In the Shadow of Lightning

- Brian McClellan

Goodreads Book Blurb:

Magic is a finite resource—and it’s running out.

Demir Grappo is an outcast—he fled a life of wealth and power, abandoning his responsibilities as a general, a governor, and a son. Now he will live out his days as a grifter, rootless, and alone. But when his mother is brutally murdered, Demir must return from exile to claim his seat at the head of the family and uncover the truth that got her killed: the very power that keeps civilization turning, godglass, is running out.

Now, Demir must find allies, old friends and rivals alike, confront the powerful guild-families who are only interested in making the most of the scraps left at the table and uncover the invisible hand that threatens the Empire. A war is coming, a war unlike any other. And Demir and his ragtag group of outcasts are the only thing that stands in the way of the end of life as the world knows it.

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My Review:

***Thanks to NetGalley and Tor Books for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided.

almost perfect:

Oh, wow. I’m so upset that I can’t immediately read the rest of this series. What happens next?!

This is a wonderful, slow-burn, epic fantasy that builds the intensity so deliciously. These characters keep getting better as the narrative twists and different perspectives overlap, and everything is so complicated and messy and incredible.

I love that the (very little) romance is subtle, honest, and not a terrible trope in sight! No instalove, miscommunication, or hiding from the truth here, folks! Every potential issue is faced head-on with maturity, so the characters are actual, believable adults. I often find romance in fantasy so incredibly unbelievable that I’m starving for realistic romantic relationships, and here it is.

I love the family dynamics, the hierarchy, the limits and the science of this magic – everything is so damn interesting. At the risk of raving, even more, I cannot get enough. I love that there’s always more to learn without feeling like information is being withheld to artificially raise the intensity. We get all the information relevant to the narrative at that point in time without overexplaining or withholding, and it is so freaking refreshing.

So much is going on here; multiple subplots with crime to solve, mysteries to reveal, and wars to win. And when you get a handle on all of this, let’s throw in some mythopoeia and ancient creatures and surprise, this book I already loved is turning into something bigger that I was not even remotely expecting.

Sanderson fans won’t want to skip In the Shadow of Lightning. Can I have the second book in the Glass Immortals series now?

They were going to die here, she was certain of it.
But they were going to die well.

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