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In the Licanius Trilogy, book 1 The Shadow of What was Lost, one of the protagonists, Davian, fears that, should he fail the 'Trials', where Gifted are tested for control of their powers, he will be made a Shadow.

The rest of the question is going in a spoiler tag for those who haven't finished the book.

We later learn that Davian is an Augur, and at some point in his life, died. It seems his Augur abilities kicked in automatically, and revived him. He has no internal reserve of Essence, and instead draws it from sources around him, constantly. We also learn that the Vessel for creating Shadows works by linking their reserve to someone else, blocking it the Shadows reach (mostly). But, without a reserve, could Davian have even become a Shadow as he originally feared?

  • This is a really interesting question. I think I'm on board with your logic here, it seems like there would be some obvious issues with trying to make Davian a shadow, since everyone else we see has a reserve. If I remember, I might even try to ask the author this. – JMac Mar 5 '19 at 17:43
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I think he could have, sort of (spoilers for book 2):

because being linked to the Siphon also seems to affect Shadows' Essence beyond their reserve - I think that's why Asha and the other Shadows kept getting weak / knocked out, because Nethgalla was drawing too much Essence through the link and taking it from their bodies. Plus in the king's account that Asha read, I believe it mentioned normal people being made into Shadows too(?). However it clearly doesn't affect the use of kan (seeing as Scyner is a Shadow), so it wouldn't actually stop him from using Essence the way he currently does (because it's from an 'external source' rather than his internal reserve).

That's my theory, anyway!

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    Nice theory - but everyone you mentioned /had/ a Reserve (even non Gifted have a reserve) that is blocked off when made into a Shadow. – AerusDar Mar 20 '18 at 5:07

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