The Shadow Glass feels like an amalgamation of the popular fantasy genre, so popular in the ’80s mixed with a commentary on fandom.
In the novel, writer Winning explores how characters from a cult fantasy film become real and lead our protagonist Jack Corman, the son of the director of the titular Shadow Glass.
What is most impressive here is the intricate world-building from Winning, as he creates a fully immersive story with interesting characters whilst plucking his favourite parts from films such as The Neverending Story and the Dark Crystal.
Interestingly, Jack is quite a flawed figure, and it is the ensemble that builds up throughout the story which helps him on his journey to save a potentially real or fictional world from a tyrant that has more than one thing in common with Skeletor from Masters of the Universe.
The best compliment I can pay The Shadow Glass is that it is a really visual novel, and while it hits familiar plot beats along the way, the characters are so well written it will keep you reading.
I am not the biggest fan of fantasy novels, but The Shadow Glass has some magic about it and really captures something long lost from the Jim Henson creations of yesteryear.
Even if your copy of The Dark Crystal or Masters of the Universe is gathering dust, I have no doubt this will be one of the outstanding retro fantasy novels of 2022.
The Shadow Glass by Josh Winning is released by Titan Books on 22 March 2022.