I just finished “The Shadow of What Was Lost” by James Islington. Pretty standard Fantasy fare, but with some novel elements that allowed it to succeed where other doorstop-fantasy has grown stale and predictable of late (for me, at least). The story (book 1 of 3) follows a group of characters whose lives become inextricably intertwined with each other’s as mysterious forces push them together and force them apart while they adventure through a world of magic and magical creatures. And while that all falls pretty squarely into the fantasy paradigm (no big surprises there) what this book does offer is a very murky understanding of each character’s underlying motives, and therefore a deep sense of mystery. Generally PG-13 with occasional vivid descriptions of extreme violence. This series probably falls squarely in the Adult category along with anything by R. Scott Bakker, The Black Company series, or The Expanse series.
From the author:
“It has been twenty years since the god-like Augurs were overthrown and killed. Now, those who once served them - the Gifted - are spared only because they have accepted the rebellion's Four Tenets, vastly limiting their powers.
As a Gifted, Davian suffers the consequences of a war lost before he was even born. He and others like him are despised. But when Davian discovers he wields the forbidden power of the Augurs, he sets into motion a chain of events that will change everything.
To the west, a young man whose fate is intertwined with Davian's wakes up in the forest, covered in blood and with no memory of who he is...
And in the far north, an ancient enemy long thought defeated begins to stir.”