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Summary

From Brian McClellan, author of The Powder Mage trilogy, comes the first novel in the Glass Immortals series, In the Shadow of Lightning, an epic fantasy where magic is a finite resource—and it’s running out.

"Excellent worldbuilding and a truly epic narrative combine into Brian's finest work to date. Heartily recommended to anyone who wants a new favorite fantasy series to read." (Brandon Sanderson)

Demir Grappo is an outcast—he fled a life of wealth and power, abandoning his responsibilities as a general, a governor, and a son. Now he will live out his days as a grifter, rootless, and alone. But when his mother is brutally murdered, Demir must return from exile to claim his seat at the head of the family and uncover the truth that got her killed: the very power that keeps civilization turning, godglass, is running out.

Now, Demir must find allies, old friends and rivals alike, confront the powerful guild-families who are only interested in making the most of the scraps left at the table and uncover the invisible hand that threatens the Empire. A war is coming, a war unlike any other. And Demir and his ragtag group of outcasts are the only thing that stands in the way of the end of life as the world knows it.

"Powerful rival families, murderous conspiracies, epic battles, larger-than-life characters, and magic." (Fonda Lee, author of The Green Bone Saga)

"Engaging, fast-paced and epic." (James Islington, author of In The Shadow of What Was Lost)

"Clever, fun, and by turns beautifully bloody, In the Shadow of Lightning hits like a bolt through a stained glass window." (Megan E. O'Keefe, author of Chaos Vector)

©2022 Brian McClellan (P)2022 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about In the Shadow of Lightning

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Excellent!

Another promising start to epic fantasy series, with compelling characters and fantastical elements that are unique to Brian McClellan.

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I'm conflicted and don't know why.

The characters left me cold for some reason and I can't really pinpoint why. Maybe I didn't really buy into the idea of glass dancers... it feels too random maybe, but I didn't have issue with the Powder Mage sags and mages using gunpowder... I'm conflicted and don't know why.

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Awesome

Cant wait for the next one, hopefully not too long to wait, narrotor was awesome

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An okay entry to new story

I enjoyed Powder Mage and this has the makings of being an equally good story. The books is slightly marred by the authors constant need to drill in the glass-magic system and some of the accents and "yelling" used by the narrator.

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Best book hes done yet, whens the next one 😬

Absolutely loved this book, im gutted I need to wait a year for the next. class act

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entertaining complex story

I don't always like books that constantly build almost impossible situations to get out of but then the heroes somehow do, but this is one that does it well along with a rich complex magical world layered into the background

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Great world building

A very easy listen with great story telling and world building. An interesting magic system and filled with charismatic characters

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Not like his others.

Not as dynamic, exciting or well written as the author's other series. Narration is so-so.

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Amazing new Series!

Honestly I absolutely loved this book, it has such a unique Brian McClellan magic system and setting with interesting yet discernible characters. What impressed me most about this book is how similar the setting is to Powder Mage but how different and distinguishable the series are.

The book is essentially set in a world around the 18th - 19th century, with flintlock fantasy and an industrialised magic system available to any as long as you have the means (Means = cash). This industrial magic takes the form of God Glass, different types of this Glass provides different abilities which I will not spoil for you.

Much of the worldbuilding revolves around a colossal global Empire reminiscent in size to the British empire at their absolute height and they maintain this supremacy by being the greatest creator and exporter of GodGlass resulting in economic and military dominance. Instead of being governed by a monarch however a handful of cutthroat Medici/Italian renaissance style or Roman republic era guild families head the empire.

Our hero the scion of a minor guild family, Demir, who was a child prodigy and rose quickly to prominence as a political and military commander during a rebellion, suffering a mental breakdown due to the events of his final day on campaign he resigned and fled into the provinces for 9 years. Our story really starts when our disgraced hero is recalled after he learns of the murder of his mother and he returns to retake control of his minor guild house and avenge her murder.

Plagued with finding his mothers murderers he stumbles upon a conspiracy and discovers the magic is running out. Political intrigue, war, conspiracies, secret organisations and other shenanigans predictably follow as the world is upended.

I thought this book was great, there were a few twists and turns I predicted rather easily but honestly this is the best fantasy book I've read in a while. If you enjoyed Powder mage and a solidly unique magic system this is right up your alley.

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  • Wakawaka
  • 07-07-22

A slow start, but would recommend this to everyone

I've gone through 200+ books. I enjoyed the powder mage series, the second trilogy wasn't quite as good. However, I was excited to see a new series released. The beginning wasn't slow but the motivation and MC left something to be desired. After a couple chapters I was starting to get into the world and characters. I highly recommend to push through the beginning and keep listening. I enjoyed the characters, and the plot gets much more polished. I would easily say this is one of the best books I've gone through in the last year. the action is lighter and not as dark as other series I go through but I really grew to enjoy the way he built up the plot. He also makes romance (if your into that) believable and not annoying. The MC's don't just stumble around like idiots and many times gets straight to the point. Do yourself a favor and give this book a solid try to get sucked in like I did!

Edit: Also, the review about to many gay characters is ridiculous - they are bi and its not even talked about for more than a few seconds. I can only recall once or twice. in fact I appreciate that it's not pointed out as some big thing and takes entire chapters of this book. The mentioning of this is used in a context that makes sense that helps build up a character or two and not some grand plot thrown in my face.

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  • CDM860
  • 05-07-22

Layers on layers on layers...

There is much more going on here than you're initially aware of, and its all well written.
I enjoyed this book in so many different ways. A lot more to it than just magic and action, the world-building, the characters and their interplay is all really strong. The reveal at the end is impressive, and it adds a whole new dimension to the story.
Can't wait for the next book. I highly recommend giving this one a try.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Tor
  • 27-06-22

Another hit from Brian!

Absolutely loved the world, story, and the big cast of good characters. A cool and unique magic system ties this all together to make this world so interesting. Brian obviously takes his practice of writing in a revolutionary war style setting and applies it here well. This is a good mix of drama, romance, action, and more.

Minor spoiler : but I'm glad the drama between the two main love interests was resolved quickly and in a practical way that makes sense. Too many times I feel like some authors create more drama than is necessary and draw it out longer than necessary just for the sake of having more drama in the story. The way it happened here felt more natural.

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  • Ted
  • 21-06-22

Intriguing new fantasy series!

I highly recommend this novel! It is one of the best books I have read in the last couple of years, with relatable characters, intriguing settings and plot twists and a fast paced story arc.

3 people found this helpful

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  • WDW226
  • 30-06-22

Mr. McClellan Still In Top Form

Mr. McClellan returns with a new book in a new series, and what’s to say? He came up with a brilliant and balanced magical system for the world of the Powder Mages, and returns to form with God Glass. Relatable characters, great twists (seriously, what a ride!), and expert pacing, I couldn’t stop listening. The narrator, like any book one, took a little while to grow on me, but once the flow started and he found his rhythm, the momentum kept building to the finale. I highly recommend this novel, but also go read his first two trilogies if you haven’t already.

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  • eric
  • 26-06-22

Outstanding!

What a story! Baby is my new favorite character of any book! So many great characters and a plot line to stir the most jaded of fantasy readers!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Thom
  • 25-06-22

Solid pacing and story

Really solid. I'll probably check out future books in the series. A little derivative feeling, but still engaging. It doesn't drag, despite the length. Multiple bi characters--cool.

World building was meh, wish there were more foreshadowing and deep lore breadcrumbs to keep you guessing and interested. The obligatory, genre swear word is "glass-damn" and I hate it...

The narrator is okay. Solid enough. Not especially charismatic, but also not grating or off-putting.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-07-22

Getting Better Each Book!

I love Brian McClellan! This is his best book yet! Not only does it have the phenomenal battles and action of his other works, but it also has some of my favorite relationships!

1 person found this helpful

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  • Sally Wagle
  • 29-06-22

keeps you engaded


from start to finish totally entertaining. Great characters well developed. Maybe not a great book but every thing I wanted.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Bailey
  • 25-06-22

Where can I preorder the next one

Seriously good book, I want more! It feels like it ends so soon even so, it is still a long book.

1 person found this helpful