The Shadow of What Was Lost Review

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Paperback, 736 Pages
Epic Fantasy/ Adult
By: James Islington
Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟

“You can put your trust in something that’s obvious, that’s measurable or predictable – but that’s not faith.”

I have been seeing this book for years now and the cover and synopsis always intrigued me. With the recent release of the third book, I knew I had to start this series. My experience reading this had its ups and downs but at the end of the day, I think it ended up being a satisfying read.

The beginning of the book reminded me of the beginning of Spellslinger by De Castell. But this book came out before that one so all is good. But the magical school setting and the way things were heading was very similar until this took a very different epic direction. I think this book still has many tropes and it does take inspirations from many other fantasy books but that does not mean its bad. I have seen this compared to the WoT series and I have not read that one and I do not think I will. There was time travel here and all different kind of complicated stuff that helped making it an interesting read.

The writing is good, I don’t think it was very unique to me, like I can’t point out a paragraph and say this sounds like something Islington would write. The book started good and ended excellent. There was a point at the middle where I unfortunately detached from the story but I could get into it and even enjoy it more after that. It is a dense huge book that can be slow-paced and not very action-packed but all of that being said. It still was very entertaining!

The characters were intriguing. My favorites were Asha and Wirr, although I did enjoy the stories of Davian and Caeden too. The author writes in multiple POVs and it works. If there is something I did not like about the characters it was the names used in the books, I am usually a person who have hard times with names and the author uses similar sounding names for different characters, uses different names for the same character and sometimes call them by the first and last name in the same paragraph and that is just a bookish pet peeve of mine. I heard that book 2 has a glossary and a summary so that definitely is something I am looking forward to!!!

I don’t know if I can say much about the plot, the synopsis gives a good idea about it. Not much can be said without spoilers, there is a prophecy which is a favorite trope of mine and mind-bending plot twists!!

“Everyone has a darker nature, Caeden. Everyone. Good men fear it, and evil men embrace it.”

Summary: I think this is a book that uses tropes but puts the author’s own touch on them. There was a part where I got bored so I can understand some readers not liking it very much. The writing and characters were good and the plot line and planning for the events is just immaculate and amazing. I am excited for book 2 for sure.

2 Comments

  1. Great review, Hamad! I’m glad that this one was ultimately a satisfying read! I must admit that the sheer length of this book is what has been putting me off more than anything. Haha! 🙈 I’m not sure if I’ll be able to commit to reading such a large book, especially if the pacing isn’t quite there. Although, I’m definitely interested in how there’s some time travel involved!

    Liked by 1 person

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