The Shadow of What Was Lost

coverI recently finished the first book in The Licanius Trilogy by James Islington. I had never heard of it, but Audible suggested it since I am a fan of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson. I was a little doubtful at first especially since the info compared it to the Wheel of Time and then mentioned that it was the author’s debut novel. Umm, that is pretty high praise for a debut.

Then things kick off in the prologue. The mysterious Telchamar (I am going to butcher the spelling of names since I listened to the audiobook) jumps into some pool of rebirth. As the reader, we have no real clue what is going on, but unlike in the Wheel of Time books where the prologue’s would be one hundred pages of characters you never could remember, this was fairly quick and it left me wondering who Telchamar was for the rest of the book. Do not fear, I figured it out pretty early.

The book follows the adventures of Davian, Wirr, Asha, and the mysterious Kaden. Islington does not really give us too much information to start. We learn that there was a war and the magical beings called the Gifted are basically treated like garbage and they cannot do anything about it. I like this, I enjoy having to learn the history of a place as the book goes along.

Another thing I love about the book is that it does a great job of being mysterious about the magical beings. I always hate in a fantasy novel when it seems like one of the people is an expert about stuff that happened thousands of years ago. For example, no one ever seemed to mention the Lyth or Licanious or Gast. All they seemed to know was that the Boundary was created like two thousand years ago to keep out Akkane Davyd (I am really guessing on that spelling).

Anyways, I highly recommend this to anyone who is looking for a new series to try. And now for some of my theories and thoughts, which will contain spoilers.

-It was pretty obvious from early on that Wirr was someone special. I figured he was the King’s son, but I was close enough. Oddly, what gave it away was his knowledge of all the little customs of different areas and how he seemed to know so much about all the lands.

-I knew that Kaden would turn out to be Telchamar, but I did not expect the twist that he is also Akkane Davyd, but it all makes sense after you put it together with the story Davian read about the immortal king who lost to Gast and had to serve him and conquer his own kingdom. Damn, I just looked on Islington’s website and it is actually spelled Aarkein Devaed. I was close.

-I am curious to see how Davian plays into all this. It is interesting that we have two characters who are important (Caeden and Davian), we at least understand that Tal’kamar set all this up so he could take the sword, but it is interesting that Davian was mentioned as being one of the dark ones chosen ones. Hmmm…

-Are the Lyth more dangerous than what is coming from the other side of the Boundary? I feel like Caeden needs to maybe talk to someone about this stuff. Nothing good has come from him hiding things from the others, it was probably the one thing that kept making me shout while listening during my drive.

-I am also a sucker for time-travel. When Davian shows up in Asha’s room and she sees that he is much older and that he has that weird symbol, I got pretty pumped. It makes me wonder, can Davian escape that doom? Since it seems like the future is already set, hence the Augurs seeing the future and the worship of El…

-I honestly thought that when Caeden went to the Keeper at the end and was told he could receive some of his memories, I thought that he was going to say that he did not want them, just the memories of how to use his power. My thought was that Tal’kamar erased his own memories so he could take Licanious and then he would get them back so he could conquer the world or whatever, but how cool would it have been if he foiled his own plans by not taking the memories and instead wanting to go on as Caeden and try to hook up with Karaliene. Oh well, I like how it ended up.

If you have read this, please let me know what you thought or any theories.