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Book Review: The Banished

Table of Contents

“There are those who are born into peace and Light, and others who are made to claw through the darkness. You do not understand because you have never lived through that darkness. Once it grips you, there is no coming back.”

During the events of The Forbidden Realms, Avelloch returns to Nyn’Dira and faces the onslaught of the human invasion. But he soon learns the humans aren’t the only threat, and that the fate of the world rests in the hands of a darkness that can’t be tamed.

This novella is meant to be read after ‘The Forbidden Realms’

Title: The Banished

Series: Fallen Light #2.5

Author: H.C. Newell

Page Count: 156

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Date Read: January 26th, 2024

I started reading the Fallen Light series by H.C. Newell last year and I last left off after book two The Forbidden Realms. As I’ve been preparing to read the third book, everyone including the author has been telling me I need to reading The Banished before I get to Shadows of Nyn’Dira. Now that I’ve been through this one I can see why.
 
The Banished timeline did catch me a bit off guard as we do take a step or two backwards to fill in some gaps with characters and story that are taking place leading up to or during The Forbidden Realms. I do feel that this works overall and the stories told in this novella were really good even on their own. It really does help us readers understand what’s been going on with other characters from book one that aren’t as prevalent in book two.
 
The pacing seemed very similar to Newell’s other works that I’ve read to this point. There are some names that can trip readers up a bit if you’re not familiar, which you should be if you’re two and a half books into the series at this point. She also includes some nice reference material at the beginning of the book to help with pronunciations and remind us a bit of who is who which I always appreciate as I often don’t get to binge read series and months go by in between reads.
 
The worldbuilding is one of the key aspects of this read. As I previously mentioned, this helps expand the world by letting us know what some of our other characters from book one and to an extent what some from book two were doing prior to The Forbidden Realms. I think this really helps strengthen the world and story of the series in a whole considerably.
 
The character development is probably the strongest part of this novella and more than likely the key point of this read in general. While reading book two I did miss Avelloch and Klaud from the first book. This novella helps us reconnect with those two along with some others from book one. We have a bit of character arc in this shorter read but I think we see the larger arcs expand if we take a step back and look at the series overall with this added to it.
 
To wrap this review up, I want to mention the amount of emotion to this story and its characters especially early on. Without giving any spoilers I will just say some of the eulogies at a sending ceremony by these characters was heartfelt if not heartbreaking. There is also the emotional connection still between Avelloch, Neer and Klaud. Another nice addition to the story was a new animal companion reunited with one of our characters. I’m a sucker for a good animal companion in stories!
 
I think everyone was correct in reading this between books 2 and 3 simply with what I currently know. I am hoping to get into the third book of the series in the next month or two at the latest. We all know there are so many books we want to read and simply not enough time in the day.

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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