Malice by John Gwynne

(The Faithful And The Fallen, #1)



A black sun is rising …

Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors under King Brenin’s rule, learning the art of war. He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king’s realm. But that day will come all too soon. Only when he loses those he loves will he learn the true price of courage.

The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed shields in battle, the earth running dark with their heartsblood. Although the giant-clans were broken in ages past, their ruined fortresses still scar the land. But now giants stir anew, the very stones weep blood and there are sightings of giant wyrms. Those who can still read the signs see a threat far greater than the ancient wars. Sorrow will darken the world, as angels and demons make it their battlefield. Then there will be a war to end all wars.

High King Aquilus summons his fellow kings to council, seeking an alliance in this time of need. Some are skeptical, fighting their own border skirmishes against pirates and giants. But prophesy indicates darkness and light will demand two champions, the Black Sun and the Bright Star. They would be wise to seek out both, for if the Black Sun gains ascendancy, mankind’s hopes and dreams will fall to dust.


“I shall stay and tell my tale, hope that it may serve some purpose, that eyes shall see it and learn, that the future will not repeat the mistakes of the past. That is my prayer, but what use is prayer to a god that has abandoned all things . . .”

My thoughts

Well, it took me almost three weeks to read this, due to it being a busy time for me just now, and that did impact on my experience because of lack of continuity. This is not a book that you should stop and start. It’s a decent length (672 pages), has a lot of characters, several locations, and a complex politically-driven story line set in a fantasy world.

That said …. I loved it!😍

I just would have loved it even more if I could have committed to reading through it without so many interruptions. If you like a fantasy you can really sink your teeth into then this ticks a lot of boxes. And I can’t believe it’s a debut novel! It’s the first of four books. Since I avoid anything longer than trilogies these days it says something that I am going to finish this series!

UPDATE 15 Nov 2020:
I needed to come back after completing the final book to say that The Faithful & The Fallen has jumped into my top three favourite series. All four books maintained the high standard of writing, tight story arcs, and great character development. For anyone reading reviews of the first book because they are unsure whether to commit to the series, I say ‘Just do it!” You won’t be disappointed.

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