Queer Plot Removed from V.E. Schwab’s Book by Russian Publisher

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Kate Krug


Kate is a 2011 Drake University grad, where she received her BA in magazine journalism. A hopeless romantic with a cynical heart, Kate will read anything that comes with a content warning, a love triangle, and a major plot twist. Twitter: @katekrug Blog:

Back in a June article, I mentioned how A Conjuring of Light, the third and final novel in the Shades of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab, was my favorite read of the month. One of the many things that is so wonderful about the Shades of Magic books (and really, Schwab’s entire catalogue), is the diversity in the characters. The plot is original and engaging, but for me, the development and richness of Kell, Lila, Rhy, et al, gave the books its punch.

According to Schwab’s Twitter, an entire plot line was cut from the Russian edition of the Shades of Magic books. An LGBTQIA+ plot line. The edit is in breach of the contract Schwab signed with publisher, Rosman. The omission was discovered by a reader who had just happened to read both versions. “I’m positively devastated,” Schwab tweeted. That makes two of us.

Spoilers for aforementioned plot…

Prince of Red London, Rhy Maresh, is canonically bisexual and throughout the series has a tumultuous, but ultimately sweet romance with pirate captain, Alucard Emery. The two were in a relationship before Alucard left Rhy to take to the seas. They are reunited in A Gathering of Shadows and they eventually find their way back to each other.

The Russian edition of A Conjuring of Light has yet to be released, and in subsequent tweets, Schwab said that the contract will likely be canceled and, hopefully, another publisher will pick it up. Do you hear that Russian publishers? This is your golden moment. On top of that, what about the LGBTQIA+ Russians who would have benefited from reading about this relationship?

It’s 2017. Forget the contract for a second, can we just agree that this shouldn’t happen, period?