Beware: spoilers await all ye who have not read A Darker Shade of Magic! It’s been a year since I read A Darker Shade of Magic, but I easily fell right back into Schwab’s magical but dangerous world, where three different Londons exist one on top of the other—Grey, White and Red—and only a few people are able to move among them. Well, I guess you could say there are four Londons, but Black London’s doors were closed forever after the magic there spun out of control, and now Black London is nothing but ruins, or maybe even a myth. A Gathering of Shadows was just as good, if not better, than the first book, which is happy news for fans who fear the “sophomore slump” syndrome that often inflicts fantasy series. Not only does the story keep building—I’m not sure exactly where Schwab is headed, but I can tell she knows, and it feels as if events are careening toward an inexorable finish line—but we get more back story on the characters that we grew to love: Lila, Kell, and Rhy in particular. We also get to meet a new character or two, my very favorite being Alucard Emery….