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Book Review: The Fall Is All There Is

Table of Contents

“All Petre Mercy wanted was a good old-fashioned dramatic exit from his life as a prince. But it’s been five years since he fled home on a cyborg horse. Now the King—his Dad—is dead—and Petre has to decide which heir to pledge his thyroid-powered sword to.

As the youngest in a set of quadruplets, he’s all too aware that the line of succession is murky. His siblings are on the precipice of power grabs, and each of them want him to pick their side.

If Petre has any hope of preventing civil war, he’ll have to avoid one sibling who wants to take him hostage, win back another’s trust after years of rivalry and resentment, and get an audience with a sister he’s been avoiding for five years.

Before he knows it, he’s plunged himself into a web of intrigue and a world of strange, unnatural inventions just to get to her doorstep.

Family reunions can be a special form of torture.”

Title: The Fall Is All There Is

Series: Four of Mercies #1

Author: C.M. Caplan

Page Count: 413

Genre: Science Fiction Fantasy

Rating: 4.0/5.0

Date Read: February 11th, 2024

My thirty-fourth read from my personal SPFBO-9 TBR was The Fall is All There Is by C.M. Caplan. This was another one that I knew nothing about when I selected it. The cover really caught my eye. The mechanical looking horse with the almost feudal looking rider wearing a mask looked very intriguing to me.
Granted this selection was made when the entries to the competition were first announced. Since then I’ve seen quite a bit of chatter about this one from both sides. This seems to be one of those ones you really enjoy or really dislike. I haven’t seen a lot of readers falling into more of the middle area. This helped me temper my expectations a bit which ultimately helped me enjoy this one.
I would say the pacing leaned toward the fast. This was one of those reads/listens that even the dialog seemed rushed or frantic. I’m not saying this in a bad way. I just feel this is one of those aspects that may turn some readers off because it doesn’t have that smooth flowing prose that some are looking for. I did immersion read a lot of this one utilizing the audio narrated by Scott Fleming which I thought did an excellent job in telling this story.
The world building was unique as this is one of those stories that attempts to blend fantasy and science fiction more directly. I feel that it worked out fairly well. This almost seemed like a fairly believable alternate world to our own. As a gamer who has a couple of models with some type of mechanical horses or mounts, that was an interesting connection for me to this world. Other than that, we have plenty of different regions and factions or families that make up this politically twisted story.
The character development is a bit different as well. The first thing I’ll say is that our family of quadruplets is simply twisted. I’ve mentioned a few times recently with reads that I find myself not trusting characters much at all these days. This book continues that trend. I mean if you can’t trust family, who can you trust!? It certainly makes for an intriguing story though. We do see some solid arcs for Petre and his siblings though along with some other supporting characters. There is a lot going on with these characters from the start to the end of this one.
I enjoyed this read more than I had expected to. I’ll keep an eye on where the Four Mercies series goes from here.
If you are looking for something a bit different combining both fantasy and science fiction, some twisted family relationships, plenty of political intrigue and a good helping of action scenes without a flowery type of prose, this might be one for you.

World Building 4/5
Pacing 3.5/5
Character Development 4/5

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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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