Lost and found
James Islington introduces his epic new fantasy saga
War-torn landscapes, gifted youngsters, centuries-long power struggles… Those tropes will be familiar to many fantasy fans, but they’re given a gritty dust-down in James Islington’s debut novel, The Shadow Of What Was Lost. Following student Davian, the first book in The Licanius Trilogy sees him heading off on a dangerous journey. “It’s not long before he finds out there are dark, violent forces actively pursuing him and his friends,” Islington tells Red Alert. “So yes – there’s plenty of magic, blood and fighting throughout!”
Hailing from Australia, the author spent his twenties running a tech start-up before he returned to his teenhood passion for writing. He started scribbling The Shadow Of What Was Lost on his 30th birthday and, five years later, it’s finally hitting shelves, with Islington aiming to infuse his series with the “amazing sense of scope, deep history and epic stakes” that he loved in Robert Jordan’s Wheel Of Time books.
And with a whole trilogy mapped out (“I know exactly how the story ends, but I do leave room for things to shift around”), he’s already hard at work on book two, An Echo Of Things To Come, out mid-2017. “I’m in the process of editing it right now,” he reveals. “It’s a little darker than Shadow, with the central conflict of the series really starting to come into play.” Sounds epic to us.
The Shadow Of What Was Lost is released by Orbit on 10 November.