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The Light of All That Falls by James Islington — Book Review & Summary


The Light of All That Falls concludes the epic adventure that began in The Shadow of What Was Lost, the acclaimed fantasy blockbuster from James Islington.

The Boundary is whole once again, but it may be too late.

Banes now stalk Andarra, while in Ilin Illan, the political machinations of a generation come to a head as Wirr’s newfound ability forces his family’s old enemies into action.

Imprisoned and alone in a strange land, Davian is pitted against the remaining Venerate as they work tirelessly to undo Asha’s sacrifice – even as he struggles with what he has learned about the friend he chose to set free.

And Caeden, now facing the consequences of his centuries-old plan, must finally confront its reality – heartbroken at how it began, and devastated by how it must end.

AUTHOR:               James Islington

PUBLISHED ON: 3 August 2014

GENRE:                 Epic Fantasy

STARS:                   4.5 Stars



                   Time Travel, Mind-boggling twists, Friendships to die for, Strong character development, redemption arcs & Playing with Fates

READING CHALLENGE: Read this for Add-on Prompt: Longest book in your TBR (This book was 958 pages on my e-reader)

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


The Light of All that Falls begins approx after a year gap to An Echo of Things to Come. We return back to the amazing world and witness our characters all scattered. Everyone is doing what they can do to make sure that the boundary is stable, that the fragile peace that is among the people stays that way, that the Venerate don’t find Asha. Caeden is slowly tracing steps, trying to anticipate his past self and following what he is supposed to do. But with every step, there is one thing that is stopping him and that is his promise to Davian in The Echo of the Things to Come. The promise to save him. And he one he desperately wants to fulfil but doesn’t get a chance to.

Asha is still trapped in the Tributary, while she faces a constant state of pain and relaxation- she doesn’t sit around and mop. She trains harder fortunate enough to find a teacher. Every moment there, Asha tries her best to make use of every resource available. And everything would be the same till she found herself face to face with one of the Venerate. Facing them, she realised some hidden truths and slowly she began to think- if she can ever forgive Caeden or even believe in him? Talking with Caeden and coming to a relative truce, they began to plan how to free herself from the Tributary and at the same time make sure that the Boundary is stable.

Wirr slowly made his way from the Boundary back to the kingdom carrying the news of the freed Elatia and his dead mother. But if his journey back to the kingdom was worse, his kingdom was in the worst state. A fraction of his kingdom had already left and from the remaining fraction of people, there was a hard time managing his authority when everything around was a mess. In the midst, of managing the Gifted and his own people, people around doubting his authority and the constant fear for his friends- Wirr was constantly tested.

Davian after freeing or rather killing Caeden gets trapped himself with the Venerate. Suffice to say his life there isn’t easy. Some past trauma resurfaces and all Davain could do is try not to lose himself. But things get messy and he finds himself in an unknown place with some familiar faces and some unfamiliar faces and all he can do is hold onto himself and learn everything he can to face the inevitable.

And when the inevitable comes, will everything they worked for be enough? Or in the end, we are all just puppets whose strings some unknown power holds?

“The old saying is wrong, you know–a common enemy does not a friendship make. You can only ever be as good as the people you are willing to fight beside.


Everyone who read this series told me that this series has one of the most satisfying conclusions. That The Light of All that falls is something different. And they were right. At the end of this series, I was at a loss for words. There were so many emotions running in my mind and heart. James Islington definitely knows how to punch in the gut and The Light of All that Falls was everything that I didn’t know I wanted to read as a reader. Let me clarify something, I am not a Time Travel Fan. I never sought out books based on Time Travelling. Because I genuinely believe playing with time is fickle of thing. And it can get messy. But despite that, I LOVED THE LICANIOUS TRILOGY. I didn’t know this book had time travel and every moment in this series was a present surprise for me.

The Light of all that Falls has all of our characters scattered, doing their own tasks with one common goal on their mind- making sure that the Boundary doesn’t fall and the Shammaeloth isn’t unleashed. And slowly and inevitably as they make their way towards the finale, I cannot help but be impressed with every small- small detail. I mean I am in awe, writing a Time-travel story with such complexities and so much to work with- I have to say I cannot help but count myself as a Fan. I think, he has become an auto-buy author for me.! And the best part? His writing. Of course, it is a bit complex but it is simple. His writing isn’t what at times is the flowery writing where you stop and admire the beauty of writing. His writing is simple, precise, on point and his choice of words. In short, simply amazing.

“It’s not enough to fight for the right side. You have to figure out how to fight the right way, too. If winning is truly all that matters, then we’ve lost sight of what’s actually right and wrong in the first place.”

Now, coming to two things that I am kinda a big sucker for and at the same time two things that aren’t easy to write.

  1. Redemption Arc
  2. Playing with Fates & Destinies

I was at a loss for words for the Redemption Arc that the Licanious Series showed. Especially the scenes in the finale book, The Light of All that Falls. There were stages where Caeden was at a loss of who he was as a person. Someone who would shiver even at the thought of someone accusing him of killing people. And then the reality hits him. He slowly realises who he is. Why did he does what he did and what is/was his plan. Everything that he thought he was doing for correct reasons to everything he started doing because he realised what the truth is. It is simply brilliant. I hope to be able to write a redemption arc as beautifully as Islington wrote for Caeden.

I love the idea of destinies and Fates. And this question is something that I constantly ponder about. Is everything planned by the power? If everything is planned then why am I working so hard? If everything is already decided if fate is sealed- who am I? And while there are many things that I read, I don’t think I have read something so interesting. As a person, I am still thinking about those questions. As a reader, conversations between Tal’Kamar, Raeleth and Davian have my heart.

“Your choices, Tal. Always your choices. Influences don’t get blame or credit”

Talking about the plot of the story, the plot is complex. And I have to admit I didn’t grasp a 100% of a couple of things but I think that is because of how quickly I read it. I am positive when I re-read this, they will be clear. This series is complex. It is heavy in world-building, heavy in character arcs- but so damn worth it. All the small-small problems that I had in the first book somehow got solved here. And that is a sign of how much even Islington grew as a writer. What is amazing is that there are so many relations to take care of and each of them had its own emotional depth. There were so many scenes with so many emotions hidden within them. I mean, seduce me with emotions.

“What happened?

“He was greedy…He saw multiple connections and drew them all into himself.

“Not greedy…Loyal. Desperately, stupidly loyal. I have been frantic to know the truth, and he* knows it.

(*Name removed.)

I kept on mentioning how complex the plot and what is even more interesting is how complex and different the characters are too.  While the focus is primarily on Asha, Wirr, Caden and Davian- there are so many more characters that have left their print on my mind. And it isn’t that they were just there to support our main characters. Each of them had a distinct personality and they managed to steal a spotlight for them too. Alaris and Taeris were my favourites.

There are so many things that I want to talk about in detail about some amazing and mind-blowing scenes, about the magic systems, about the characters, the deaths, the circle of how things started and how things are. But it is so difficult to talk and yet stay in the zone where I don’t spoil the experience for you. I’ll be discussing some scenes in detail in the spoiler zone below.

“Faithful people suffer and evil people prosper all the time […]. Besides, if our actions are driven only by reward or punishment–eternal or otherwise–then they are motivated by greed and selfishness, not faith or love. That is where so many people go wrong, even those who say they believe […]. They obey because the think it will make their *lives* better, rather than *themselves*. And that is very much the wrong reason.”

The Light of all that Falls is full of continuous twists and turns and will keep you on the edge of your seat. There will be moments when you anticipate how things will turn up and you may be happy for a moment but then the twist will come and smack you. And as a reader, you will love and hate every second of that roller-coaster ride. I am convinced that I can trust James Islington as an author and am so excited to read what comes next.

Have you added the Light of All that falls on your list yet?

If you aren’t aware, there is an update for the new series Hierarchy titled The Will of Many on Goodreads.

If you enjoy my content, you can buy me a Ko-fi.

You can read the review of other books by James Islington- The Shadow of What Was Lost and An Echo of Things to Come

You can read something about Creation vs Destruction here.


I think if I have to pick out one scene. One scene that won my heart. One scene that stole everything. Tal’kamar and Alaris. Alaris’ death broke me. I mean I knew it was coming. And the death of every Venerate was devastating but it was Alaris’s death that broke me. The echo of their past, of everything that they faced together, how Alaris helped him, how he showed Tal what was correct and what wasn’t. And then being at crossroads. How Tal showed him the memories and Alaris wasn’t ready to believe it. Tal was even ready to help Alaris with the amulet. But Alaris would not be a part of that. Alaris died believing that Tal was manipulating him. Centuries and lifetimes of moments came down to this. And Tal…the pain of killing Alaris. How he did what he knew he had to do but at the same time, a part of him broke as Venerates started dying. And he somehow was a shell of a person when Alaris died or rather when he killed Alaris

I am a sucker for relations like what they had. And while as a writer, I bow to Islington for writing this scene. As a reader, I hope for some relief and some mercy. They didn’t deserve this.

Davian’s parents.

Oh, my freaking god.

When I started reading about them in Zvaelar- I DID NOT EXPECT THIS. It was utterly brilliant and I did not see it coming. In a bizarre way, I am so glad Davian got a chance to stay with his parents. Niha and Raeleth. When they were introduced, I had no idea how something could be so entwined. But then the ring was made and Malshash had to intertwine for Niha to travel. It made sense in the most bizarre, unpredictable and amazing way.

Whenever James writes about Aleric and Dezia, I really do hope we have a reuniting scene for Davian and Niha. I really want to read about it.

Ishelle dying in her last attempt to confuse Eletai was a masterstroke, something predictable since we knew of the connection but so well executed.

And another masterstroke was the Mirrors of Truth. How utterly crafty it is when you look into all the truths but you can remember only one?

One truth that they show you, personal to you. Your life. And once through, you can never go back. ever.

I didn’t even realise how attached I was with Taeris till I saw him dying. His death didn’t come as a shock. But if you see his whole life…it was just so…how much he had to endure, what his goals were…what his dreams were and then everything had just one motive- save Davian, seal the Boundary, save Davian.

You know there are parts in the story that show you why the characters are the way they are or why the plot is how it is. Chapter 8 was that point for me. Everything about the scene and conversations between Tal’Kamar, Ordan and Alchesh were that for me. And more than anything this one dialogue:

“I still remember the man who feared what he would become,” he said softly. “If he had seen who you are now, Tal’kamar, he would have torn out his eyes from grief.”

What was your experience with the Light of all that falls? Which are your favourite scenes?

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