I am so delighted to be sharing my review today for Malice by John Gwynn.
If you are after starting an epic fantasy series then you definitley need to cast your eyes to this The Faithful & The Fallen series. Malice is the first book.
The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed in battle. An uneasy peace reigns, but now giants stir once more, the very stones weep blood and there are sightings of gigantic worms. Those who can still read the signs see a prophecy realised: sorrow will darken the world, as angels and demons make it their battlefield.
Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors and yearns to join them, determined that he will make his family proud. It is only when everything he knows is threatened that he discovers the true cost of becoming a man.
As the Kings look to their borders, and priests beg answers from the Gods, only a chosen few know that the fate of the world will be decided between two champions, the Black Sun and the Bright Star. And with their coming will be a war to end all wars.
This is a great lump of a lump at 672 pages long and I have to say it was brilliant!
It is told in quick chapters that alternate between the main characters. There is quite a large cast that consists of various Kings, Queens, warriors, knights the list goes on and seems to include people from every walk of life. Rulers of the lands to the stable boy and all manner of others in between.
With this large cast, it would easy to think that it would be confusing to remember them all, this is definitely not the case. The author has created characters that are memorable for so many different reasons. Some are more intriguing than others, some are kind and others are mysterious.
With this being the first in what I think will be an absolute belter of a series, there is some brief history in the prologue to start the scene setting. This is then built upon in a wonderfully paced and totally gripping story. I did take my time with this book as I felt it required a little more concentration, but the further I got the more I could relax as I started to get the plots, characters and general feel of the story in my head.
I loved the setting of this story and map at the beginning was helpful. It made it easier for me to understand the placing of the various parts of the Banished Lands.
The story is EPIC! There are alliances that are not exactly set in stone. Loyalties can lie with whoever looks more likely to win, though not everyone is power mad and has questionable morals. It can be the most unlikely that show the most courage. These are the ones that just carry on the best they can, doing what is expected, trying to stay out of trouble!
With the threat of a prophesied God Was looming there are those who look for signs, they try to interpret them trying to get the upper hand. Others are hunting down and laying claim to ancient relics. It is an age-old battle for ultimate power. These struggles lead to skirmishes that then lead to bloodthirsty battles, they separate families and cost lives.
Oh my… I am waffling so much about this book and seem to be getting nowhere! I am trying to explain who bloody good this book is without giving details away…
Back to basics… John Gwynne has created a truly brilliant story. It is detailed and so absorbing, and even though it did require concentration, I loved everything about it. Quick chapters gave a quick pace. It has things that occur in everyday life for those who live in the Banished Lands and epic bloody skirmishes and battles. There are feuds, quests, vendettas and so, so much more.
If you like fantasy reads then you will love this one. I cannot wait to read the rest of the series as there are so many things that I want to know more about.
Would I recommend Malice? Well, absolutely I would!
Many thanks fo reading my post, a like or share would be brilliant 🙂 xx