Get a free audiobook

$14.95/month + applicable taxes after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Publisher's Summary

It has been 20 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 there is further to fall if he cannot pass his final tests. But when he 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....

©2014 James Islington (P)2015 Podium Publishing

What the critics say

"Robert Jordan fans should check this out!" (Pop Bop, Top 500 Amazon Reviewer)

What listeners say about The Shadow of What Was Lost

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    272
  • 4 Stars
    128
  • 3 Stars
    26
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    2
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    316
  • 4 Stars
    74
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    2
  • 1 Stars
    2
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    246
  • 4 Stars
    121
  • 3 Stars
    28
  • 2 Stars
    4
  • 1 Stars
    4

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

I was pleasantly surprised by this book

I bought this title not at all knowing what to expect. The reviews I read suggested it borrowed a lot from the Wheel of Time, so that piqued my interest. I found that there was similarities, but this trilogy truly was it's own thing. It has all the plot depth and lovable characters that make a great story. can't wait to experience the next in the series!

8 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Ed
  • 2018-09-19

A little too predictable

It’s amazing how much a great story teller like Michael Kramer can salvage an otherwise weakish story. He needed to apply those skills here.

There were definitely some great new concepts around magic, but the characters and the storylines were hard to fully get behind. It was a rough start as it feels like a mash of stories you’ve already read... but it does add some fun twists if you can push through to the end.

I probably won’t continue with the series.

#Audible1

5 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

amazing !

I love this book so much! and the reader does such a good job, his voice is so relaxing!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars

Not bad; not great

Not bad! This is helped out by some commercial fiction practices, most notably pacing wise. Everything in this clocked into fine; a click up from commercial fiction but nothing mind blowing.

But I think that’s sort of the target it was trying to hit. It goes deliberately against epic fantasy conventions and expectations and I think that will garner a decent readership. It doesn’t have long ass info dumps, let me tell you about my fantasy city, or diatribes. The characters aren’t incredible but there are some character moments that are quite good. There’s fun/interesting/cool setting details and magic system stuff. It’s not one billion pages.

It’s pretty much exactly what it says it is, so 3 stars for me. It didn’t exceed expectations, but it’s a perfectly serviceable fantasy romp. I’m not sure I’ll continue with it. The narration on audible was pretty good, not fantastic. Characters are different enough that most of the time it’s easy to follow, but not always. And I wasn’t blown away, so I’m debating whether to continue with the trilogy or try and find something that I’ll like more.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Whaaaat?!

Amazing plot(s) and characters. The build up is thorough and everything fits so well. Can’t wait to listen to book 2.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Amazing

I’ve been waiting for another series like this since Wheel of Time. Truly Fantastic. Micheal Kramer narrates like no one else. If you enjoy epic fantasy download this

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Excellent writing and story

I enjoyed this story very much. Reminds me a bit of Sanderson’s books. I would 5 star but nothing revealed was really surprising and the ending climax was not very climactic. The story however was very good. I would recommend and already have the second downloaded.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Pretty Good Story

I did enjoy the story. I think the author could have spent more time introducing and familiarizing the characters. The story starts off with two completely unknown characters and a lot of unfamiliar names. Only until much later does the introduction start to make sense. So, the start was confusing. But if you give it time it does come together. I am listening to it again and found the beginning more coherent the second time around. As to it being comparable to The Wheel of Time, I can't see it myself. It's hard to match Robert Jordan for story and character development. It turns out to be an enjoyable story. I will complete the series. It doesn't hurt to have Michael Kramer narrating. As always, he does an excellent job. Overall, I do recommend this book. I don't think I wasted a credit on it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Hooked Me

Engaging! A believable set of characters and circumstances, with magic and politics and history. Mystery too, making me want to know what happened before, the mythology of the people. This author knows his world. This is possibly clearer with a map, though not necessary. Strong performance, no difficulty recognizing characters. I’m getting book 2 right now!

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Every Character Sounds the Same

The story is alright. standard fantasy fare. I found that there was such a dependence on "made up" words and proper nouns that it all got very confusing, and many character names bled together for me after a while.

Michael Kramer's performance leaves a lot to be desired. Every older man sounds the same, a painfully slow drawl that's so gravelly it sounds more like snarling than speech. every "evil" character draws out all their vowels, to a painful degree.

Sort by:
Filter by:
  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Dave
  • 2018-11-30

Maybe a fun read for someone younger

I think the author probably thinks he's written a clever story with lots of twists and turns, and a big reveal at the end. I'm sorry to say the plot is actually quite incoherent, the characters are not interesting, their dialogue is stilted, the descriptions of their thoughts, feelings, and reactions are blunt and obvious, leaving little to the readers discretion or imagination. The magic is not interesting, the plot is incoherent and terrible. Michael Kramer does a fine job reading, but that's pretty much irrelevant given what he's reading.

As a fan of NOTW, WoT, LOTR, HP, and many other fantasy series, the high volume of positive reader reviews this book has received had me very excited. I'm very disappointed, and can only conclude that this book mostly appeals to teenagers and big fans of YA who don't particularly need strong character development to be entertained, and who don't care about reading (or listening to) terrible dialogue and prose. If those things aren't important to you, then maybe you won't mind reading this book.

209 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Captain Spanky Of Nazareth
  • 2020-06-10

Atrocious. Almost abusive.

There are 2 major deal-breaker violations at play in this author-audience relationship. There are a decent few recording and really distracting grammar errors, but I'm not talking about those.

First and foremost: This series is structurally far more complex than the 'landmark high-complexity' series in this genre (such as Stormlight Archive, etc). Meaning, you are given several times as many character names with vital roles and locations along with their geography, power, & political mechanics to memorize... which is FINE... when well written. - These are by far the worst presented complexities I've ever seen in a successful series. - You don't know what anybody looks like, no reason to care what their names are, no demarkation of any kind by which to remember them amidst the pool of 100 other 5-random-syllable names. - That alone makes the series functionally useless as an audiobook. In text at least you can see the letters of the names pop out for visual recognition. In audio, it's just random streams of meaningless syllables since you were never given reason to invest in or care about the vast majority of vital-role characters.

When you launch your aspirations for complexity this high, you inherit a massive obligation to clarity that simple stories do not carry. You are responsible for introducing cultural differences and landmarks in ways that matter and instill memory like the cultural introductions in LOTR or the landmark histories in Riyeria... not to murmur them once in passing then refer back to dozens of them endlessly as if we were all computers taking dictation.

For the record, The Emperor's Blades is a trilogy in exactly this space that involves nearly the same number of characters, with different names, cultures, religions, continents, and magic systems, and nails clarity perfectly. Go there. The author did the actual story work. You'll LOVE IT. It can be done, and it's nothing short of amazing when it is.

Second: He presents recaps of the prior books... including almost endless information that absolutely wasn't in the previous books. - Meaning: You get to book 3... and the author basically says: Here's what happened in the past... then proceeds to tell you about the book he thinks he's written... including endless information about the world of the priors, that absolutely wasn't in the books. Basically saying, 'I infer these things as the author... so I imagine they made it onto the page.' - They didn't. And you may think that clarifies things... but with the sheer volume of "recap"... which is basically a firehose of names and locations that you couldn't have possibly imprinted the first time... you're no better off than if you just stopped the recap, and started the series over again to see if the information was more retainable from the starting line... which I did... twice... over 3 years... because I couldn't believe the reviews on here. It's sort of like if the recap of Star Wars told you: As you know from having just watched it... Luke flunked out of math class because of the calculator incident... and Baleraform was always the best planet for manufacturing batteries because of the bounty of the following list of chemicals... please try to remember their names as there will definitely be a test: Chlominate, Lindarious-Phazon, Ascilium Scillicate, Renart.... etc. etc.

You are being gaslit while being assigned endless homework. Which isn't as fun as it sounds.

130 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Alexander Spencer
  • 2020-01-03

Time travel done right

I edited this review after reading the final entry in the series. All the frustration and idiocy I found in this book was due to a lack of info. These books intentionally confuse and disorient which I couldnt accept til I knew WHY. Push through to the final entry, it was worth it.

84 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Adam
  • 2017-07-26

Still confused...

Who is the hero? Who is the villain? What year is it? Is this a flashback? Is this group bad? Is that group good? Whats the differen e between essence and khan? Where are they at now? Basically, this book needs refinement.

94 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Joshua
  • 2015-04-29

Definitely a standout in the fantasy genre

I've been trying a lot of new fantasy series lately... and by that I mean that I'll read the first book, like it a little, but won't be compelled to go on. This book was an exception.

The Shadow of What was Lost was not the easiest book to slip into, but it wasn't the challenge that some fantasy books are. The prologue was a mistake, I think. The same one that Sanderson made in The Way of Kings. Starting the book at a moment of high action is fine. But starting it in a moment of high action where the stakes and mechanics are unclear, and where the characters are irrelevant to the plot is just a waste of time, and barrier to entry for the reader.

THAT said, once I settled into the book I was very happy with how it progressed. It was interesting, full of drama and tension and fascinating characters. The mechanics of the magic in the world are revealed in slow but satisfying way. The narration is superb.

There are plenty of genre cliches, but the story is unique enough to compel me on. It doesn't feel like a rehashing of anything I've read before, as so many fantasy series do.

I am very eager to see where this series goes, and extremely frustrated that I'll have a long wait to find out.

203 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Aaron
  • 2017-05-26

Kinda disappointing

This book is lauded as a Jordan-esque fantasy. It is not. I got 20 hours in and I never really felt invested in any character at all. While the scope is truly epic in many aspects, it really lacks the minutiae that better authors use to bring interest to story, character, and prophesy. Also, I feel the soft magic ruleset is basically unrelateable. And while I do have a vivid imagination, I felt like I would be forced to ponder on and on to unlock the mystery of "essence"... very uninteresting. Seems like the author had a great ending on a storyboard and reverse engineered its story to accommodate it but never spent the time making all the bits and pieces fit together smoothly. Jaunty storytelling .

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • A Texan 2
  • 2015-03-13

Interesting, if a bit overwrought

I'll confess that this is one of the few times I've can say that an online ad caught my attention. Adverts for this book started showing up in my Facebook feed with the promise that fans of Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson would enjoy it. That was enough to get me to take a look, but it was ultimately finding that Michael Kramer, audiobook narrator of Jordan's Wheel of Time and Sanderson's Stormlight Archive series that convinced me to make the purchase.

Islington has certainly studied and taken to heart the style of Jordan and Sanderson, and I appreciated that aspect of the storytelling. One difference is that he is less of a world builder - giving enough background, history, and setting to give context to the story he wants to tells. There are no six page descriptions of every last meal, nor page long genealogies of random characters that we pass by in a hallway one time.

That said, the story does getting overwhelmed somewhat by introducing many major characters and taking them in several directions very quickly. This makes the climax rather more tedious than it should be as all the points of view have to come together at the end. This final section is what ultimately lead me to give this a three star instead of four star rating.

Still, being honest, Jordan's and Sanderson's first works weren't perfect. Islington has produced an interesting world and characters. The epilogue provides a promising look at where this story can go and I'm hooked enough to see how it plays out. I would indeed recommend this to fans of Jordan and Sanderson, with the caveat that we're catching a promising author at his beginning, so it is somewhat unfair to expect him to yet be matching these other authors at their mature best.

112 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jake Hartwell
  • 2015-02-23

Brilliant!

Any additional comments?

I read many reviews comparing The Shadow of What Was Lost to Robert Jordan's work. I was almost offended that a new author would be compared to the legendary Jordan. However, after listening to this fantastic debut, I must grudgingly agree with the other reviewers. Many aspects of the world Islington created are indeed similar to The Wheel of Time. However, the story feels very original and I don't feel this is just a copy of Jordan's work.

You will instantly find yourself caring for the characters. The story flows smoothly and the ending instantly makes you want to find the sequel. There are quite a few unanswered questions which I have been speculating on daily since I finished listening. I hope we get some answers in the next installment.

I do have two minor complaints (small enough not to reduce the 5-star rating). The first is I would have liked more physical descriptions of the main characters. There weren't enough physical descriptors to build a good picture of the characters in my mind's eye. The other complaint is that this is only planned as a trilogy. Just with the story lines already started, I could easily see 5 - 6 books without the story dragging. I'm hoping Islington creates another trilogy set in the same world after The Licanius Trilogy is complete.

Michael Kramer, as always, was absolutely superb.

133 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Fantasy Reader
  • 2015-02-17

A good start, but not for everyone.

I read many reviews before I bought this book and it was about what I expected. Many people compare this book to Sanderson or Jordan, but while there are similarities I would not say everyone would like both. The book is well written, but it just seems that it is only a set up for the next book. I was a little aggravated at the amount of prophesies and confusing parts of conversation in this book. I understand that people keep secrets and everything, but it is aggravating when every few chapters you are given some cryptic message or a secret that they will understand when the time comes. Other than my few gripes I would say the book is good even if it is a bit confusing at times.

Michael Kramer does a wonderful job narrating as always.

96 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • alfred
  • 2015-02-13

James Islington Has A Great Epic Here

What did you love best about The Shadow of What Was Lost?

I liked the ways the characters moved smoothly and the constant build up of broadening the scope of the story. When they make shadows out of the special people and how the story comes together. It's hard not to want to hear one more hours on your Kindle.

What did you like best about this story?

The surprising Heros. The new mythical world that comes to life and seems so real. I don't want to spoil the book. If you like Sanderson or any other great epic books of adventure. You will love this. James Islington Has story telling talent.

What does Michael Kramer bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

He's good and I guess he's perfect for long story's. But for me he has little dramatic training. Still for the work and length I still give him 5 star. Great job but limited vocal range. He's a master with the vocal he has to use. In fact he's better in this than Sanderson Way of kings.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

A New Mythical World You will Never Forget

Any additional comments?

I just say thank you for books like these. They really are worth having a audible membership.

60 people found this helpful