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I've been trying a lot of new fantasy series lately... and by that I mean that I'll read the first book, like it a little, but won't be compelled to go on. This book was an exception.
The Shadow of What was Lost was not the easiest book to slip into, but it wasn't the challenge that some fantasy books are. The prologue was a mistake, I think. The same one that Sanderson made in The Way of Kings. Starting the book at a moment of high action is fine. But starting it in a moment of high action where the stakes and mechanics are unclear, and where the characters are irrelevant to the plot is just a waste of time, and barrier to entry for the reader.
THAT said, once I settled into the book I was very happy with how it progressed. It was interesting, full of drama and tension and fascinating characters. The mechanics of the magic in the world are revealed in slow but satisfying way. The narration is superb.
There are plenty of genre cliches, but the story is unique enough to compel me on. It doesn't feel like a rehashing of anything I've read before, as so many fantasy series do.
I am very eager to see where this series goes, and extremely frustrated that I'll have a long wait to find out.
68 of 77 people found this review helpful
Any additional comments?
I read many reviews comparing The Shadow of What Was Lost to Robert Jordan's work. I was almost offended that a new author would be compared to the legendary Jordan. However, after listening to this fantastic debut, I must grudgingly agree with the other reviewers. Many aspects of the world Islington created are indeed similar to The Wheel of Time. However, the story feels very original and I don't feel this is just a copy of Jordan's work.
You will instantly find yourself caring for the characters. The story flows smoothly and the ending instantly makes you want to find the sequel. There are quite a few unanswered questions which I have been speculating on daily since I finished listening. I hope we get some answers in the next installment.
I do have two minor complaints (small enough not to reduce the 5-star rating). The first is I would have liked more physical descriptions of the main characters. There weren't enough physical descriptors to build a good picture of the characters in my mind's eye. The other complaint is that this is only planned as a trilogy. Just with the story lines already started, I could easily see 5 - 6 books without the story dragging. I'm hoping Islington creates another trilogy set in the same world after The Licanius Trilogy is complete.
Michael Kramer, as always, was absolutely superb.
77 of 90 people found this review helpful
Is there anything you would change about this book?
This feels so familiar. The tag line on the jacket says "Robert Jordan Fans should check this out" and there is a reason for that. It feels like a blend of Wheel of time ( our reluctant hero, who doesn't believe he has any powers is pursed by monsters who are trying to kill him) and Game of Thrones (There is a barrier in the north that was once garrisoned to protect the land, but no one now believes there is any danger...except its weakening and monsters are coming through.....). its almost like you can predict where things are going...almost...
Its true the similarity is exacerbated by the fact that Michael Kramer also narrates Wheel of Time so it may have been a mistake to engage him, but he is a master at this genre.
Would you be willing to try another book from James Islington? Why or why not?
OK so taking everything into account and getting past the sense that I have heard all this before...this isn't a terrible book. Its fun, keeps you intrigued and introduces some complexity into the story. I will buy the next book in the series,though i do doubt it will end at three books.
Was The Shadow of What Was Lost worth the listening time?
9 of 9 people found this review helpful
After a few chapters, I was worried that the book lacked both sufficient characters and a good story- but then, I began to get drawn in... This is a VERY complex well thought out tale, that captures aspects of great mystery, deception, political strategy, very subtle hints of romance... It is a story of hope, of the loyalty of young friends who are robbed of their innocence and plunged into a world where they are forced to positions of responsibility and power but surrounded by treachery and lies, forcing them to grapple with and pursue, and even change, their own identities and re-determine their true purpose and path..
You will agree that this book is like a whirlpool, you're sucked in at a bearable pace, then feel the pull strengthen and accelerate causing you to tense up and at times struggle to keep up... With every chapter, the story is twisted into greater complexity and intensity, and though you will be left with no doubt that the story has really only just begun when you reach the end of the book, you will be thoroughly satisfied at finally putting it done and having some time to assimilate the story so far before eagerly searching out details of the release of the next instalment/Book in the series.
This is definitely a 5 star read in every respect!! The narrator as usual, is credited with a fantastic performance only perfecting what is already a perfectly great story/book!!
30 of 33 people found this review helpful
What did you like most about The Shadow of What Was Lost?
A very believable story involving youngsters (I'm 84 but my kids tell me I've never grown up)
Some nice Hi Faluting Psuedo-Hi-Sci
Who was your favorite character and why?
Blaes, or Blase, I see myself in this character
Have you listened to any of Michael Kramer’s other performances? How does this one compare?
No, but I'm wanting to see more of this series
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
The shadowing of Asher
Any additional comments?
I just loved the story, its characters, and the action....gimme more!
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I was looking for something to listen to/read to hold me over till oathbreaker comes out. In all of the lists if things people recommended while waiting for oathbreaker this book was either not mentioned or so little mentioned It didn't stick. it has some wheel of time vibes. It's well written and was a joy to listen to.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful