“…I see these memories and…yes, they become a part of me. But I reject them, too. They will stay with me always, but I will not let them take away who I already am.”
Author: James Islington
Category: Epic Fantasy
Pages: 716 (Hardback)
Series: The Licanius Trilogy #2
Review for The Shadow of What was Lost is here.
The second book in the Licanius Trilogy has Caeden attempting to recover his lost memories while Davian, Wirr, and Asha search for a way to stop the Boundary in the north from failing and hordes of monsters from devastating the land.
This book was very much a middle book but I didn’t actually mind that so much. In the first book, The Shadow of What Was Lost, it was made clear that this world has an enormous history and that history will play a very big part in this story so this book being dedicated largely to exploring what that history is something that I totally expected.
The thing is, I found myself often confused or lost in this book.
Caeden recovers most of his memories in this book and many of them are presented via flashbacks. I don’t have a problem with flashbacks, especially when it is a case like this and those flashback serve a purpose to the main story. But these memories of Caeden’s expand over thousands of years and were not presented in chronological order. For the way the story played out outside of the flashbacks this made sense but I often found myself spending too much time trying to figure out when this flashback or that was happening in relation to everything else that I was learning.
It made me wonder and kind of feel like this book was a little bit crammed together. I think that An Echo of Things to Come could easily have been split into two books to make it just a little more digestible. I love this story and all its moving pieces. By the end of the book, I think I have most of the information that I need to understand what is going on but the time that I spent piecing it all together myself pulled me out of the story.
Kind of in this same vein, I am not sure who the bad guys are.
Caeden is told very early on in this book that Shamaeloth (basically this world’s version of Satan) is unparalleled at lying and manipulation and convincing people to do what he needs them to do. So there is a big question of which side is actually good and which is being hoodwinked by the ultimate bad guy?
This questioning who is good and who is bad and who is doing bad things for what they think are good reason appeals to me big time. But there were times where I felt like I missed something and that my questioning who the good guys were stemmed from a lack of information rather than it just not being revealed yet.
All that said, my enjoyment of the world and the characters absolutely carried over to this book. Some questions from the first book were answered, some were not, and there were other reveals (especially the end of the epilogue!) that made me really eager to see how this all wraps up.
I think that the last book in the series really has its work cut out with tying all the various threads of information together and ending the story. Even with the end of this series though, I can already absolutely see more books in this universe.