By: Ian Irvine
Synopsis: The world of Santhenar lies in thrall to the maimed God-Emperor. Its people live in fear, watched unceasingly by their tyrant’s sorcerous quicksilver tears. Yet, hidden in that cruelly abused land, there remains one glimmer of hope: the Emperor’s son Nish, incarcerated for a decade in his father’s grimmest dungeon. A beaten people see Nish as the Deliverer, who will cast down his father and end their suffering. But Nish is faced with a harsh choice. If he joins his corrupt father, Nish will have enormous wealth and power, though at a terrible price – his soul. If he resists that temptation he has only two alternatives – to face a further ten years in prison, or join a doomed resistance movement…
Format: The Fate of the Fallen is the first book in the Song of Tears trilogy, part of the greater The Three Worlds series. It is 607 pages long, and follows Maelys and Nish through some difficult decisions (if you read the synopsis above you know at least one difficult decision!). My copy was published in 2007 by Orbit.
My Thoughts: I hope none of you are concerned with larger books, especially because this one will pull you in and keep you reading late at night, regardless of what you are supposed to be doing the next day. I could literally not put this book down, especially because I would dream about it when I finally slept!
This book changes perspective between two main characters, Nish and Maelys, and does a fantastic job at showing you their thought processes without letting that knowledge leak into the other character’s actions. You feel like you understand and relate to both of the characters, yet the characters don’t necessarily know what you do and this keeps a nice tension and suspense throughout the book. It also helps that you some romantic tension, along with some amazing twists, is set up in this first book!
The worldbuilding in this book is very well done, I know I mention this relatively frequently, but it takes a lot of work to set up an entire world, with different areas of history and culture, that has been put through so much turmoil and is still coherent. I enjoy the magic system in this book, the plot keeps you in suspense, the unimaginable power of one character is compelling, but there is one thing that I happen to like the most in this book.
That is the description and characterization of the harsh realities of this world. At the beginning of the book Nish has been imprisoned for ten years, and this has impacts on his personality that he is cognizant of, which is awesome to get to read about! Some of the characters are suffering, or have suffered and not only does this change how they act in the world, it is described in such a way as to elicit a response from the reader. I found myself feeling sympathy for characters normally considered monsters, as I don’t know how I would change if I suffered the same things they did!
Another book I highly recommend, and if you have read it tell me what you think in the comments!!