Title: Reign of the Fallen
Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Series: Reign of the Fallen #1
Genre/s: Young Adult, Fantasy, LGBTQ+
My rating: 3/5 stars
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 souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.
A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?
Will you believe me if I tell you that Reign of the Fallen is one of my most anticipated reads last year but I haven’t been able to read it immediately? (I am very much guilty.)
Anyway, I finally read it this week! Reign of the Fallen, though the pacing of the story and the plot seemed rocky for me, was an enjoyable read and its sequel seems promising.
The writing was okay for me but my interest was coming and going. It was fine, but I wasn’t hooked with it, nor did it blew me away.
Despite this, I really liked how the author wrote about the insecurities of the main character. I also commend her on writing and exploring grief and loneliness and just how it can affect a person.
The characters are fine but I didn’t get attached to them like I thought I would. I liked them enough, there’s no doubt about that, but I’m not that crazy about them.
What I particularly liked though is seeing Odessa go through all of the events in the story and see her try to cope, fail to cope, and then fully recover and get back on track. I really loved that, because for me, it shows that she a flawed main character but she is evolving and growing.
Loved the idea of the plot, but I feel like the execution of it could have been better. In the first half of the book, I kept feeling like the pace of the story and the plot was rocky. Scenes and situations go from high to low then high to low again and the main conflict took quite some time to develop and present itself to the readers. The last 30% of the book was the best part for me.
The world-building is truly unique! I have a fascination with necromancy (this is actually one of the reasons why I was drawn to this book in the first place), and reading all about the world in Reign of the Fallen was awesome!
Necromancers raise the dead and bring them to life so that they can continue to serve as royals or live among their loved ones. Really love this concept. I also love the details about their culture, the different provinces, their different gods. I do hope there’s a lot more of this in the sequel.
I also loved how sexuality isn’t much of a big deal in their society. Odessa, the main character, is bisexual. Some of the minor characters are also either bi or gay.
Quotes from Reign of the Fallen
“Dancing with Evander is like walking on air, but with the certainty of knowing he’ll be waiting to catch me when I’m ready to come back down.”
“I wonder if anyone can ever truly know another person. Or if we all keep a few rooms’ worth of secrets locked away in our minds.”
“Your mother brought you into this world as a whole person. And last I checked, you still are one. No matter what or who you’ve lost.”
Overall, I give Reign of the Fallen three stars! The sequel Song of the Dead seems promising and I definitely want to see where the story goes.
How about you guys? Have you read this book yet?