Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen #1) by:John Gwynne
The world is broken…and it can never be made whole again.
Corban wants nothing more than to be a warrior under King Brenin’s rule – to protect and serve. But that day will come all too soon. And the price he pays will be in blood.
Evnis has sacrificed – too much it seems. But what he wants – the power to rule — will soon be in his grasp. And nothing will stop him once he has started on his path.
Veradis is the newest member of the warband for the High Prince, Nathair. He is one of the most skilled swordsman to come out of his homeland, yet he is always under the shadow of his older brother.
Nathair has ideas – and a lot of plans. Many of them don’t involve his father, the High King Aquilus. Nor does he agree with his father’s idea to summon his fellow kings to council.
The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and giants clashed in battle, the earth running dark with their heartsblood. Now, the stones weep red and giant wyrms stir, and those who can still read the signs see a danger far worse than all that has come before…
This may be one of the hardest books that I have EVER had to review. Throughout the entire book I felt like I was enjoying it, but found myself reading 10-15 pages at a time and then not ever really wanting to pick it up. I was blaming my mood and not the book, but the farther along I got I realized I think a lot about this book just did not work for me.
This story has multiple POVs and I found myself VERY confused for a lot of it. There were points where I felt like I was getting a grip on what was going on, but then confused again. There was really only two timelines that I cared about and I found myself not really caring for the other story lines. That being said, this book does characters VERY well. The character of Corban is almost impossible not to love. Gwynne plays with the idea of good vs. evil and seems to represent the gray area between the two perfectly!
The last 20% of this book turned around drastically for me though, the plot FINALLY picked up and story lines ended up coming together in a way that I really enjoyed. It wasn’t until after I finished that I came to the conclusion that I am a very PLOT focussed reader. A lot of the issues I had in the story in the beginning was the lack of action and plot. It was full of brilliant character development, however that was not enough to really captivate my attention and keep me wanting to read it.
Overall my feeling are still very scambled on this novel. I do think that I will give the second book a shot, because I enjoyed the direction of the plot at the end of the first book. If you are a fan of character driven epic fantasy I suggest picking this up.