Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Reign of the Fallen

Sarah Glenn Marsh

A lavish fantasy with a surprising and breathtaking LGBT romance at its core, Reign of the Fallen is a gutsy, unpredictable read that will grab readers by the throat and never let go....

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"This edgy fantasy doesn't just blur boundaries of genre, of gender, of past and present, life and death--it explodes them." --Cinda Williams Chima, New York Times bestselling author of The Seven Realms and The Shattered Realms

Without the dead, she'd be no one.

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 soul from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised: the Dead must remain shrouded. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, a grotesque transformation begins, turning the Dead into terrifying, bloodthirsty Shades.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears around the kingdom. Soon, a crushing loss of one of her closest companions leaves Odessa shattered, and reveals a disturbing conspiracy in Karthia: Someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead--and training them to attack. Odessa is forced to contemplate a terrifying question: What if her magic is the weapon that brings the kingdom to its knees?

Fighting alongside her fellow mages--and a powerful girl as enthralling as she is infuriating--Odessa must untangle the gruesome plot to destroy Karthia before the Shades take everything she loves.

Perfect for fans of Three Dark Crowns and Red Queen, Reign of the Fallen is a gutsy, unpredictable read with a surprising and breathtaking LGBT romance at its core.

Advance Galley Reviews

Stars: 5/5 I really loved this one!! I found both the premise and the execution of the necromancer fantasy storyline to be so well done. Odessa's reactions and emotions seemed so genuine to me and really elicited an empathetic reaction. The atmosphere of the novel had so many elements that reminded me of some of my favorite fantasies (as you can see by the host of comparable titles I have listed), which made me really fall into the story, but it still felt uniquely charming to me. The romance was great and pretty unpredictable. I was a little bummed because I thought one of my favorite characters was going to have a larger role in the story, but it's okay it still worked (I'd read a whole novel just about her tho XD) All in all, I'd definitely recommend this one, especially to fantasy lovers! Chock full of adventure, romance, diversity, and dead people. Comparable Titles: Bright Smoke, Cold Fire Mask of Shadows Graceling Throne of Glass Falling Kingdoms Sabriel

Writing: 4/5 Pace: 4/5 World: 5/5 Characters: 5/5 Plot: 4/5 [B]Overall Rating: 4.5 Stars Ever since I heard about this book Ive been dying to read it. I saw bisexual necromancer and I was sold. In Reign of the Fallen there are necromancers who train to bring people back from the dead. However if any part of the dead persons skin is seen by living eyes they turn into a monstreous zombie called a Shade. With the help of her friends our main character Sparrow is hunting one of the deadliest Shades shes ever heard of while trying to discover if theres more sinister reasons for the Shades appearance. The plot was compelling, but I wish the author hadnt made it obvious who was responsible for the Shade attacks. The writing flowed nicely and the pace was engaging with all the action going on, but the first half didnt completely grip me. I still read this book quickly so it wasnt anything major. The world and magic system were incredibly fascinating. On top of the authors brilliant take on necromancy we get different types of awesome magical abilities, like beast and weather mages. I also thought it was interesting how any kind of change was banned by the King. I loved the LGBT representation and Im happy that we also got some addiction representation as well, but I didnt agree with the way her recovery was approached. I tried not to let it bother me though since this is a fantasy. I liked how the main character was flawed without being unlikeable. Im not usually a fan of hate to love romances, but I enjoyed how it was done in this book. The progression of Sparrows romantic feelings was wonderfully messy and realistic. I could also relate to Sparrows grief since Ive been dealing with it myself lately. It made this book even more impactful for me. I was surprised by how many side characters I got attached to and how much I loved their little friend group. I liked how they all had distinct personalities. Princess Valoria was an amazing inventor and Meredia was a phenomenal beast mage. I freaking loved her bear. Simons humour brought some delightful levity to this dark story and Danials character arc was lovely to read about. I also adored their complexe and beautiful relationship. The last two characters Evander and Jax were the muscle of the group, but they had a lot more layers to them. It was also a nice not to have the King be the antagonist for a change. All the deaths were heartbreaking, but in the best possible way. I wish the book would have been a bit more unpredictable, but overall I still really enjoyed it. This book wrap up nicely, but Im anticipating some piraty stuff in the second and its getting me real excited to get my hands on it. I need more fantasy books with accurate bisexual representation. Plus the cover of this book is like my spirit animal. I absolutely love it. I cant wait to see what the sequels cover is going to look like.

This book was actually really awesome! I normally kind of dread reading some of the YA fantasy novels because a lot of them tend to follow the same rough blueprint of what the story should be and have basically the same played out characters with different names...but Reign of the Fallen has surpassed my expectations. Imagine a world where a loved one passes away and all you had to do was come up with enough money to hire a necromancer to raise them from the dead. In this same world,there are those who can have a strong bond with animals and even control them, and those who can control and change the weather, or heal others with a mere touch. Sounds pretty damn awesome right? But with all these powers there are downsides..the dead cannot have their skin viewed by human eyes or risk becoming inhumane, powerful, bloodthirsty creatures called Shades and necromancers cannot even be risen from the dead. Controlling an animal will cause the beast master to become animal like themselves for a brief period of time after use and healers can do extraordinary things like save people on the brink of death but it leads to temporary paralysis of their arms and they cannot heal themselves. In this world magic always comes at a cost. When someone begins removing the shrouds that cover the dead and purposely turning them into Shades to wreak havoc on innocent townspeople, Odessa must push past the demons that plague her and discover who's behind it and why before its too late. The people she loves and her community are in danger because of the mysterious few who feel the risen dead are simply better off staying dead. If that premise alone didn't interest you, I don't know what will. I've read plenty of books that had an awesome idea but fell flat on the delivery, but this isn't one of those books. The writing was great and easily held my interest while answering all my burning questions as the story progressed. Some parts of the story left me sitting at the edge of my seat, intensely wondering what was going to happen and if I was going to be satisfied with the outcome or have my heart shattered. A few parts of the story that were easy to guess but it didn't make it any less enjoyable. The author did a great job at building an interesting and unique world where magic was prevalent and different power were found in people of certain eye colors. Necromancers had icy blue eyes, those with an affinity for controlling animals had green eyes, people who could change and control weather had grey eyes, etc. She took her time throwing in bits and pieces of information in between the story line to shape the world the characters lived in and left me craving more info about the strangeness of it all. I also liked that in this world there were gay, lesbian and bisexual characters but there was no hate, prejudice or any struggle they faced based on their sexual orientation. In their magical world this just wasn't an issue for anyone, which was nice to imagine. They had bigger problems on their hands anyway. I just read that this is going to be the first book of a series which is great because I would love to read more about this world and the amazing characters Sarah Glenn Marsh has brought to life. She is a magnificent storyteller and I'm interested in the continuation of this book to find out what lies in store for all the characters I came to love. Overall I really liked this book and recommend it for anyone that gets a kick out of reading YA novels, even if they may not be a young adult, like myself.

I received an ARC of this novel via FirstToRead by Penguin Random House LLC in exchange for an honest review. Odessa/Sparrow is one of Karthia's newest master necromancers, leading the recently deceased between the realms of the vast Deadlands and the living world. Necromancers not only lead the spirits between realms but are also in charge of raising and slaying the dead to maintain the extended rule of King Wylding and his kin. When the dead are viewed by the living they turn to hungry Shades who feed of both the living and the dead. When Shades begin to cross over to the land of the living and attack the villages Odessa and the other necromancers are charged with finding those who are responsible. Reign of the Fallen is a YA fantasy novel that discusses death and love and the sacrifices people are willing to make for those they love and what they believe in. This novel does include some content such as violence and addiction as well as same and opposite sex romantic elements which I felt the Author did a great job incorporating into the plot without any element being overdone. I really enjoyed this novel and think that it will be a top read for I LOVE the cover!! I really enjoyed the magical elements of the novel; in addition to the necromancers there are healers, weather mages, and beast masters; which I hope the author will explore more in future novels...I definitely want more of Lysander the Bear. I personally prefer stronger female protagonists and Sparrow came across as someone always needing someone to rescue her but overall this was an enjoyable read.


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