Review: James Islington – The Shadow of What was Lost

The Shadow of What Was Lost
James Islington

As a Gifted, Davian should be able to alter and defend with magic. Unfortunately, not only does he suffer the consequences of a war fought before he was born that means he is shunned, but he can’t even use the powers. Sent off on a journey to the North to protect a boundary he doesn’t know how to solve, his only clue is a vessel to lead the way.

22878967I spent a lot of the novel being confused by who was who and which sides people were on. I seriously needed a character list to keep things straight, and I kept flicking back to the Prologue in the hopes I would be able to work out who the ‘bad guys’ were.

I’m not sure how I felt about the characters. Of course, I liked Davian and Wirr and Ash. But I felt like I never really got to know them apart from knowing that they all seemed to be completely trustworthy and pure of intentions. Even when they accidentally kill someone. I could have had more of the raggedy old battle-scarred men, and more history.

I can see how this author was inspired by Brandon Sanderson. This novel, for me at least, was a poorer copy of Sanderson’s Way of Kings. The grasp of the whole continent and forces working beyond any control, and the way the different characters somehow seemed to come together to fight things, that all worked. But when it came to the end, everything could have been solved a lot more simply – and too much was left unsaid.

I struggled to finish this novel. As my partner said, if I had stopped reading it in the middle and read something else, I never would have gone back. I did persevere to the end, but I’m only giving it 3 stars.


Hachette Australia | 1st November 2016| AU $32.99 | Paperback

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