Heartstone – Pride, Prejudice, and Dragons

30037275The lovely people at Harper Voyager must think I am super lonely, because they keep sending me fantasy romance novels (don’t stop). As this is the week of Valentine’s Day, I decided it would probably be appropriate to review one of the standout reads from the group. That one in particular is Heartstone, by Elle Katherine White. I am not immensely familiar with the works of Jane Eyre, but the book distinctly feels like a piece evoking her writing style in a fantasy setting – a version of Pride and Prejudice I can really get behind. It turns out the addition of dragons makes almost any book something I am interesting in.

Heartstone tells the story of Aliza, a quaint farm girl, who is the middle daughter of a fairly large family with a ton of girls. Her home is being raided by wild griffons, and things have come to a head when the most recent attack leaves her youngest sister dead. To deal with the menace, the town bands together and spends enough money to hire riders – essentially mythical exterminators, The riders are all warriors that have bonded with mythical animals to help them combat other creatures, and the warrior’s companions run the gamut from large super bear to wyvern. However, there is one family – and only one – that have bonded with one of the greatest creatures of all, dragons. Our male love interest in the story is, of course, from this family, and is one of the riders who comes to the village to deal with the griffins. While I am no expert at romance novels, this seems to me a fairly standard set-up for most novels (minus awesome dragons) and I was ready for a decent story with some of my favorite giant lizards thrown in for some flair. What I was not ready for was how good Elle Katherine White is at worldbuilding.

The characters in Heartstone are good, interesting and immersive to the point where I was invested in their lives and story, but what really drew me in was the world that White has crafted. The setting and politics of Heartstone are extremely well developed, making the world feel like a real place that people inhabit. The creatures and places of the story are some of the coolest I have read in recent memory. You have things like forge-wrights, creatures of flame and metal that work smithies and craft things out of heartstone (the hearts of other mythic creatures) with their bare hands. Or several locations with rich histories and vividly described towns and homes that stand out in my memory. This is a world I want to be in longer and more. The riders themselves fascinate me. White dives in to their training and history slightly, but not nearly enough for my liking. This story left me wanting to hear more and more of White’s world because I didn’t get nearly enough.

The issues of Heartstone stem just from that, it is too short. I felt like White needed to make this a trilogy – something I don’t often say – because it just needed more space. I felt the relationships in the story developed a little too rapidly, the ending was a bit abrupt, and I was left wanting to see a lot more of the world than I got to. However, as they say, if your critique of a book is that there needed to be more of it, it is a sign you were enjoying yourself.

As I said, I do not usually go in for romance novels, but Heartstone had me invested from start to finish. While its short length took away from a bit of my enjoyment, I have also marked down Elle Katherine White as one of the most exciting debut authors I have read in awhile. I will certainly be paying attention to her future releases as I think she will have a successful writing career ahead of her. I would love to see White write an epic fantasy with this level of worldbuilding. Regardless, if you are looking for a little romance this week, or like Pride and Prejudice but think it needed more dragons, The Quill to Live recommends you check out Heartstone.

Rating: Heartstone – 7.5/10

All You Need Is Love – 25 Perfect Love Quotes In Fantasy

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Fantasy art by Sergey Lesiuk, Ukraine.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone. Fantasy books are not usually considered the best places to look for love. With the constant sword fights, dragons, and grim dark plot lines there is often not a lot of room for love. However, there are still tons of instances of beautiful affection to be found if you know where to look. To celebrate the holiday of love I have compiled a list of 25 of my favorite quotes from fantasy that express love to use on your significant other (or to acquire one). All of them are guaranteed to cause hearts to explode with affection and increase the happiness of all involved. I hope it brings a little bit of love to each and everyone of you, and have a wonderful day.

  • “Love is not about conquest. The truth is a man can only find true love when he surrenders to it. When he opens his heart to the partner of his soul and says: “Here it is! The very essence of me! It is yours to nurture or destroy.” -David Gemmell, Lord of the Silver Bow
  • “You are the harbor of my soul’s journeying.” -Guy Gavriel Kay, Tigana
  • “Quit being so hard on yourself. We are what we are; we love what we love. We don’t need to justify it to anyone… not even to ourselves.” -Scott Lynch, The Republic of Thieves
  • “At first glance, the key and the lock it fits may seem very different. Different in shape, different in function, different in design. The man who looks at them without knowledge of their true nature might think them opposites, for one is meant to open, and the other to keep closed. Yet, upon closer examination he might see that without one, the other becomes useless. The wise man then sees that both lock and key were created for the same purpose.” -Brandon Sanderson, The Well of Ascension
  • “In many ways, unwise love is the truest love. Anyone can love a thing because. That’s as easy as putting a penny in your pocket. But to love something despite. To know the flaws and love them too. That is rare and pure and perfect.” -Patrick Rothfuss, The Wise Man’s Fear
  • “I would rather share one lifetime with you than face all the ages of this world alone.” –J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
  • “And he took her in his arms and kissed her under the sunlit sky, and he cared not that they stood high upon the walls in the sight of many.” ―J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King
  • “Love is that condition in which the happiness of another person is essential to your own.” -Robert A. Heinlein, Stranger in a Strange Land
  • “You have made a place in my heart where I thought there was no room for anything else. You have made flowers grow where I cultivated dust and stones.” -Robert Jordan, Shadow Rising
  • “Love doesn’t sit there like a stone, it has to be made, like bread; remade all of the time, made new.” -Ursula K. Le Guin, The Lathe of Heaven
  • “There is a primal reassurance in being touched, in knowing that someone else, someone close to you, wants to be touching you. There is a bone-deep security that goes with the brush of a human hand, a silent, reflex-level affirmation that someone is near, that someone cares.” -Jim Butcher, White Knight
  • “It was well for him, with his chivalry and mysticism, to make the grand renunciation. But it takes two to make love, or to make a quarrel. She was not an insensate piece of property to be taken up or laid down at his convenience. You could not give up a human heart as you could give up drinking. The drink was yours, and you could give it up: but your lover’s soul was not you own: it was not at your disposal; you had a duty towards it.” – T.H. White, The Once and Future King
  • “She did not think it was love. She did not think it was love when she felt a curious ache and anxiety when he was not there; she did not think it was love as she felt relief wash over her when she received a note from him; she did not think it was love when she sometimes wondered what their lives would be like after five, ten, fifteen years together. The idea of love never crossed her mind.”  -Robert Jackson Bennett, City of Stairs
  • “Love is not a whim. Love is not a flower that fades with a few fleeting years. Love is a choice wedded to action, my husband, and I choose you, and I will choose you every day for the rest of my life.” -Brent Weeks, The Blinding Knife
  • “A marriage is always made up of two people who are prepared to swear that only the other one snores.” -Terry Pratchett, The Fifth Elephant
  • “I guess each of us, at some time, finds one person with whom we are compelled towards absolute honesty, one person whose good opinion of us becomes a substitute for the broader opinion of the world. And that opinion becomes more important than all our sneaky, sleazy schemes of greed, lust, self-aggrandizement, whatever we are up to while lying the world into believing we are just plain nice folks.” -Glen Cook, Shadow Games
  • “Love is like recognition. It’s the moment when you catch sight of someone and you think There is someone I have business with in this life. There is someone I was born to know.” Daniel Abraham, Rogues
  • “All of us are lonely at some point or another, no matter how many people surround us. And then, we meet someone who seems to understand. She smiles, and for a moment the loneliness disappears.” -Helene Wecker, The Golem and the Jinni
  • “I have known you since the world was born. Everything you are is what you should be. Everything you should be is what you are. I know all of you, and there is nothing in you I do not love.” -Matthew Woodring Stover, Caine’s Law
  • “He’d told me the world could be the most lovely place you could imagine, so long as your imagination was fueled by love.” -Sebastien de Castell, Knight’s Shadow
  • “The heart is neither given nor stolen. The heart surrenders.” -Steve Erikson, House of Chains
  • “How can you regret never having found true love? That’s like saying you regret not being born a genius. People don’t have control over such things. It either happens or it doesn’t. It’s a gift – a present that most never get. It’s more like a miracle, really, when you think of it. I mean, first you have to find that person, and then you have to get to know them to realize just what they mean to you – that right there is ridiculously difficult. Then… then that person has to feel the same way about you. It’s like searching for a specific snowflake, and even if you manage to find it, that’s not good enough. You still have to find its matching pair. What are the odds?” -Michael J. Sullivan, Heir of Novron
  • “He wondered how it could have taken him so long to realize he cared for her, and he told her so, and she called him an idiot, and he declared that it was the finest thing that ever a man had been called.” -Neil Gaiman, Stardust
  • “Well,” she said, “I should think it would do every man good to have a wife who isn’t as in awe of him as everyone else is. Somebody has to keep you humble.” – Brandon Sanderson, Warbreaker

Red Sister – The Gauntlet Has Been Thrown

red2bsister2bcoverSo I read an ARC of Red Sister, by Mark Lawrence, back in December but I have been holding off talking about it because I wanted to review it closer to publication date, and because I needed to calm down a little so that this review wasn’t the word vomit equivalent of “go buy it now”. I like to think that Mark and I have a fairly interesting relationship in that I have moved from one of his loudest detractors to one of his larger fans. The Thorns trilogy was really not my thing, but I found The Red Queen’s War charming, fun, exciting, and very well written. When Mark announced that he had a new series coming out, in a completely new setting, I was excited. I looked forward to seeing if my enjoyment of Mark’s work would continue to grow, and maybe his new book would be his best yet. I was not ready for Red Sister.

Red Sister is of a fairly different style than Mark’s earlier books, but is still completely him. The book feels like the spiritual sibling to Name of the Wind and Blood Song, but might surpass them both for me.  The book tells the story of Nona, an orphan of sorts who enters into the Sisterhood – an order of battle nuns that specialize in training girls to be Sisters. Sisters are trained to be warriors, scholars, tacticians, and magic users all in the service of a well rounded education in being awesome. The book’s plot is character driven, revolving solely around Nona’s life and various challenges and events that confront her and how she handles them. Mark has always been an excellent character writer, and a focus on this as the driving force of the book was an excellent choice – as he has only gotten better. The cast is fantastic, and the book places a large emphasis on friendship and the development of relationships that really struck home for me. Red Sister takes place in a magic school of sorts, and the teachers are some of the best since Harry Potter. Their charismatic classes, weird personalities, and clear love of their students nailed my guilty pleasure of magical schools when it comes to fantasy.

The characters are phenomenal, but the world is no slouch either. In traditional Lawrence style, there are some interesting things going on in the world that I won’t spoil, but the magic system might be one of my favorite of all time. The world of Red Sister has four ‘schools of magic/powers,’ each based on bloodlines. People of the world are descended from four distinct groups, each with their own powerful traits. While most individuals have had so much mixing they do not have the powers of any, a small collection are still able to access the powers, abilities, and traits of their ancestors. Some of these people can even access to more than one. Gerants are gigantic, hunskas can move at extreme speeds, marjals have small unique magic powers that remind me of the x-men, and quantals can manipulate energy around them to powerful effects. Nona is a hunska – but we see action from all four and the interplay between these groups is some of the most exciting reading I have done in a long time.

Speaking of Nona and her hunska abilities, the combat in this book is astoundingly good. Red Sister would do Joe Abercrombie proud and has some of, if not the, best fighting I have ever read. As mentioned, hunskas can move at extreme speeds but they also can perceive time more slowly allowing them to assess their fighting as it happens. Nona’s ability to have an inner monologue of analysis while she is fighting for her life enhance the thrill and adrenaline of fights greatly. In one particular scene involving a test, I got so immersed in what was happening my significant other started shaking me because I had started screaming aloud without realizing it. The combat is that good.

Red Sister also feels like a kinder and more mature book than Mark’s earlier work. While it is not as grim or dark as his first two trilogies, it is certainly not a bastion of sunshine. In the past I have had minor difficulty following the plot of some of Mark’s books, but Red Sister strikes the perfect balance of keeping you in the know and letting mystery build. The book grounds you in the world, establishes the status quo quickly, but then centers you on Nona’s life as a focus. This allows for a great structure, but also leaves tons of room for Mark to improvise to keep things interesting (which he does in spades). In line with this, Red Sister tells a very full and satisfying story but it only feels like the tip of the iceberg. On finishing the last page I got the sense that he is just getting started and it is only going to get better from here.

I don’t actually have any criticisms for Red Sister. It is always possible for a book to be better, but I personally can’t think of a way I would improve Mark’s newest creation. It is definitely going to be a contender for my number one spot of 2017 and I suspect it is going to sweep the awards this year. 2017, the gauntlet has been thrown and the challenge has been sounded. Red Sister has set the bar high for fantasy this year and we shall have to see if anyone can meet it. The Quill to Live unequivocally recommends Red Sister by Mark Lawrence, go buy it now.

Rating: Red Sister – 10/10

Gilded Cage – A Glittering Debut

30258320I was going through the upcoming releases when I saw that one in particular, Gilded Cage by Vic James, was getting a lot of buzz. After taking an initial look at it, I acquired an ARC from netgalley and decided that it was likely going to be a book I was supposed to enjoy more than I did. You know the type, something that is hyped as the next Game of Throne or Harry Potter, but never lives up to the sell. So I tossed my copy on my to-be-read pile and forgot about it for a month. I eventually decided I could use a break from fantasy with some historical fiction and maybe see if Gilded Cage might be ok, and then I promptly had to eat my words and feelings because it is pretty damn good.

I say it is a historical fiction, but I realized near the end that it is more akin to an urban fantasy (look a lot of people were on horses and I jumped to conclusions about time periods, it is the present. My track record with this book is embarrassing). The story is set in a present day London, but with a radically different world than ours. In the world of Gilded Cage, there are two groups of people; the skilled (called equals) and everyone else. The skilled are those who can perform magic, and it sets them above their fellow man. The skilled are treated differently in every society (some that we hear snippets of, such as Americans who hunted their into extinction) but in London they formed an aristocracy that rules over the land. In England, in order to keep the economy afloat, each unskilled must submit to ten years of slavery at the time of their choosing. Some do it young, some do it old, but they all do it. The slavery can take the form of anything from back breaking manual labor in the textile industry to being the butler or personal slave of a skilled. But no matter what the experience is horrible and usually changes the person for the worst. Our protagonists are two families, one skilled and one unskilled. The skilled family is one of the leading aristocratic families, with an older son who is a brute, a sweet middle son who is unskilled, and a strange youngest son Silyen who is quiet and eerie but is unprecedentedly skilled at… well, skill. The second family is a group just entering their slave days, some in a back breaking shanty town and some at the gilded palace of the Skilled. The plot follows several POVs in each family and what a plot it is.

The prologue of the book left me a little disappointed and made me think that the story was going to be a melodramatic sob story, but once again I misjudged it. Despite the upsetting topic of slavery, Vic James does a great job exploring the horrors of the subject without being too over the top. In addition, the skilled families are painted with a variety of personalities and shades of grey that make it both easy to hate some and hard to hate others. The book’s primary strength definitely resides in its characters, both main and support. Almost every character is well fleshed out and interesting, but for now I will focus on the three main POVs. Silyen, as mentioned before, is the youngest and most skilled of one of families. He is unhappy with the status quo of the world and dislikes that skilled live lives of luxury while the unskilled do labor – but not for the reason you would expect. See Silyen isn’t a romantic revolutionary – he is obsessed with the skill and feels that the equal’s slavelord status has keep skill from improving. Abi is the oldest child of the unskilled family and is helping protect her family in a skilled household and dig up secrets on their reclusive kind. Finally, Luke is the middle child of the unskilled family and has been shipped off to the machine shops in the worst part of the country. There he joins a revolution fighting against the equals. All their stories are fun, exciting, and filled with twists and intrigue. I really enjoyed the plot and am excited for more.

The only major cons in the book were that the ending felt a bit abrupt and that some of the details of the world could be fleshed out a bit more. The ending is a huge cliffhanger and it left me feeling like I didn’t quite get a full book. However, it certainly left me wanting more and it isn’t going to stop me from picking up the sequel as soon as possible. In addition, I felt it hard to understand the time period and state of the world occasionally and I wish that the same level of attention given to building out the cast was spent on their surroundings.

Other than these minor nit pickings, the Gilded Cage delivered a much better story than i could have imagined and is well on its way to earning a spot on my best of 2017, and it is only February. Vic James has created a fascinating new entry into the fantasy genre that is hard to classify, other than as good. The Quill to Live definitely recommends you learn from my mistake and pick up and read Gilded Cage with little delay.

Rating: 8.0/10

Bone – Worn To The Bone

bone-completeAs I have mentioned in a few earlier posts, I am trying to branch out a little bit. One of the ways that this has taken form is in looking at new and interesting mediums, such as graphic novels, to read and experience fantasy. I got the chance to check out a few fantasy graphic novels, but invested most of my time into reading Bone, by Jeff Smith. Bone is a fairly well known nine book graphic novel series about a classic farm girl/boy fantasy tale starring a princess and three anthropomorphic bones, Fone, Phoney, and Smiley. The tale follows them as they leave their hometown to escape a riot and travel through a new kingdom filled with dragons, magic, and an age old conflict.

The set up sounds fairly run of the mill, but Bone stands out as a unique take on the classic fantasy hero’s journey. Fone Bone and Thorn, a human he meets right off the bat, are the two true protagonists and they both have a lot of depth to them. Bone is dripping with charm and atmosphere and has its own unique feel, one that I like very much. Smith has a clean and punny sense of humor that I really enjoy, and it makes most of the dialogue in the book excellent. I rarely found myself laughing out loud, but was often smiling to myself as I read the nine books. The cast of characters is quite large, but they are all very well developed and likable.

The quests and tasks that the cast have to endure are quirky and weird, but in a good way. Jeff Smith has a talent for taking concepts that seem childish and ridiculous and making them very enjoyable for an adult. For example, here are a few of the topics the novels cover: a massive cow race in which everyone enters cows to race against one human, an intricate economy based on eggs, a three story French mountain lion who takes hostages, and a romance for the ages between a human and an anthropomorphic bone. All of these things sound weird, but Smith makes them work really well – all giving Bone its unique fun flavor. One final positive, the art of the novel is also fantastic. Smith has a fairytale style that suited his story really well and I loved the art from start to finish.

Despite all these positive things, I had one major issue with the series. Bone is often regaled as being great because it was written as one cohesive planned out storyline, not nine separate episodic books, something rare for graphic novels. This supposedly makes the story feel much more fluid and well written compared to its compatriots. However, if this is the case, I wonder why I felt so bored with it toward the end. The fun feel of the books never diminished, but as Bone continued into its sixth, seventh, and onward installments I just felt like I was seeing the same plot arc over and over again. The rebellious princess remained rebellious, the trouble making cousin continued to learn nothing from past failures, the protagonists continued to have the patience of angels as the support cast wore on them, and the doomsday like antagonist continued to loom in the distance. In addition, when the resolution finally came in the final book I actually found it fairly anticlimactic – especially when I thought about how much build up went into it. Bone has an amazing world that I enjoyed being in, but I left it feeling like I wished more had happened.

If you had asked me to rate Bone when I was in the first three books, I would have given you something very high. The charming cast, world, and story are all delightful and I would hope everyone would check it out. But, as the books went on the plot started to wear on me until I found myself a little bored with it despite the world still being great. Bone is certainly worth checking out, but I think I will continue to look for alternative fantasy graphic novels that have plots I might enjoy more.

Rating: Bone – 6.5/10

Five Reasons Why You Should Be Reading The Expanse

corey_babylonsashes_hcI recently finished Babylon’s Ashes (which was fantastic), by James S. A. Corey, and was moved to take a moment to talk about The Expanse in case there is anyone out there not currently reading it. For those of you unfamiliar with The Expanse, it is a mega space opera set over nine books that are still being published, of which Babylon’s Ashes is the sixth. The series is one of my favorites, and below I am going to simply outline a list of reasons that you should be reading it so that it can be one of your favorites too. For those of you looking for a Babylon’s Ashes review, I do not have one for reasons outlined below, but it is suffice to say that it is excellent.

 

  • It is basically Game of Thrones in Space – This is a gross oversimplification, but an analogy that is actually useful in this instance. The Expanse is a space opera, which essentially means that the sci-fi is window dressing. The story is all about the excellent characters that litter the books. Much like GoT, the books are all about the individual stories of the people who make up a larger world, and their personal struggles bring the plots to life. It is very accessible to all readers as it appeals to both readers who don’t like science fiction and those looking for an introduction to the genre – making it a series for everyone.
  • The aforementioned characters are amazing – As mentioned in the previous reason, these books are about people – and boy is there a diverse cast. The Expanse has someone for everyone and one of the most eclectic and interesting casts I have ever encountered. There are multiple POV’s per book, with only one carried over from novel to novel. This allows the story to give you a center-thread to orient yourself from, while also exposing you to a huge cast with tons of different perspectives and identities. In addition, not only is the cast diverse, it is also extremely memorable – creating some of my favorite characters of all time. If you read these books and don’t like Chrisjen Avasarala I am going to assume you are a robot.
  • The books are all self contained, but also have a continuous plot – Several people have mentioned to me that the reason they haven’t picked up The Expanse is that it is not complete. Starting unfinished series can blow when you are left with cliffhangers every year, but The Expanse gives you a satisfying and self-contained story every time. Each of the books is about humanity tackling a new and interesting problem thrown at it. These include: war, the unknown, politics, poverty, new frontiers, the military, terrorists, and almost always some sort of extinction level threat. Each book feels distinct from the rest, but also passes the touch of an overarching backbone of the plot. While the series isn’t finished yet, each year I get a book that leaves me satiated, but excited for the sequel.
  • They are consistently on time and consistently good in quality – Speaking of release schedules, these books almost always come out annually. There has only ever been one delay, and it was just for a few months while one of the authors finished a different series. The books are published on one of the the most predictable schedules I have seen and it keeps me pumped for their release month every year. More importantly, all the books are excellent. Babylon’s Ashes was probably in my bottom half of the six books released so far, and I still would give it at least a 9/10. It is unbelievable how these authors can continuously deliver quality time after time and I trust that they will be able to finish up the final three in the same pattern.
  • James S. A. Corey is a pen name for two authors, and they both bring their A game to the story – Corey is actually two people, Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. Abraham is an extremely creative writer who is known for his strange book premises and unpredictable plot lines. However, his writing can also be occasionally a little dull and slow, making it hard to appreciate his creativity. Ty Franck is a sci-fi author known for his action sequences and pulse pounding scenes, but can occasionally let the action get in the way of story. Together, the two of them eliminate their weaknesses and amplify their strengths, creating some of the best prose I have read in the genre.

These books are good, really good, to the point where I can never bring myself to review them after I finish because the post would just be “yea it’s still amazing”. On top of being an amazing, huge, and engrossing book series – there is now a TV show on Syfy that does it justice and expands the world further. On top of that, Corey regularly releases novellas and short stories from the universe – sometimes for free – that expand it further and are great reads. So if you have reservations of reading The Expanse, or were holding off for some reason, or simply haven’t picked up the most recent book – go check it out. The world is getting bigger and better and I want all of you to experience the joy and wonder of exploring the unknown with Corey as your co-pilot.

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Wrath – The Wrap Up

27411345I feel like I am trapped in a hundred ongoing series these days, so it is both relieving and alarming to actually finish one. I recently got to wrap up The Faithful and The Fallen, by John Gwynne, with the fourth and final book in the series, Wrath. For those of you unfamiliar with the series, I have talked about it before and even had an interview with Gwynne about it. The story is a classic fantasy tale about a farm boy with a destiny, but the twist is there are multiple metaphorical farm boys. The series has been the freshest addition to the genre since The Wheel of Time finished a few years back, but does the final book of the quartet continue the tradition of excellence or fall short?

The short answer is it does both, but let me take some time to lay out what I mean. The strengths of The Faithful and The Fallen (TFATF) are John Gwynne’s punchy short form narration, great characters driving the story, and a constant shifting of the balance of power between good and evil so that each is constantly clawing their way to be slightly above the other in strength every few chapters. These elements combine to make TFATF a fast and exciting read, despite the books actually being quite large. The story itself is not the most original of all time, a chosen one of the forces of good must fight the chosen one of the forces of evil – it actually reminded me a lot of the plot of Star Wars. However, the strengths mentioned earlier on make TFATF shine like a bright light in the landscape of similar books.

Wrath continues to have excellent characters, and Gwynne’s great short form narration, but i found that with TFATF I enjoyed the journey more than the destination. Wrath does a fantastic job ending the story of TFAFT, nicely closing off a ridiculous number of plot lines with elegance that makes it clear Gwynne planned out his series meticulously. That being said, I liked the build up and twists of all the stories much more than I enjoyed their actual conclusions. Wrath has a lot of major battles in it, and looking at what my fellow reviewers are saying, a lot of people like that! On the other hand, I found the personal stories of the 100+ characters in TFATF the reason I came back to the series over and over again, and Wrath feels much less like all the characters getting personal endings, and much more like a grand fireworks display.

Despite my earlier comments, I can’t hold any of my complaints against Wrath because all the elements I don’t like revolve around the fact that the story is ending. The real reason I am upset is that TFATF is over. It is such a funny thing that all of us complain how long some series take to finish,  but when I finish a great one like The Faithful and The Fallen I am heart broken that there won’t be more coming. John Gwynne has been very successful with his first series and has been talking about a new one coming out in the future, and I cannot wait to see what he has planned for us next.

Rating:
Wrath – 7.5/10
The Faithful and The Fallen – 8.0/10