Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh - NO

Marsh, Sarah Glenn Reign of the Fallen, 378 pgs. Razorbill, 2018. $18. Language: PG: 14 swears (no ‘f’); Mature Content: PG; Violence: PG-13

Karthia is a kingdom where nothing is allowed to change. When members of the ruling family die, necromancers travel to the land of the dead to bring them back to continue their rule; however, there is a cost to such a dangerous manipulation of the natural order. Once someone is brought back, if every bit of them is not covered by a shroud, one glimpse of their body will turn them into a Shade. Attacks by these bloodthirsty monsters are becoming more and more numerous and Odessa must work alongside the other necromancers to protect the kingdom. A tragic loss and demons of her own will cause Odessa to question everything she believes in and force her to decide what lengths she is willing to go to to protect the dead if it means the living will suffer.  

The premise of this book is unique and intriguing. The idea of a place where no change is allowed and the dead are brought back to live a sort of half-life in order to preserve the past should be a fantasy read to get excited about. Unfortunately, when the main character suffers a stunning loss, her spiral downward into grief and addiction takes up a good third of the book and derails the story. There is little to no world building resulting in the reader feeling often as though the book is missing chapters. Overall, scenes of peril and adventure are flat, characters unsympathetic, and the romance between the main character and her dead boyfriend’s sister is disturbing.


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