Valor (The Faithful and the Fallen #2)

18513718“One thought circled in his head like the black birds swirling about the mountain peaks.

They must be stopped.”

Author: John Gwynne
Category: Epic Fantasy
Pages: 640
Publication Date: July 22nd, 2014

I like this book a little more than I did the first book, Malice. It is starting to seem like less of of a copycat of Game of Thrones and more like a more unique story is being built out of some of the usual fantasy tropes.

Kid that grows up in relative obscurity turns out to be the one that is prophesied to save the world; an evil that has laid dormant for many years but is now gaining power; special magical items that have been lost to time.

Probably the strongest recommendation that I can make for this series so far is that it takes these things that have become cliché in the fantasy genre and puts it all together into this story that I feel like kind of celebrates the roots of the fantasy genre. Everything about this story just inspires a lot of nostalgia, taking me back to the stories that made me fall in love with fantasy in the first place. The Belgariad, The Lost Years of Merlin, Sword of Truth. This series is different from all of them but brings me back to when I fell in love with fantasy, when sword and sorcery fantasy was all that I knew.

As compared to the first book, the plot in this one got a little more twisty than did is predecessor. Characters developed more and I am longing for the day that Veradis wakes up and sees what he is being a part of. My favorite plotlines were that of Maquin and that of Fidele.

Fidele’s because her story is really the darkest and scariest of those in this story. Maquin’s because I felt like the most subtelty and time was given to his character insofar as how it was so carefully developed, how he is handling the death of Kastell and what it is warping him into.

I considered giving this a lower rating because I feel like there is a lot of potential here that is not yet tapped into but on writing this I am giving it a 7 because I am just getting myself so excited to read the next book.


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