Happy book birthday to In the Shadow of Lightning by Brian McClellan! I initially planned to share my review for this book today, but I’m not finished with it yet. So, I thought I’d do a quick post about my initial impressions so far and then get back to reading.
Demir Grappo is an outcast—he fled a life of wealth and power, abandoning his responsibilities as a general, a governor, and a son. Now he will live out his days as a grifter, rootless, and alone. But when his mother is brutally murdered, Demir must return from exile to claim his seat at the head of the family and uncover the truth that got her killed: the very power that keeps civilization turning, godglass, is running out.
Now, Demir must find allies, old friends and rivals alike, confront the powerful guild-families who are only interested in making the most of the scraps left at the table and uncover the invisible hand that threatens the Empire. A war is coming, a war unlike any other. And Demir and his ragtag group of outcasts are the only thing that stands in the way of the end of life as the world knows it.
I’m approximately a third of the way through the book, and I like it a lot so far. The world feels gritty and the magic system is fascinating. I almost always enjoy stories where the magic is a natural resource that is running out, and this one is no exception. There’s plenty of murder, mystery, and political maneuvering alongside the intensifying warfare that has gripped the empire and its neighboring city-state. The characters are all complex with interesting backgrounds and personalities that are slowly being uncovered layer by layer as the story progresses. Overall, the setup in the first third of the book has been great, and I’m really looking forward to what will hopefully be an epic payoff in the end.