It has been twenty years since the end of the war. The dictatorial Augurs – once thought of almost as gods – were overthrown and wiped out during the conflict, their much-feared powers mysteriously failing them. Those who had ruled under them, men and women with a lesser ability known as the Gift, avoided the Augurs’ fate only by submitting themselves to the rebellion’s Four Tenets. A representation of these laws is now written into the flesh of any who use the Gift, forcing those so marked into absolute obedience.
As a student of the Gifted, Davian suffers the consequences of a war fought – and lost – before he was born. Despised by most beyond the school walls, he and those around him are all but prisoners as they attempt to learn control of the Gift. Worse, as Davian struggles with his lessons, he knows that there is further to fall if he cannot pass his final tests.
But when Davian discovers he has the ability to wield the forbidden power of the Augurs, he sets into motion a chain of events that will change everything. To the north, an ancient enemy long thought defeated begins to stir. And to the west, a young man whose fate is intertwined with Davian’s wakes up in the forest, covered in blood and with no memory of who he is…
I get two Audible credits every month and picking out my newest pieces of literary entertainment can be difficult. I like to try out titles that I may not consider buying in hard copies or titles that are new, and therefore quite expensive as hardcovers. This month I picked out The Shadow of What was Lost by James Islington, which is the first book in the Licanius trilogy. I had put off using one of my credits to buy this audiobook for several months but I eventually came around to the idea and purchased it.
I was skeptical at first, but as the story went along I became engrossed. The characters were engaging, the prose enticing, and the narrator performed superbly. I actually looked forward to work (that’s when I listen to my audiobooks) because the story had sucked me in and I simply HAD to find out what happened next. TSOWWL reminded me of the Wheel of Time series, with a few aspects of Terry Goodkind’s Wizards First Rule thrown in. This is not to say that they story was in anyway identical to these other works, only that there were some instances in which I was reminded of them. If you’ve ready either of these I think you’ll see what I mean.
The ending revealed some big-time secrets that really changed how I thought the series would run, so I’m definitely looking forward to book two of the Licanius trilogy, An Echo of Things to Come. Additionally, Michael Kramer did a phenomenal job narrating this book, as he’s done with all the books I’ve heard him narrate. Having a good narrator can really make or break some audiobooks for me, so I’m always pleased when the reading/performance is done well. One thing I would like to say is that having a hard copy of the book with a map would have been great. The reader gets a good sense of where the characters are travelling to through the reading, but a map is always a great help.
Overall, I really enjoyed listening to The Shadow of What Was Lost and give it 5 Stars! I think that fans of the Wheel of Time series or any fantasy really, should pick this up and give it a read.