Book: Reign of the Fallen (Reign of the Fallen 1) by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Release Date: January 23rd 2018
Tags: Fantasy / High Fantasy / Young Adult / Necromancers / Mental Health / Grief / Addiction / LGBTQ+ / Bisexual / Homosexual
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?
This book was one of my most anticipated releases of the year. You can see from the cover why. Necromancers! I need more of those! Yet I am disappointed and not disappointed by this book if that makes sense.
Reign of the Fallen focuses on Odessa who is a necromancer. She helps raise the Death in Karthia, often nobles or royals who are brought back after dying. I loved this aspect of the story. Necromancers, zombies. And necromancers aren’t the only one who have talents as there are also beast masters and healers. Beast Masters! There is a bear in here and he is so precious! I did have some questions regarding the wish of their king to stand still development wise. I just think the reason behind that wasn’t very strong. And looking back I think that I would have liked a bit more beyond Karthia, the rest of the world. But I have a feeling we might get that in the next one.
Writing wise the story flowed well. It was easy to read. I think the story was a bit rushed in parts though.
Character wise I basically loved all of them. Odessa is overall great to follow. When she loves she does it with all of her. Evander is gentle and caring. Simeon and his boyfriend crack me up. They are so precious! Jax is a bit of a bad boy I think. Valoria is adorable and I totally think she should be with Jax. I am all in for that ship. It better happen, Sarah. 😉 I wasn’t initially drawn to Meredy but seeing her with her animal and as she slowly opened up, she is a good person and clearly kicks ass (and totally reminds me of Meridia from Brave haha). I wish we had gotten to see more of Kasmira though, the ship captain. I feel she kind of fell away in the book. What I love most of all of this set of characters are their interactions. Their loyalness and fierceness for each other.
“Assuming we all leave here alive, I’m going to need to hear more about whatever you two are really saying here.” He waves a dagger, eyeing us both. “One way or the other.”
The romance was the biggest failure to me in this book. I think the problem with it lies for me with the transition from the first love to the second love for Odessa. I loved the first love and that they had problems but that they worked through. I loved his character. And then he is gone from the story and the second love enters the story. Don’t get me wrong, they have great chemistry on the page. I am totally on board for that. BUT the second love is related to the first love. Like I cannot okay. Why do they have to be related? And then it moved so quickly, it was a shame. A slow burn would have worked so much better in my opinion. So yes the romance disappointed me to a point.
However I loved the representation in this book. Odessa is bisexual, Simeon is gay, Meredy had a girlfriend and Kasmira was certainly flirting with Odessa there. It also deals with grief, the wish to die, addiction and the need to move forward (invention wise). Some more than others but they were certainly all there. It was more than just a story of a necromancer raising the dead. I think that is one of the most appealing parts of Reign of the Fallen for me.