The Lost War Review

E-Book, 560 Pages
Adult/ Epic Fantasy
By: Justin Lee Anderson
Rating: ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ๐ŸŒŸ 1/2

โ€œSome old scars never stop itching,โ€ the old man said, โ€œbut scratch too hard and they bleed.โ€

The Lost War won the SPFBO 6 competition and I have read a few of the finalists from that competition and they were really good but I wanted to know why this won and it sounded intriguing and the rest is history.

The book is kind of a classic fantasy story taking place in the aftermath of a war. The main character Aranok is a Draoidh (basically a wizard) and he is the king’s envoy and they are on a mission to restore a queen to the throne. There is nothing fancy in the synopsis and it may sound like a stereotypical novel but the execution was top notch!!

The writing is great, I loved the author’s prose, I think there were many quotes that I like and highlighted and the more I read, the easier it was to read and the more I enjoy it. The book kind of has a rocky start which made me question it being the winner, the thing is there are many characters and the story shift between them, there is information about the world, the magic system and the last war so it could be a lot to take in and it can be a bit confusing. But a book that was judged by tens of judges to be the winner must be good (I trust the judging process) so I persevered and decided not to overthink and just read and it wasn’t that hard of a task, the characters start to converge and things start getting clearer. After 25%-30% I finally got into the story and was enjoying it and by the end my mind was blown!

โ€˜People who are responsible for everyone eventually feel responsible for no oneโ€™.โ€

There is a very interesting group of characters coming together including a Wizard, Archer, Paladin, Pirate…etc and I think all of the characters grow through the story and we get also to see their backgrounds which makes connecting to them even easier. I really liked Aranok and Allandria but I think I liked all the other characters and it is very hard to choose a favorite because all of them were well written in different aspects. There are all kind of dark creatures which are not the typical giants and Orcs… etc but there were unique ones that give a thrilling aspect to the story.

Speaking of thrillers, there was a mystery element to the story that keeps the reader guessing and trying to figure things out. I will tell you that I did not see that coming and that ending blew my mind and had me bumping my rating because it is not an ending that I will forget! The pacing is kind of fast because there is always something happening and the characters are moving from one place to another and dividing into parties and meeting other characters so there are no dull moments, there is no part that I felt was dragging. I think the plot was very tight and not a much to criticize about it.

I loved the world and I really enjoyed the magic, it is not a hard magic system with very strict rules but it made a lot of sense and had limitations so it is not soft magic either and I think it is somewhere in the middle. I can’t wait to see other kinds of magic in the next entry!

โ€œWords are easy weapons when fear is the enemy,โ€

Summary: I really enjoyed The Lost War and I believe it deserves its title as the SPFBO 6 winner. It doesn’t have the strongest start but it is not something that prevented me from enjoying the rest of the story with its slick writing, likable characters, creative magic system and unique magic system! I am a big fan of the ending and I really want to continue this series!

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