Steven Poore's Reviews > A Shadow on the Glass

A Shadow on the Glass by Ian Irvine
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it was ok
bookshelves: epic-emotions, epic-fantasy, magic, re-read

This year's grand series re-read is one that I barely remember from first time around. I have vague memories of borrowing this from Sheffield Libraries in those years where I was both in full-time work, attempting to buy a house, and unaware that I was probably quite ill. Not much stuck, other than an awareness that it dragged and that the cliffhanger at the end of the first book was rather dissatisfying.

So. Back we go. Protagonist Llian is refreshingly inept and dull. He's not the prize charmer he thinks himself to be. His co-star Karan is full of drama and shouting. Between the wailing and the frequent injuries and illnesses, they somehow contrive to stagger through half a continent of mountains with a stolen magic Mirror, eluding the slightly Gollumesque Idlis and his fellow Whelm, even as Karan's temporary associate Maigraith strikes up an odd friendship with Yggur, warlord and master of said Whelm. Our heroes take refuge in the hidden Aachim city of Shazmak (pictured on the cover), which has no obvious means of providing its citizens with food, and are then forced on the run once again - this time with the Whelm and the Aachim both hard on their tails. At last they reach Thurkad, where everybody faints, and various long-lived Mancers argue over the Mirror.

This is very typical turn-of-the-century epic fantasy, really. A lot of over-writing, a lot of over-emoting, a heck of a lot of telling and head-hopping rather than showing, and far too much dragging across every part of the land of Meldorin just to show it all off. It's not quite Fantasy Homes and Gardens, as my esteemed editor Joanne Hall would put it, but there's only so much barren landscape--snow--barren landscape--torn by guilt you need in the first volume of a quartet.

Let's hope that with the main blocks in place, the second book begins to speed things up...
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Reading Progress

July 3, 2019 – Started Reading
July 3, 2019 – Shelved
July 4, 2019 –
6.0% "Years since I read this!"
July 8, 2019 –
July 8, 2019 –
23.0% "A bit of a slog so far on this re-read..."
July 12, 2019 –
40.0% "struggling on, much like Llian & Karan themselves..."
July 16, 2019 –
44.0% "Still slogging through the mountains..."
July 20, 2019 –
July 22, 2019 –
July 24, 2019 –
July 30, 2019 – Shelved as: epic-emotions
July 30, 2019 – Shelved as: epic-fantasy
July 30, 2019 – Shelved as: magic
July 30, 2019 – Shelved as: re-read
July 30, 2019 – Finished Reading

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