Top positive review
Very good but not quite great
Reviewed in Australia on 28 January 2020
The Boundary protecting the kingdoms is failing and beyond it, an ancient evil stirs. The Gifted, heirs of the creators of the Boundary, are forbidden to use their powers. Three young people may be called to defend the kingdoms – a prince of the realm, temporarily banished after being found Gifted; a Shadow, branded and cast out after she failed the Gifted Test; and another who knew he would fail the Test but in fleeing it discovers that he is more than simply Gifted. In addition there is a mysterious young man who has lost his memory but occasionally remembers details of events long-forgotten, and who may be the key to the conflict to come, for good or evil.
This is the first James Islington book I’ve read, and I can understand why he is widely compared to Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson – like them he is a very competent, if not really inspired, wordsmith who knows how to keep a story moving. He only gets 4 stars from me because he doesn’t have the originality or the black humour of authors like Mark Lawrence or Alex Marshall at their best, but I enjoyed the book a lot and will definitely be buying the other books in the trilogy - seeing that a trilogy has actually been finished is important to me when I decide to buy or not as I, like many others, have been burnt by authors like Rothfuss and Martin who can seemingly never finish what they’ve started.