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Book Review: The Forbidden Realms

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“Nerana is a sorceress. An exile. The Child of Skye.
And she isn’t alone.

After a vicious attack against the Order of Saro, Nerana finds herself lost in the wastelands of Aragoth. Forbidden of humans or evae, the desert is a land teeming with fire and vengeance, and Nerana’s only hope for survival lies in the trust of another. 

Aélla, a powerful evaesh sorceress, travels the desert on a pilgrimage of sacrifice and strength. Determined to enter the Realm of Elements and see her quest complete, she must survive the hardened warriors of the desert, the vaxros, who banished her kind from their land centuries ago. 

But the vaxros aren’t the only threat, and the weight of such imbalance could shift the fate of the world.”

Title: The Forbidden Realms

Series: Fallen Light #2

Author: H.C. Newell

Page Count: 440

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Date Read: September 26th, 2023

The Forbidden Realms by H.C. Newell was a follow up read to book one of the series (Curse of the Fallen). I was hoping to get to book two before the third installment was released which I believe is scheduled in either October or November of this year. I honestly think I enjoyed this one slightly more than the first!
 
One thing that I found interesting and done well was that I thought Neer was coming into learning her powers by the end of book one and how sadly mistaken I was. She had so much more growth in book two. We actually get a bigger picture of just how little she does understand what she is capable of.
 
The pacing was done really well again. I felt that book one was bordering on giving that progression type of fantasy where the action is just non-stop and the opponents are getting stronger and stronger. I felt book two was much more rounded. I didn’t have any issues with names or vocabulary but I must mention that the beginning of the book included a pronunciation list which I always love!
 
The world building was also grand in book two. I felt book one was mostly an ominous forest and creepy cave setting. However, book two expands to still include those environments but mostly a new arid wasteland feeling location. We learn more about additional cultures as well as expanding on some introduced previously as well. The author is really submersing us in a great world!
 
The character development was interesting but done well. I mentioned that it seemed like our main protagonist might have taken a step back from where we left off in the first book, but it ends up feeling more like we just didn’t understand her power until compared to some others who have a much great understanding of those powers and what they can do with it. We also have some amazing supporting characters in the second book. And this was needed so much the way the first book ended.
 
The author is putting together a really immersive world and story and I am looking forward to both The Banished (2.5 in the Fallen Light Series) as well as Shadows of Nyn’Dira.

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

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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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