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In the Shadow of Lightning

af Brian McClellan

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
2016134,785 (4.1)1
Fantasy. Fiction. HTML:

From Brian McClellan, author of The Powder Mage trilogy, comes the first novel in the Glass Immortals series, In the Shadow of Lightning, an epic fantasy where magic is a finite resource??and it's running out.
"Excellent worldbuilding and a truly epic narrative combine into Brian's finest work to date. Heartily recommended to anyone who wants a new favorite fantasy series to read."??Brandon Sanderson

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.
"Powerful rival families, murderous conspiracies, epic battles, larger-than-life characters, and magic."??Fonda Lee, author of The Green Bone Saga
"Engaging, fast-paced and epic."??James Islington, author of In The Shadow of What Was Lost
"Clever, fun, and by turns beautifully bloody, In the Shadow of Lightning hits like a bolt through a stained glass window."??Megan E. O'Keefe, author of Chaos Vector

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (
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» See also 1 mention

Viser 1-5 af 6 (næste | vis alle)
The premise of this story is far too absurd for me to suspend disbelief for and the entire story will obviously hinge on this incredibly poorly built premise.
  omission | Oct 19, 2023 |
Excellent book.

By far the best book I have read this year. It started and ended strong. My only disappointment is that now I must wait for the next one! ( )
  Alfred-110 | Jun 9, 2023 |
A new series by Brian McClellan was more than enough to make me pay attention: my only doubt - before starting this first book - was about how it would compare with his Powder Mage world and if I would miss the richly intriguing background of that famous saga. To my relief, I soon discovered that this world stands very well on its own and it proved to be just as engrossing as the author’s older creation.

In this world, glass (or rather godglass) can be imbued with magic properties that confer special abilities to wearers: added strength and stamina, curative powers, enhanced sight - the list seems almost endless. Then there are the glassdancers, gifted individuals who can actually command glass and perform incredible feats with it: Demir Grappo is such an individual, and the scion of one of the ruling families in the nation of Ossa. When we meet him at the start of the novel, he’s gained a high rank in the Ossan army at a very young age, and just obtained a decisive victory in war, which bestowed him the title of Lightning Prince. Something goes wrong with the chain of command, however, and the newly conquered city is brutally sacked despite Demir’s orders to the contrary and so, ridden by profound guilt and horror for the atrocities he witnessed, he choses voluntary exile from his home country. Only several years later he returns home, called back to his family’s duties after the assassination of his mother: what Demir will have to deal with is not only the investigation in his mother’s murder, but a number of political machinations and an encroaching threat that might change the world forever.

Demir’s journey crosses with that of Thessa, a siliceer or godglass forger, swept up by the tides of war into a situation that will put to the test her abilities and her strength of character; of Kizzie Vorcien, the bastard daughter of a powerful family ruler and a capable enforcer; and of Idrian, a breacher, which is something of a glass-strengthened super soldier. Last but not least, among the main characters figures Baby Montego, a retired champion of cudgel fighting (a bloody sport very popular in Ossa) and Demir’s childhood friend.

The novel’s background is what I’ve come to expect from Brian McClellan: an 18th Century-inspired world where the Industrial Revolution is in its infancy and where glass-derived magic permeates all strata of society with various levels of intensity due to the strict class system on which said society is based - which of course leaves ample room for political maneuvering, conspiracies and convoluted plots that don’t stop even before murder or the kindling of a senseless war to reach the desired goals. Glass magic is an intriguing element of the story, particularly because (not unlike the overuse of gunpowder in McClellan’s other world) there are aftereffects to take into account, from the loss of efficacy, over time, of single pieces of magic-imbued glass to the much more dire glassrot, an affliction that plagues people when they exceed the limits of glass use, and which could also lead to deterioration and death.

Narrative threads and characters interweave in an increasingly convoluted plot that reserves many surprises for the readers, including the final twist which left me not a little perplexed for its SF overtones - something I had not expected and which leaves me very curious to see where the author will take us next. But of course my most intense focus remained on the characters themselves. Demir is something of a damaged hero, a complex personality, energetic and mercurial on one side - the one he offers to the world - and profoundly wounded on the more private other, since he’s still dealing with the aftermath of the wartime episode that affected his life and career. Where he appears to the world as a functional leader, certain of his skills and completely in control, he’s plagued by what looks like PTSD symptoms when he’s alone and the ghosts of the past weigh heavily on him. Still, he manages to remain a very caring person where the people he feels responsible for are concerned, and unlike other members of the higher strata of society he struggles to do the right thing - probably in the constant search of atonement for what he perceives as his guilt in past events.

His old-time friends Kizzie and Baby Montego ended up being my favorite characters: as the bastard of the powerful Vorcien patriarch, she keeps looking for the way to fit in, juggling her need to belong with an inner core of integrity, a trait that together with her amazing fighting skills earned my respect and fondness from the get go. Baby Montego (the ‘baby’ part of his name being a clear tongue-in-cheek quip) is a larger than life person in both the actual and the figurative sense: there is a delightful duality in this man who made his name practicing a violent, bloody sport and yet remains outwardly sweet and gentle - unless his friends are threatened, of course. The two of them are Demir’s older friends, their relationship going back to their childhood, and I enjoyed their interactions immensely - truly one of the joys of this novel. Breacher Idrian is also a multi-faceted character: a powerful soldier, well respected by superiors and troops alike, but dealing with a form of encroaching madness barely kept at bay through his godglass artificial eye, something that indeed erodes his outward strength but at the same time humanizes him profoundly.

On the other hand, while Thessa earned my sympathy for her plight, particularly in the first half of the novel, she never managed to completely captivate me despite being Demir’s narrative counterpart: I could admire her strength, resourcefulness and courage and the fact that she could seamlessly blend her kind disposition with a fierceness that knows no obstacles. And yet in the end she left me a bit cold, probably because she is depicted as unfailingly brilliant and that might have led me to see some “Mary Sue” shades in her personality that did not agree with me. Nonetheless, the jury is still out and I’m looking forward to seeing where her path will take her: it would not be the first time that Brian McClellan ends up surprising me with some unexpected character development…

In the Shadow of Lightning won me over with its fast pace, layers of intrigues and relatable characters, and I’m more than looking forward to the next books in the series: once again Brian McClellan proved to be a skilled storyteller whose novels have by now become a “must read” no matter what. ( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 30, 2022 |
This is the first book I've ever read by Brian McClellan and I was not disappointed!
The book starts off at the ending of an epic battle won and led by our protagonist, Demir Gappo, a young and brilliant politician and strategist. The Gappo family is a small family that makes up one of the many in the Ossan empire that rule the city. The win is quickly upended by the unauthorized sack of the city they just defeated and Demir has proclaimed will be mercifully saved. This betrayal whom everyone is lead to believe was authorized by him mentally breaks him and he abandons military and political life for a life of anonymity in the provinces. This ends when he finds out nine years later his mother has been brutally murdered on the steps of the assembly hall where politicians gather. This brings us to the actual beginning of the story, mystery and political intrigue.
The magic system is unique. It is based off of magic that is endowed into wearable glass made by siliceers. It is the basis off of which the entire world runs on. When a sudden war is started against a neighboring neutral territory known for its glassworks, motives are questions and loyalties are tested.
This was a fantastic book that really got you vested in the characters, which were so well fleshed out and interesting. It definitely ends with MANY unanswered questions and some crazy plot twists! I will definitely be reading the rest of this series. Highly recommend! ( )
  Verkruissen | Aug 25, 2022 |
A sprawling fantasy novel of well over five hundred pages but ultimately not much is accomplhed. Obviously the author is setting up a multi book series. There is conspiracy, intrigue, lots of warfare and a tiny smidge of romance. The novel focuses on a half dozen primary character and their enemies. There is lots of action but very little about the warring faction's settings and cultures - mainly that they didn't like each other.and that an assassination has started this whole mess. Some will love this but I was luke warm. ( )
  muddyboy | Jul 28, 2022 |
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Fantasy. Fiction. HTML:

From Brian McClellan, author of The Powder Mage trilogy, comes the first novel in the Glass Immortals series, In the Shadow of Lightning, an epic fantasy where magic is a finite resource??and it's running out.
"Excellent worldbuilding and a truly epic narrative combine into Brian's finest work to date. Heartily recommended to anyone who wants a new favorite fantasy series to read."??Brandon Sanderson

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.
"Powerful rival families, murderous conspiracies, epic battles, larger-than-life characters, and magic."??Fonda Lee, author of The Green Bone Saga
"Engaging, fast-paced and epic."??James Islington, author of In The Shadow of What Was Lost
"Clever, fun, and by turns beautifully bloody, In the Shadow of Lightning hits like a bolt through a stained glass window."??Megan E. O'Keefe, author of Chaos Vector

At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (

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