(Cover picture courtesy of Goodreads.)
For hundreds of years, the Blaukenev clan has wandered across Tilzam, from one end to the other and back. Each wagon carries history, love, laughter, pain, sorrow, and secrets. Their greatest secret of all may be Chavali, the clan Seer.
Spirits claim/use/save/damn her.
With her gift/curse, nothing surprises her anymore, no one keeps secrets from her. She, on the other hand, has more than enough secrets to keep. Secrets of her own, secrets of her clan, secrets of the world, secrets she even keeps from herself.
There are always people who want secrets.
Some will do anything to get what they want.
The Fallen is the foundation of the story of The Greatest Sin, of a world adrift from its God that desperately wants Her back. Chavali’s comfortable, predictable life will be ripped apart and burnt to ashes as she’s forced into the middle of that struggle. Change, she hates it passionately. It hates her right back.
[Full disclosure: I received a free ebook in conjunction with the blog tour in exchange for an honest review.]
One of the things that surprised me the most about French and Kort’s world is how vivid it is. Even though we only see a limited bit of it through Chavali, the rich lore of The Greatest Sin as well as the obviously well thought out traditions of Chavali’s people all combine to make it a wonderful fantasy world. I personally would have liked to learn way more about the other countries and the Fallen themselves, but I think that’s for another book entirely. Still, both authors reveal enough about the world that you feel curious about it, but not lost. And that way there’s no huge info-dump right at the beginning; instead there’s a natural learning curve as the book goes on.
The characters were nothing stellar, but they were fairly good. Chavali can be temperamental and rude but I can sort of understand why when people keep touching her and passing on their thoughts without her permission. Especially when those people are particularly repugnant or are like Keino and want things that she can’t and won’t give. Still, Chavali was a very sympathetic character and when you consider just how much she changes from pampered seer to member of the Fallen, you realize she is fairly easy to relate to. Haven’t we all lost some arrogance at one point in our lives?
I can’t reveal too much about the plot without giving away some pretty important spoilers, but let me just say that while it’s not predictable, it’s not completely unpredictable. There are familiar tropes that will allow you to predict what happens next but at the same time, French and Kort mixed things up a bit by introducing the Fallen and revealing more about Chavali’s tribe. So while it’s not an on the edge of your seat plot, it is interesting enough that I wanted to read it in one session. All in all? I’d have to say that The Fallen was pretty good and I can’t wait to start on Harbinger tonight.
I give this book 4/5 stars.