The end has finally come.
The Faithful and The Fallen, the epic quadrilogy is over.
In one sense I wish there was more of this, because I loved it so much. At the same time, things that don’t end tend to drag on until they fall apart.
Gwynne has built an impressive world, packed full of sword fights and action, dark magic and mysteries prophecies, and giant and demons and an array of terrifying monsters. It’s been incredible to see it through to the end.
But that wasn’t always in the cards. The first book in the series didn’t really grab me until at least halfway through, and the series definitely got better with every installation. Which I think says a lot about my approach to books. I don’t need that instant hook from page on, and I’ll often read on for ages before I can properly decide if I like something or not. Sure, sometime I might get burned and finish a book only to realize, “Meh, this wasn’t all that,” but on the flip side I end up finding things like this.
And this is great. Corban’s adventures, from a young smith’s son to a… well, I won’t reveal too much, but he grows a lot. As does everyone. Kings fall, kingdoms burn, heroes rise, prophecies come to pass and by the end everything is turned on it’s head twice over. It has that Game of Thronesy feel to it, with much plotting and scheming, and you’re left wondering what is what. It’s amazing.
Gwynne’s writing style took a little time to get used to – you can read my reviews for Book 1, Book 2, and Book 3, and I think I mentioned more than once that he has a way of composing sentences that makes it sound a bit strange before you get used to it.
I’d say his strongest suit is the action scenes. The sword fights and the big battles. Sometimes that stuff can get boring, and I tend to skim past it to get to the real story that comes after, but not here. Here I loved it. Almost as much as I loved Maquin.
If you’re looking for your next favorite fantasy series, with tons of actions, intrigue, mystery, and heroism, look no further than The Faithful and The Fallen, by John Gwynne.
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