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Book Review: Curse of the Fallen

Table of Contents

“This Child is not the chosen one. She is a demon to be destroyed.

Born of magic, Nerana is labeled a demon and forced into hiding by the Order of Saro. Living with a curse that binds her to their leader, Nerana seeks to free herself from their hold and soon learns that the path to redemption may prove more fatal than the Order itself.

But for Nerana, this is more than a quest for survival… It’s a promise of revenge”

Title: Curse of the Fallen

Series: Fallen Light #1

Author: H.C. Newell

Page Count: 400

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Date Read: July 28th, 2023

Curse of the Fallen was on my radar even before it was announced as an SPFBO-9 entry. I’ve heard quite a bit of chatter about this one in the community already. It was an easy choice add this not only to my personal SPFBO TBR list but it made it into my top 20 of those 48 that I wanted to make sure I read. This ended up being my 18th read from the competitions entries.
I was very intrigued with the first chapter alone. We had mercenaries, a magic user on the run and some interesting creatures and races. But why does it always have to be spiders! Creepy little spiders crawling out of wholes, yuck! Sorry that’s a bit of comedy regarding one of my own semi-phobic tendencies. It’s a coping mechanism alright!?
The pacing of this book seemed very fast throughout most of book one. Our group seemed like they were constantly on the run from someone or something, or toward their next objective. This isn’t to say we don’t have time for either story or character development. It’s just those development moments were typically on the move as well. I think this actually contributed in me wanting to constantly keep reading to find out what was next! The only complaint I have is the dialog for Loryk. The way he spoke tripped me up many times as I had to pause and try to figure out what he was saying. I’ll touch on this in the character section as well.
The worldbuilding was great! I’ve already mentioned the various races and creatures. We have different religions and cultures as well. The author does a great job in painting a picture of each environment the story is taking place. Most of these seem on the darker side if that happens to be your thing as well. This wasn’t over done though. This is very important for me in loving a book. I need those descriptions to make me feel like I’m right there with the characters in this world, but not over done where it can bog down the progression of the story.
The character development was also great! We get to see growth of several of our characters on their relationships throughout this read. I liked the representation from several races and how different individuals within those races can actually be. It fits in with realizing you can’t base an entire race off of a single individual. Seeing how different Klaud and Avelloch are was great! We see these characters change quite a bit over the course of book one. Not to try and explain just a little more about Loryk. He’s a great character! I get that his dialog is created for a reason and letting us get to know him more. It just seemed to trip me up a bit throughout.
The very end of Curse of the Fallen left me in shock as well as wanting to see where this story goes from here. I don’t know if I’ll be able to work book 2 in before the third is released but we shall see.
I’d recommend Curse of the Fallen to just about any fantasy book reader. It does lean a bit more on the darker side. It’s not necessarily a feel good happy go lucky type of fantasy read.

World Building 4.5/5
Pacing 4.5/5
Character Development 5/5

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Chad Barnard

Owner/Operator of The Hiking Reader Blog. Sharing thoughts on books and hiking trails and trying to find ways to continue to incorporate both hobbies together.

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