The Lost War by Justin Lee Anderson
Nothing is perfect, and as such, the reviews in this blog are chaotic. My main aim is to share my thoughts, joy and opinions on a book, not make a publication perfect review. This blog endorses authenticity, showing up and joy over perfection.
Disclaimer: Receiving a review copy from the publisher does not affect my opinion of the book. If you think I review it highly it is due to me knowing my taste well and therefore not requesting books I won’t enjoy. And I am not obligated to review the book if I do not like it, so you may not see bad reviews due to me preferring not to hype down a particular book. I only do reviews of books I disagreed with if I think it is worth bringing a topic or warning to light.
If you have read my review for The Bitter Crown which is the second book and kept wondering what I thought of the first, well, here we are!
The Lost War starts like a lot of fantasy settings, in a pub. And it takes a full ride form there. Starting with the fact that Aranok isn’t a young 16-25 year old but rather set in his years with war experience and more life under his belt than just that. And he isn’t perfect or the most handsome.
I loved reading about characters that were each their own world, that weren’t just kids or young adults saving the world. These are adults, struggling with life in a different way, trying to recover a life after a long and difficult war, technically some are heroes and yet they don’t fully feel like that.
To me it felt like an epic Dungeons and Dragons story where it starts in a pub and suddenly what you thought was a chest turns out to be a mimic (and no this does not happen in the book, but interesting stuff does happen). And I enjoyed this as it gave an epic but organic feeling to it. If you’ve ever had a D&D session or many of them, you know that sometimes chaos reigns and joining the story is a feat or the constraints become interesting. And this is all good and fine as friends and if you forget a bit here or there or something changes, you’re totally fine.
The Lost War is a polished refined version of that fun. A contained adventure with some critical ones rolled here and there and sometimes some natural 20s and overall more or less barely enough to make it rolls of the dice, and I love that. Not everything works out but also not everything goes to hell, it is well balanced, with twists and turns, and a very fine twist which I enjoyed a lot as it it was nice and chaotic and also explained some little things that at first you just can’t put your finger on but know something is up.
It was a mastery of storytelling and I enjoyed it a lot.
If you love D&D adventures, chaos, older adventures and badass ones too, a good mix of chaos and kingdom, come try this series out. I’ve really been enjoying it!