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The Shadow of What Was Lost: Book One of the Licanius Trilogy Hardcover – November 10, 2016

4.4 out of 5 stars 3,031 ratings

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Product details

  • Publisher ‏ : ‎ ORBIT (November 10, 2016)
  • Language ‏ : ‎ English
  • ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 0356507750
  • ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-0356507750
  • Item Weight ‏ : ‎ 2.3 pounds
  • Dimensions ‏ : ‎ 6.46 x 2.17 x 9.49 inches
  • Customer Reviews:
    4.4 out of 5 stars 3,031 ratings

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James Islington was born and raised in southern Victoria, Australia. An avid fantasy reader for many years, it was only when he read Brandon Sanderson's Mistborn series that he was finally inspired to write something of his own. He now lives with his wife and daughter on the Mornington Peninsula in Victoria.

Customer reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5
3,031 global ratings

Top reviews from the United States

Reviewed in the United States on September 18, 2018
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3.0 out of 5 stars Has some problems, but potential
By JRClaybrook on September 18, 2018
Don't set your expectations too high or believe the hype that fans of the Wheel of Time will love this...
I love the Wheel of Time (though I did struggle through some of the books, particularly 7-10). Nevertheless, it was a story of such grand scope and with such an immersive depth, impressive character development, intriguing world-building, etc. I could go on.
All that to say, when the publishers of The Shadow of What Was Lost claim WoT fans will love this, I couldn't wait to dig in....
... And then I read it.

I'm sorry but this work is not on the same level as the works of Jordan, Sanderson, etc.
They're just not in the same realm. And that's not to be critical of Islington - every good writer develops their own voice and I think Islington will get there. But I don't think he's there yet.
Yes, Jordan got way too lengthy with descriptions to the point of boring me to death, but where he got lost in his descriptive droning, I feel the opposite is true of Islington: I would've liked to see more thorough world-building and description of places and the cultures, etc. I definitely think he's capable.

Another point that prevented me from immersing myself in the story was the lack of character development. We see some of the characters go through situations and events that have an impact on them, and we see them change throughout the story...kind of.
There's times when certain events should have a dramatic influence on people who've never witnessed such things (like two people just killed before your eyes)... and the apparent lack of this impact on the main characters in this story was evident.
Many of the characters also seem like the same person with different faces... not a lot of variation with their perspective attitudes and behaviors.

The story: I think Islington has a grand view of everything throughout the trilogy and how everything interconnects. But it seemed like he was trying too hard to make so much happen and interweave things with so many names that it complicated the story and muddied the plot me, it got away from him and didn't develop the plot in my mind the way I think he wanted.
But that's me.

A few pet peeves:
I know that in the genre of fantasy/sci-fi, there's a plethora of stories and themes and there's going to be some overlap.
But specific places in your world hopefully have different names than places in other authors' worlds.
Example: The Aryth ocean and the Sea of Storms! Both of these were in Jordan's Wheel of Time.
Also, maybe I'm being picky, but I like it when there's a map to follow along with the story.
When Davian and Wirr are heading North after Talmiel, they head East on the road to go to the forest of Malacar in Desriel... But on the map, Malacar is very much to the west of Talmiel.
I know it's a small oversight, but it's the little things like this that undermine the story for me.

Okay, enough whining.

Overall, the plot was well thought out, and the author's manipulation of time throughout the story is what really kept it interesting. However, throughout the book I wasn't as engaged as I was hoping and I think Islington can and will do better as he refines his craft.
In the end, I'm just a reader and I've gotta give props to anyone that's written a good book and seen it through to completion; that takes hard work, creativity and the resolve to see it through.
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188 people found this helpful
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Reviewed in the United States on April 1, 2018
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Reviewed in the United States on February 27, 2018
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5.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on December 10, 2018
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Sidrah Yasmin
1.0 out of 5 stars great ideas, but too slow!!!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyed... by a fussy reader
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 29, 2020
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