A Gathering of Shadows starts out following Lila who was a secondary, but significant, character in the first book of the series. Happy with accomplishing a transference to a London she likes better than the one she grew up in, she looks for a pirate ship to commandeer.
Lila is a little too efficient as a thief and fighter to be entirely believable, but it is Fantasy after all. In the second part of the book we get reacquainted with Kell, from the first book of the series. His brother, the prince, drags him into irresponsible situations for which Kell has to shoulder the blame all too often.
A tournament of elemental magic is to take place in the kingdom where Kell and the prince live and Lila draws near, in the company of a ship captain who has a reputation as a rogue, but a certain appeal to Lila.
This is one of those stories that starts slowly but becomes more and more interesting as it goes along. That both Lila and Kell have limitations and weaknesses came out more as the story went along and by the time they got to the competition, I was completely hooked into the story.
My one complaint is that it ended on not exactly a cliffhanger, but in a way that forces you to buy the third book to find out what happens. Luckily I've already got it and can continue.