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An Echo Of Things To Come — Book Review & Summary


In the wake of the devastating attack on Ilin Illan, an amnesty has been declared for all Augurs – finally allowing them to emerge from hiding and openly oppose the dark forces massing against Andarra. However as Davian and his new allies hurry north toward the ever-weakening Boundary, fresh horrors along their path suggest that their reprieve may have come far too late.

In the capital, Wirr is forced to contend with assassins and an increasingly hostile Administration as he controversially assumes the mantle of Northwarden, uncovering a mystery that draws into question everything commonly believed about the rebellion his father led twenty years ago. Meanwhile, Asha begins a secret investigation into the disappearance of the Shadows, determined to discover not only where they went but the origin of the Vessels that created them – and, ultimately, a cure.

And with time against him as he races to fulfill the treacherous bargain with the Lyth, Caeden continues to wrestle with the impossibly heavy burdens of his past. Yet as more and more of his memories return, he begins to realise that the motivations of the two sides in this ancient war may not be as clear-cut as they first seemed…       

An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington Cover
An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington – Front Cover

AUTHOR:               James Islington

PUBLISHED ON: 22 August 2017

GENRE:                 Epic Fantasy

STARS:                   4.5 Stars



Political uproar, Controlling new powers, Trying to find your own self, Grudges that run for thousands of years, Shocking twists & betrayals.

READING CHALLENGE: Read this for January Prompt: A Book with birds on the Cover

The reading challenge is hosted by Shalini (kohleyed.com) #readingwithmuffy


An Echo of Things to Come begins with Caeden still reeling from the shock and reality he learnt in the previous book, The Shadow of What was Lost. Caeden still gasping when memories hit him, still trying to be the person he wants to be and not the person he was. But time was not on their side. The deal gave him only a year and a day. Two weeks have passed and all Caeden could do was try to come to terms with his reality. All he could do was try to believe what a part of him already knows. With Asar’s help, Caeden learns shades of his life that were lost. He slowly comes to terms with the person he was, with the reasons for some of his actions but the gaps in his memories were so vast that the state of unknown and confusion does not leave him. And the series of unknown speeds up with the mysterious appearance of his wife (whom he had no recollection of) and the link to his way to restore memories being interrupted. Each meeting with Venerate brings him a moment of satisfaction in meeting his old companions but the actions and decisions taken bought a rift between them. And somehow each meeting ends up bloody.

“religions—things created by men in order to control other men.”

Davian had taken it upon himself to find other Augurs in Tal Shen and travel their way to the north to seal the collapsing boundaries. While the gifted and the Administration supported the Augurs, their support somehow mingled with the fear and helplessness and their support was nothing but hostile. With the sudden appearance of a mysterious Augur, chaos broke loose. And the Augurs had no option but to leave Tal Shen as soon as possible and try to seal the collapsing boundary. The way to the north was not easy either. Between the visions they witnessed and the effects of the mysterious Augurs and monsters on the way, it was nothing but a relief to reach the Boundary. But their relief to reach there was short-lived. The state of Boundary was worse than what they imagined and understanding the complex nature of Boundary resulted in fascination and yet helplessness. Days into the inspection, they finally notice something unusual. The only question was: Did they find it or it was presented to them to be found?

Asha’s episodes of dizziness do not waver and now with the possession of The Vessal, her exploration for the Sanctuary continues. Trying to manage her role as the Ambassador and continuing her own exploration, she hardly has time to fawn over the new attention she receives from the people around her. But her priorities are set and despite her tiredness and annoyance, she continues to search for the answers. In midst of following her first link, she not only manage to learn a couple of things but fulfilled the Watcher’s words. Her expedition gave her an idea and she knew what she had to do. And she found herself accompanying the trip to Deilannis. Her way was not smooth either. But she paved her way, found herself learning how to wield a sword and reach the damn place. And the pieces suddenly fell into place. She unknowingly reached where she was supposed to as some grand scheme. And while the choices she had to make were not necessarily choices, she knew what she had to do. And trusting others to make the right choice, she made hers.

“I’m telling you that you should doubt—as I do my own beliefs. The day on which you decide not to question what you believe, is the day that you start making excuses for why you believe it.”

Wirr’s life was nothing less than a political scandal. He suddenly had to take his father’s place, he had to face the prejudice of people against the Gifted and he had changed the Tenents as well and on top of that, he was positive his mother was among the people who didn’t believe in him or who was ashamed of him being a Gifted. And so he slowly made his way, trying to convince people that the issue with the Boundary is not just a political stunt. That Gifted aren’t just there to control them but they are also humans with the want to just live. But what followed as Wirr read two of his father’s journals changed Wirr’s state of mind. Every decision he made, he just had one goal, an inclusive Administration without any influence, not even his own.

When all paths meet near the Boundary, the joy of reunion is short-lived. Each of them has something they have to do, some responsibilities they have to fulfil and everyone is on their path. Despite, their constant efforts, people die and the unsaid question is in the air: How many more will die for the Greater Good?

“For I did not know which was harder to bear: The echo of her passing, or the long silence that followed.”


An Echo of Things to Come by James Islington was simply wonderful. Everything that I thought I wanted to read and everything that I never realised that I wanted to. What a thrilling sequel to the brilliant The Shadow of What was Lost. I had so many moments of screaming because of how utterly each layer is peeled. I honestly cannot begin to imagine how much planning Islington would have had to undertake. While I generally fall in love with characters more than the plot, this series is proving otherwise. I am in love with the plot of the story and Caeden. I’ll someday write a detailed scene just for Caeden in my Character analysis or dissection segment. I love the new truths coming in light and the twists and turns that had me gripping the book and reading till I forget the time and my real life.

“If a builder and an architect sit at the same table, does one role become more like the other? Or do they work better together because of it?”

I am in love with the plot and the pacing of this glorious sequel. I mean there is so much happening and never did I feel overwhelmed. I was confused, yes. But never overwhelmed. And I think that speaks a lot about what an amazing writer James Islington is. The questions that were raised in the previous book were explored and at the same time, new questions took place. We learn about the history, why people were scared of the Gifted. We learnt about why the Boundary was created. We even have glimpses of what an unformidable team the Venerate were.

What I truly admire about Islington is the way he writes. He has managed to create an amazing and vast world with so many details and at the same time with people who have been living for thousands of years. And it isn’t easy. Between the span of time, the characters change. Immortality doesn’t rob people of their growth. And it didn’t seem easy as you read. And that is a great feat. Reading something so complex and not feeling any complexity, proves that An Echo of Things to Come was not an easy journey as a writer. And thus, it was an easy journey for a reader. No middle book syndrome for An Echo of Things to Come either. It was just a beautiful book in its existence.

“The lesser of two evils, or the greater good. Get a good man to utter either of those phrases, and there is no one more eager to begin perpetrating evil.”

I love how every action that Caeden took as Aarkein or Tal’kamar or even Caeden had a fine line balancing between good and evil. While there are many books that focus on Good vs Evil, I think An Echo of Things to Come is one of the few books that has managed each phase beautifully. The constant need to be a good person and yet do bad things. (See Note) Caeden wakes up to a memory that shakes him to the core. And that’s just the beginning. Every memory that hits Caeden is more brutal than before. Gone were the days when he questioned how or even if they were real. He knew they were. He doesn’t sit and question how and why he killed people or why he allowed himself to die. What matters is that despite everything the lines he constantly chooses to draw. The lines that select, every time.

I had a couple of small problems. Again, I find the lack of reaction from the characters. Maybe, it’s just me. In the previous book, The Shadow of What was Lost, Davian killed a man for the first time and he was not a killer. He didn’t want to be a killer. But that scene didn’t particularly change him? There was no reaction on his part? Something similar happened in An Echo of Things to Come. I wanted to see some reactions, some effects that that act of killing has affected them.

He broke this world. But he left some of its beauty, some of its joy. He knew enough to realize that sometimes beauty is a temptation and joy a call for inaction.”

An Echo of Things to Come was an absolute adventure to read. The plot of the story, the pacing, the story arcs, the unsaid questions, everything about this book was a treat for my Fantasy craving heart. I have heard some amazing things about the following book, The Light of All That Falls and I am excited to begin my concluding journey.

Review for The Shadow of What was Lost


“The people with whom we are friends should never affect our morality; rather, our morality should affect with whom we are friends.”

Alaris has captured a place in my heart. It’s no secret that I love a good friendship or more so a great bromance story. While I do realise that we have Alaris trying to kill Caeden, then who doesn’t try doing that? And as Alaris said, you can’t still be upset about that. I love the bond that is shown between the two of them. I am so in shock and awe with realising how Alaris once had Caeden in a prison for 80 years. The conversation that followed that prison scene was the best part of the whole book for me. I know I won’t be the only one but I would love to read the book just about them. I want to know more about what happened to these brothers. What was even more amazing was how despite not having all the memories, Caeden knew one thing the feeling of being with his brother…

I did not LIKE ASHA NOT REACTING TO KILLING VHALIRE. While she did take part in the Final Battle against the Blind in the Shadow of what was lost. This was not the same. This was not in battle, this was her doing the inevitable. He was already going to die. But damn…such things leave effects.

BRESHADA. I DID NOT SEE IT COMING. I did not guess that it was Nethgalla. IT WAS BRILLIANT.

I would recommend An Echo of Things to Come to Epic Fantasy readers, especially fans of Sanderson and Gwynne’s Of Blood and Bone series.

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