cover image In the Shadow of Lightning

In the Shadow of Lightning

Brian McClellan. Tor, $28.99 (576p) ISBN 978-1-250-75569-8

McClellan (the Powder Mage trilogy) launches the Glass Immortals series with a satisfying and jam-packed epic fantasy. Nine years after a miscommunication sunk Demir Grappo’s first military campaign, Demir returns to the capital of the Ossa empire following his mother’s murder. He hires Kizzie Vorcien, a childhood friend, to uncover the motive for his mother’s killing, even as one of her assassins, under torture, claims to have been working for a rival city-state. Demir braves the war zone between the two lands to find his mother’s business partner, a “siliceer” who can create glass baubles that give humans extraordinary powers, and learns that the raw materials for this “godglass” are running out. The dying siliceer passed plans for a device that can recharge spent glass to his apprentice, Thessa Foleer, before she fled. Demir finds Thessa and sets her up to build the device before being called away by a commission to lead the Ossan army against powerful odds. As Kizzie’s investigation hits dead ends, Thessa rushes to build the machine, and Demir balances military leadership with rehabilitating his family name, shocking secrets come to light. It’s an involved plot, but readers will be sucked in by the vigorous battles, tense spycraft, and savvy political maneuvering. Epic fantasy fans will eagerly await future installments. (June)