"This edgy fantasy doesn't just blur boundaries of genre, of gender, of past and present, life and death--it explodes them." --Cinda Williams Chima,
New York Times
bestselling author of the Seven Realms series and the Shattered Realms series.
Without the dead, she'd be no one.
Odessa is one of Karthia's master necromancers, catering to the kingdom's ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it's Odessa's job to raise them by retrieving their soul from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised: the Dead must remain shrouded. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, a grotesque transformation begins, turning the Dead into terrifying, bloodthirsty Shades.
A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears around the kingdom. Soon, a crushing loss of one of her closest companions leaves Odessa shattered, and reveals a disturbing conspiracy in Karthia: Someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead--and training them to attack. Odessa is forced to contemplate a terrifying question: What if her magic is the weapon that brings the kingdom to its knees?
Fighting alongside her fellow mages--and a powerful girl as enthralling as she is infuriating--Odessa must untangle the gruesome plot to destroy Karthia before the Shades take everything she loves.
Perfect for fans of Three Dark Crowns and Red Queen, Reign of the Fallen is a gutsy, unpredictable read with a surprising and breathtaking LGBT romance at its core.
Reign of the Fallen (Reign of the Fallen, #1) by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Published by Razorbill on 08/01/2019
Last year I got a copy of Reign of the Fallen and really planned on reading it right away. But after reading a couple of pages I somehow put it down in favor of something else. Last month I finally picked it back up and I’m happy I did! So let’s talk about my thoughts on it today.
Candyce already did a review for this one last year, you can find it here
I adore this cover! The pink is such a nice color and I love the contrast of that soft pink with the skull. Also, that skull is awesome, love that it’s gold and love the crown. I think this gives a pretty decent impression of what the novel is about.
There’s nothing you can do, Valoria. I’m not one of your inventions. I’m broken, part of me is missing, and you can’t fix me with copper wires or a piece of string.
We follow Odessa, or Sparrow as she’s called (and honestly I forgot her real name most of the time) who is a necromancer in Karthia. She works for the King and resurrects the Royal family every time they die. The King has been in power for forever as he’s resurrected over and over. There is a catch though, the Dead have to be covered completely at all times, and when a living person catches a glimpse of them they turn into a Shade. Shades are basically zombies as we ‘know’ them and attack everyone. Odessa can travel between the world of the living and the dead and also battles Shades whenever necessary.
Recently there have been some very strong Shades and people of the Royal family start to disappear. Odessa has to overcome her grief and save Karthia. The actual plot doesn’t sound super unique and honestly, it wasn’t. I guessed the villain pretty early on and the motivation was lacking. But the plot wasn’t the main thing in this novel for me.
I really liked the world Sarah created. Necromancers are super interesting and I enjoyed the Dead in Karthia. It was interesting to see how ruling for that long get’s you stuck in your ways. Another theme in Reign of the Fallen, probably the biggest theme, was grief. I think this was really well done. Odessa loses someone she cares about a lot and doesn’t’ just get over it. She gets lost in her grief for awhile and it takes a lot of effort to start doing stuff again.
While this wasn’t exactly the story I was expecting, and I have to say it took me awhile to become invested, it did turn out to be a story I thoroughly enjoyed. I would recommend this to both fantasy lovers and contemporary readers who would like some light fantasy.
The sun still rises and sets, like it always has. It seems cruel that it wouldn’t stop, just for a little while, to show how much darker the world is without them in it.
The characters were an important part of the story! I’d say we have nine characters that need to be mentioned so we’ll go through them pretty quickly. First up, obviously is Odessa. She was interesting to read about, she’s very capable but also made some incredibly dumb decisions. I think she started off a bit cocky but quickly realized the real consequences to her actions. She also cares deeply and is very loyal.
Evander is her partner necromancer and her lover. He is sweet and loving but not super well-developed. His sister Meredy was way more interesting. She’s a beast mage and has an animal companion, Lysander. He was possibly my favorite thing in the whole book.
Jax is another necromancer and best friends with Odessa. He cared about her a lot and was fun to read about! Simeon is Jax’s necromancy partner and super sweet. His boyfriend Danial is a healer and I liked him a lot. They were very cute together and I liked that Danial was tougher than he first appeared.
Valoria has to be one of my favorite characters. She is a princess, and one of the oldest living members of the Royal family. Valoria is an inventor but also an artist. Her brother Hadrien is one of the other oldest living members of the Royal family. I wish he was developed a bit more but he was super charming. That’s probably why I wanted to know more about him ;). And lastly we have Kasmira. She wasn’t super important but she a pirate and a weather mage and that’s just super cool. I’d like to get a novel or just a novella about her!
Why love hurts when it’s the thing we live for. The thing some people search their entire lives for. The thing some people die for.
I’m happy I decided to pick Reign of the Fallen back up. It was a very enjoyable read with great characters. At some point I’m pretty sure I’ll pick up the sequel. Have you read Reign of the Fallen? Talk to me in the comments!