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An Echo of Thing to Come by James Islington

An Echo of Thing to Come by James Islington
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Book Name: An Echo of Thing to Come
Author: James Islington
Publisher(s): Orbit
Formatt: Hardcover / Paperback / Audiobook / Ebook
Genre(s): Epic Fantasy
Release Date: August 22, 2017 (US) August 24, 2017 (US)

An Echo of Thing to Come is the second book in The Licanius Trilogy, the first being The Shadow of What Was Lost. The trilogy is an epic fantasy set in the fictional world of Andarra. Book two picks up roughly a month after the events of the first book.

It starts with a refresher at the very beginning to quickly go over the events of The Shadow of What Was Lost. As these books are quite dense there are things it missed, but I found it was a useful to reminder, making it easy to settle into the flow of the story. A glossary of terms is provided as well, which was also useful.

The plot is compelling with a fantastic flow between the multiple perspectives. With multiple perspectives it can sometimes be a little jarring when you switch between the characters, but that is not the case here. Each perspective is compelling and has a distinctive feel to it, although I did feel that Davian’s chapters were a little lacking at times.

You can definitely see an improvement between the first and second book. The writing felt more assured, like the author had really settled into the flow of the story himself. I love the complexity of plot and how the author brings all the threads together. There are also some great twists.

One thing I wasn’t the biggest fan of was the flashbacks, which are used quite a lot throughout. However, I understand why they are used and they didn’t detract too much from my overall enjoyment. And although I enjoyed the progression of the plot, the first few hundred pages are quite slow. At times there isn’t a lot of action as the characters are stationary in their respective places. So there were times it felt a little aimless.

One of the main strengths of this book, as well as the first, is the worldbuilding. We get to explore even more in An Echo of Thing to Come and it was a pleasure. However, it is quite a dense book with a lot happening in a complex world, so it does take some concentration to keep up with everything. If you are looking for a light and quick fantasy read, then I would suggest that this is not the book for you.

Moving onto the characters. In the first book I thought they came across as a little clichéd at times, but in the sequel, they really developed into their own. Although there are quite a few to keep track of, including some who are newly introduced, they all felt distinctive and I became even more invested in them as I read. Another aspect of the characters I like is you don’t have the typical good vs. evil. Yes, there are bad guys that must be defeated, but the line between good and evil is blurred and sometimes the ‘good’ people must make hard decisions. This is especially apparent with the character, Caedan.

Overall this was a fantastic continuation of the trilogy and I cannot wait to read the next one. The third and final book, The Light of All That Falls, is set to be released later this year. If you enjoy fantasy and are looking for a new series to try, then I would highly recommend checking this one out.

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