‘Reign of the Fallen’ by Sarah Glenn Marsh was so-so.
Synopsis: Odessa is a newly minted Master Necromancer, a job that involves venturing into the Deadlands and bringing nobles back from the dead. The dead must remain covered at all times amongst the living, if not, they turn into Shades; monsters that devour and who cannot be reasoned with. When Odessa undertakes the task of raising the King, a huge loss befalls her and sets the kingdom on a path of fear and distrust. The dead are going missing, and there is an increase in Shade attacks. With only a handful of Master Necromancers at the Kings disposal, it falls upon Odessa to right the wrongs.
Odessa is selfish. She admits it (quite a few times if I remember correctly) and I honestly couldn’t agree more. I think she’s why it took me nearly a whole month to read this book. I struggled to get past her personality and the choices she made. I understand that because of certain events she may have acted in odd ways (grief has a way of doing that) but that still doesn’t mean I have to like her. Just makes me pity her. She isn’t a strong person and she would have died countless times if not for the people around her coming to her rescue. The same people she ended up taking for granted.
I would have liked to have seen more interaction with Master Cymbre. More interaction with any of the people close to Odessa that died to be honest. Half the deaths I felt nothing for because I wasn’t told/shown I should care. Odessa obviously had the most character development but I felt the book was mostly plot driven. That’s all I ended up caring about towards the end; how does the story pan out?
I found the inclusion of the potion addiction so bizarre. I don’t entirely know why it was included? If you have a theory, please, let me know because apart from giving Odessa the excuse of erratic behaviour, I am literally drawing a blank. On the subject of addiction, I found it could potentially be a trigger? And I disliked how it was made into a joke when Odessa was reunited with coffee beans. Talk about insensitive.
I loved Karthia and wish I could have seen more of it. The Deadlands also sound like an interesting place and it was described immensely well. So much of this book was solid. Unfortunately, it could also have done with a bit more nurture. It’s got great foundations like I said, but it needs more time, more love, more thought behind some scenes and actions.
I didn’t hate it but I’m also not crazy about it. It’s in that neutral, detached space of mind for me. I do have to say though, that cover is phenomenal. It’s so rare for a cover to be that great period, but I feel like the story doesn’t entirely deserve it. Am I being harsh here? I feel like I’m being bitchy.
“Those finished with life crave it less over time.”
I received this in Shelflove Crate’s January ‘Royal Pains’ box.
You can get it here