I don’t know where to start, since I’m worried I won’t do Malice or John Gwynne justice with my review. Here goes…
I frikkin’ loved it! How’s that? It’s the truth!
The first book in this series is slow to get going, but not in a boring way. It paves the way for multiple POV’s (a single POV per chapter) and really builds each one well. By half way through, to two thirds, you really feel like you know the characters. You fear for some, snarl at others, trust a few and narrow your eyes in distrust of one or two, at least. It has you guessing who will do what, who will tread what path, until… Bam! The final third is a powerhouse of action, intrigue, answers and more questions; revelations, clashes of will and might and friends and foes. New enemies and old all come together in what is set – I have no doubt – to be in my top three fantasy series ever. EVER!. I have already bought Valour and Ruin. I can’t wait to get stuck in! There were some other physical books on my TBR pile that I have on the shelf (I read ‘real’ books and eBooks side by side), but I think Valour shall jump to the top of that pile and I shall start it right away. I can’t not.
Epic fantasy in the truest sense, both through scale of scenes and depth of characters alike. Monsters and magic (although both subtle – but not too subtle – at this point, hinting at much much more), giants and warriors galore. It brings an every day life in a wonderful world to its knees and promises to excite with the war that comes… has now started, in truth. I’m rambling now, I think. Just do yourself a favour and buy it! Buy them all! If you like epics such as Steven Erikson’s Malazan Book of the Fallen or GRRM’s work, then you’ll love ‘The Faithful and The Fallen’ series.
Sorry to have ranted, but I’ve found a new fave and want to share it with you all.
Huge thanks to Kareem for recommending this with such passion, I understand why you did! And a huge thanks to John himself, for writing such a great saga and for being a top bloke to boot.
I’m off now, to work on my own series. I feel inspired!