Title: Reign Of The Fallen
Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Page Count: 384 pgs.
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Release Date: January 23, 2018
Trigger Warnings: Death, Blood, Zombies?, Addiction.
Hiiii Unicorn lovers, it’s Lori!🦄✨
I’m apart of the Reign Of The Fallen Blog Tour & I hope enjoy my review + Author Interview!
I’ve been DYING to read Reign Of The Fallen & my friend Shawn gave me a copy because she’s SO sweet and knows I wanted to read it.
Spoiler Alert: I cried.
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.
[Give credit if the photo is posted elsewhere because it’s mine].
First of all I want to acknowledge the amount of diverse characters of sexuality & POC. This is an #OwnVoices for Bisexual Rep with Odessa being Bisexual which always warms my heart to see proper Rep.
So many characters offered different skills that was incredibly useful throughout the novel. Each person had unique skills & powers that I personally wanted to have. Who wouldn’t want to be a weather worker and summon lighting or be a Beastmaster to befriend animals?
This book also had empowering Female characters that were incredibly badass & represented Feminism in such a great way. I did enjoy this book but, I noticed when reading the beginning that it was quite slow for me to continue then was fast paced after a heartbreaking event occurs.
Odessa faces addiction & grief from so much loss that was well written to the point of realism which was interesting to see in Fantasy. I also noticed that the majority of the book was mostly centered around Odessa while there were so many characters in the background. I felt that these characters had so much more potential that was originally shown & needed more limelight.
I understand she was the protagonist, but I also wanted to see each character like Valoria, Kasmira, & Evander to not be short lived because they had so more abilities to be shown.
I do must say that this book is more centered on character development than world building because the world needed a bit more work & a few plot holes. At times it was tough to wrap my head around each event & relationship because there was so many things all at once.
Overall this was such an enjoyable Fantasy read with Zombies, Necromancy & Bisexuality which was an interesting mixture! I CAN’T WAIT UNTIL BOOK 2!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Sarah Glenn Marsh is an author of young adult novels including Reign of the Fallen and Fear the Drowning Deep, as well as children’s picture books like Selfie Sebastian and A Campfire Tail. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since. She lives in Virginia with her husband and their tiny zoo of four rescued greyhounds, three birds, and many fish.
When she’s not writing, she’s often painting, or engaged in nerdy pursuits from video games to tabletop adventures. You can visit her online at www.sarahglennmarsh.com, and follow her on Twitter @SG_Marsh.
1) What/who inspired such unique & uncommon names for characters in the book? For instance, Odessa, Dvora, Kasmira etc.
A: The answer actually isn’t too exciting, but: I did Google searches for ‘unusual names’ and picked ones that sounded *almost* like names we’re used to hearing, but not quite. Here’s an example of what I mean: “Meredy,” one of Odessa’s friends in the story, sounds a lot like “Meredith” or “Melody,” but is unique all the same. Some of them, though, I came up with myself!
2) Did the name or idea of the book come first?
A: The idea definitely came first! The original title was “Bitter Marigold and Mallow Sweet” because of the importance of flowers and their meanings in the book! However, it’s actually my husband who came up with the final title, Reign of the Fallen—the moment he said it, I knew it was the right one!
3) If you could bring one celebrity back to life who would it be and why?
A: Ooh, this is tough since my favorite celebrity (Nick Jonas!) is alive and well.
I think I’d bring back David Bowie; the world still needs Bowie and his music!
4) What inspired you to write a novel based on Zombies, Necromancy etc?
A: The idea for Reign of the Fallen was inspired by my grandmother’s stay in the hospital; thankfully, she’s fine now, but the situation got me thinking: how far would someone be willing to go to bring a loved one back from the dead? What sort of sacrifices would someone make in order to bring an important person back into their lives, and what consequences might that decision have? Those questions led me to the Greek mythical hero Orpheus, who attempts to rescue his wife from the underworld and is told by Hades that he can take her back to the living world as long as he doesn’t look at her until they’re both out of his realm.
Spoiler alert: he takes a peek and loses her forever. Drawing from that mythology and others, as well as researching various rituals surrounding death from all over the world, helped me to start building the world of Reign of the Fallen, where the Dead must wear shrouds in the living world or else become monsters; where change of even the smallest sort is outlawed because the Dead fear it; where entering the spirit world demands a painful sacrifice of any living person who dares to go there.
5) Meredy is a well-known beast master with her companion Lysander which is a bear. If you were a beast master like her which animal would you choose you accompany you?
A: For my animal companion, I’d choose a Harpy Eagle—they’re such powerful birds of prey that even predatory cats like panthers and cheetahs are known to avoid them!
6: If you could choose any character’s skills, which would it be and why?
A: Well, following the rules of the magic system, I’d be a beast master like Meredy because of my green eyes! And lucky me, that’s exactly what I’d want to be!
However, if I had to pick something else, I’d like to be a weather worker like Kasmira. Being able to summon lightning seems pretty sweet, even knowing the risks involved!
7: Lastly, do you have upcoming projects or books after the release of Reign Of The Fallen? Are you able to tell us?
A: My next project is the RotF sequel, and while it does have a title, I can’t share it quite yet! In fact, it’s so hard to say much about the sequel at all without spoilers, but here’s a little bit about it: You’ll see more of the world beyond Karthia; old faces along with new; struggles created from some of the choices and actions in book one; Kasmira using her power; more character growth from Odessa.
After that, I do have some other fantasy ideas with largely queer casts in the works!
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Lori’s QOTD: If you could bring one celebrity back to life, who would it be and why? Comment below!👇