The Shadow of What Was Lost v Looper

Beer: Looper
Brewery: Full Circle Brew Co.
Style: IPA
Strength: 6.4%
Hops: Citra, Mosaic & Cashmere

I was told when I bought this from @wishfuldrinking that this was a favourite of their regulars. I now know why. It’s an essentially perfect IPA. Wonderfully floral to the nose, delightfully hoppy, & with a tight, sharp mouth feel. I’d drink a keg of this & die happy.

Book: The Shadow of What was Lost
Author: James Islington
Publisher: Orbit
Published: 2016

If you’re looking for something innovative & groundbreaking in the genre, you won’t necessarily find it here. The Shadow of What Was Lost does not do much if anything which hasn’t been seen before to some extent. Coming of Age Chosen One Trope – TICK.

Who gives a shit really though? In my humble opinion, it is bloody brilliant & the books it seemingly takes inspiration from are some of the most well-loved in Fantasy. It almost feels like the writer thought ‘Wheel of Time is a bit wordy innit?’ & decided to write his own version by taking only the good bits & doing away with the fluff.

I wouldn’t want to give you the impression that it lacks complexity though. There are twists & turns galore, intricate world-building, & PoV characters each with their own distinct introspective voices adding flavour. It just feels like a lot of it could have been directly lifted from the notebooks of other well-known writers.

There are 4 PoV characters, although almost 50% of the chapters are devoted to Davian. It starts off with three friends studying at a school for the gifted & getting Davian ready for a test to determine whether or not he will be turned into a ‘shadow’. In this world, a war has taken place twenty or so years prior during which magic users were cast out of power & now their powers are limited by a set of rules known as the four tenets. Those not deemed to meet a certain standard have their magic denied by being made shadows. It is this fate that seems to be awaiting Darian until the friends discover that far from being a failure, the reason Davian cannot access the ‘Essence’ is that he is actually something thought to be extinct, an Augur. Augurs being the near-godlike magic users who’d ruled before the war.

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