Title / An Echo of Thing to Come
Author / James Islington
Publication Date / 2017
Series or standalone / book 2 of the Licanius Trilogy
Page no. / 784
Overall Rating / ★★★★
This is the second book in the Licanius trilogy, the first being The Shadow Of What Was Lost. It is a epic fantasy trilogy set in the fictional world of Andarra and picks up roughly a month after the events of the first book. As with the first book it is written using multiple perspectives.
Firstly, this sequel has a refresher at the very beginning to quickly go over the events of the first book. As these books are quite dense there are things it missed, but I found it useful to just remind me of the very basics of the first book. It allowed me to more easily 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 of the multiple perspective. I find with multiple perspectives it can sometimes be a little jarring when it switches between the characters but that is not the case with this book. 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. In my opinion you can see an improvement between the first and second book. To me, the writing felt more assured and it felt like the author had really settled into the flow of the story. I love the complexity of plot and how the author brings all the threads together. There are also some great twists in this book. One thing that I wasn’t the biggest fan of was the use of 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. Although I enjoyed the progression of the plot, the first few hundred pages are quite slow. At times there isn’t a lot of actions as the characters are stationary in their respective places. Due to this there were times it felt a little aimless. I still felt that the pacing was well done throughout, although the first half is slower than the second half. Overall, I loved where the plot was taken, and I am excited to see how things progress in the next book
One of the main strengths of this book, as well as the first, is the world building. We get to explore more of this world in this sequel and it was a pleasure to find out more about it. The magic system is also wonderfully done. These are such important aspects for a fantasy series and I think the author did a great job at building on what we learnt in the first book. However, I will say that this may also be a negative for some. This is quite a dense fantasy books with a lot happening and a complex world, so it does take some concentration to keep up with everything. Personally, I don’t mind this, but it may be something to be aware of when starting this trilogy. 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. I think the author did a wonderful job at developing the characters in this book. In the first book I thought the characters came across as a little cliched at times but in this sequel, I think they really developed into their own. There are also some new characters introduced that are well written. Although there are quite a few characters to keep track of, they all felt distinctive and I became even more invested in them while reading this sequel. Another aspect I like in this book is that you don’t have the typical bad vs. good aspect. Yes, there are bad guys that must be defeated but the line between good and bad is blurred and sometimes the ‘good’ people must make hard decisions. This is especially apparent with the character, Caedan. I really enjoyed this aspect of this book. In terms of the writing, I thought it was good, if a little repetitive at times.
Overall this was a fantastic continuation of this trilogy and I cannot wait to read the next book. The third and final book, The Light Of All That Falls, is set to be released early next year. I would say that this trilogy so far has a traditional fantasy feel to them. If you enjoy fantasy and/or are looking for a new fantasy series to try, then I would highly recommend checking this out. I would also recommend reading this sequel quite soon after reading the first book as it will help you to keep up with everything that happens. Have you started this series? I hope you are all having a wonderful day and I will see you next.