The Unseen War left the Gifted bound by the four tenants, fallen from their position of power to become virtual prisoners in their own country. Twenty years after their fall Davian and his friends train to become Gifted. As Davian prepares for a test that he cannot hope to pass an ancient evil stirs in the north.
The Shadow of What Was Lost is very much a coming of age/heroes journey story. James Islington uses many genre tropes. Rather than creating a sense of boredom this created for me a sense of resonance and familiarity. The pacing of the story is one of its strong points, starting slow and building to a climax at exactly the right pace to keep me turning pages.
The narrative is simple and fairly straight forward. The only minor complaint that I have is that the simplicity of narrative caused me guess one of the books big surprises long before the actual reveal. I think the story worked well in spite of this rather than because of it.
Others have compared James Islington’ s The Shadow of What Was Lost to Robert Jordan’s The Wheel of Time, and while I see shadows of Jordan’s work I don’t feel as though The Shadow of What Was Lost is just a Wheel of Time clone. It is a fine work in its own right. I defiantly recommend Shadow of What Was Lost to epic fantasy fans.
I give The Shadow of What Was Lost 4 out of 5 stars.