even though I am actually REALLY KEEN to start editing).

And now it’s time for WWW Wednesday! This blog hop is hosted by Sam over at A World Of Words. Link up with us by commenting on Sam’s post for this week, and just answer the three questions.


What have you recently finished reading?

A Conjuring Of Light by V. E. Schwab… in the end, I had mixed feelings about it. I think it’s time for me to stop reading V. E. Schwab books, even if I am intrigued by Vicious. I’ve read four of her books now and only liked one (ADSOM). I also DNFed one back before I really knew who she was. So. Yeah. Anyway, review up this Friday.

What are you currently reading?

I started He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly on the weekend, when I needed a physical book to read on my study breaks. It took me a while to get into, but it grabbed me properly on the way home on the bus this afternoon.

What do you think you’ll read next?

Soulless is still next on my radar. Though I have bought a few books lately. And got a couple more ARCs. I’m really sucking at sticking to my “read books I already own” goal for this year. But it’s fine, the year’s only a quarter gone. Still plenty of time to catch up, right?

What are you reading this week? 🙂

~ Emily