The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson (Reviewed by Lena)

 Book Review: The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson

the lost war by justin lee anderson
Buy The Lost War here – U.S. | U.K.

Official Author Website

OFFICIAL AUTHOR BIO: Justin spent 15 years as a professional writer and editor before his debut novel, Carpet Diem, was published in 2015. It became a best-seller and won a 2018 Audie award. Since 2018 he has been writing full time, alongside working on scripts with his wife, Juliet, who he met through a BBC scriptwriting contest.

They live just outside his hometown of Edinburgh with their Brady Bunch family of five kids.

He misses Firefly. No Wash jokes. Too soon.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: This sensational epic fantasy follows an emissary for the king as he gathers a group of strangers and embarks on a dangerous quest across a war-torn land.

The war is over, but peace can be hell.

Demons continue to burn farmlands, violent mercenaries roam the wilds, and a plague is spreading. The country of Eidyn is on its knees. 

In a society that fears and shuns him, Aranok is the first mage to be named King’s Envoy. And his latest task is to restore an exiled foreign queen to her throne.  

The band of allies he assembles each have their own unique skills. But they are strangers to one another, and at every step across the ravaged land, a new threat emerges, lies are revealed, and distrust could destroy everything they are working for. Somehow, Aranok must bring his companions together and uncover the conspiracy that threatens the kingdom—before war returns to the realms again.

FORMAT/INFO: The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson is the first book in the Eider Saga. It was first published in 2019 by the author and has been relaunched by Orbit books on May 16, 2023 in the U.S. and May 18th, 2023 in the U.K, and has 528 pages. 

OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: At the beginning of The Lost War, we find Aranok, the king’s envoy, and Allandria, his bodyguard, in a bar where they stopped a couple of thugs -who were tax collecting for the King- from almost killing the local blacksmith’s son, Vastin, because he refused to pay them. After solving the situation with the thugs, Vastin joins them as the official blacksmith to the King’s envoy. 
When the group gets back to the now Capital of the Kingdom, Haven, they find the situation dire. The King needs them to go to Barrock Castle where the queen of Gaulle is hiding, escort her back to Gaulle and restore her to her throne.
As you can imagine things don’t go as planned. 

This is one of the most memorable books I’ve had the pleasure of reading. From the characters to the plot and the world each one of these were outstanding. 

The characters are absolutely delightful to read about. Each one so human, complex and extremely relatable many times. Every character has a backstory that is so well realized, that they just popped out of the page. I usually don’t have a character I absolutely love, I just like one character more than other, but Samily is my favourite of the group.

The overarching plot is amazingly intricate and so well executed. You could divide it into several little plots/missions which just take you in a wonderful trip throughout the land. During this trip we find political intrigue, family reunions, we see little by little how this group begins to feel more like a family, we start to see and comprehend the amazing magic system and we also crossed paths with creatures so vividly described. I love that while there were some very grim scenes, there were some comedic relief bits in between or in the middle of them.

As you can imagine as a result you have an extremely fast paced story that’s so skillfully executed that you’re left wondering what’s coming in the very next sentence until you get to the magnificent ending. 

Anderson just knocks it out the park with such a skillfully woven plot that in this first book gives just a tiny taste of what’s to come in book two, The Bitter Crown.
CONCLUSION: The Lost War is one of the most compelling, entertaining, intriguing, thrilling, fast paced and absolutely brilliant first book in a series that I’ve ever read. It’ll keep you at the edge of your seat during the whole book. An absolutely outstanding first book in The Eidyn Saga. I highly recommend it.

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