In the Shadow of Lightning (Glass Immortals #1) – Brian McClellan

Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Tor Books
Pages: 560
Release Date: June 21, 2022

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.


In the Shadow of Lightning is an excellent introduction to McClellan’s new Glass Immortals series. Told from four perspectives, In the Shadow of Lightning is full of magic, politics, and war.

In the Shadow of Lightning has an incredibly interesting magic system. I would describe the magic system as a mix of elements from Sanderson’s Mistborn and Stormlight Archive series. There are different types of glass that give its users different enhancements, however the glass pieces run out of magic and physically affects the users if they’re used too long. Magic systems with limitations and/or consequences are what make a magic system truly great.

As mentioned previously, In the Shadow of Lightning is told from four perspectives: Demir, Kezzie, Thessa, and Idrian.

The novel opens with Demir as he’s at the end of a hard fought and won war campaign against rebels when everything falls apart and he goes into exile before being called back nine years later when his mother is murdered. Demir’s chapters are a mix of political intrigue, mystery, and war all while developing the magic system.

Kezzie is a disgraced bastard desperate to be accepted back into her family when she’s asked by Demir to investigate his mother’s murder.

Thessa’s chapters were my favourite as they were slower paced and focused on the intricacies of the magic system. Thessa is immune to the magic, meaning she’s able to forge the glass pieces that enhance its users.

Idrian’s chapters were my least favourite and the reason I rated the novel four stars instead of five. His chapters were almost solely focused on the war. I’m not a big fan of big battle sequences, however his chapters help lay the groundwork for the end of the novel and the future of the series.

All I’ll say about the ending of the novel is that I absolutely loved it. It sets up what is going to be an excellent series that will surely become a favourite.

Overall, In the Shadow of Lightning is an excellent introduction to the Glass Immortals series featuring an interesting magic system, dynamic political machinations, and well developed characters.


Have you read In the Shadow of Lightning? what did you think?

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