- Lee C Conley
Book Review - Valour (The Faithful and the Fallen, #2) by John Gwynne
This review should be free of major spoilers but as it is the review of a sequel it will contain some very minor spoilers akin to the blurb on the back of each book - but nothing major - Enjoy
The next instalment of The Faithful and the Fallen is Valour and I dived in immediately after finishing Malice, eager to discover the fate of my favourite characters.
The story picks up immediately after the tragic events at the end of Malice. Corban and his companions flee Ardan, exiled from their homes they take a perilous journey to find safer lands. Queen Rhin continues her conquest and turns her eyes north to the remaining free realms in the west, and allied with Nathair their combined armies pose a formidable military threat to the Banished Lands.
We also get some new point of view characters, we get giants!! We have Uthas one of the Benothi giants in the far northwest, these giants guard the cauldron which Calidus and Evnis are so eager to get their hands on. So a further glimpse into the ancient culture of the giant clans is interesting. We have Maquin’s point of view now after the events with Kastell. We have Tukul also, who leads the Jehar not sworn to Nathair and introduces us to the lost fortress city of Drassil from the prophecy. We also get chapters from Fidele, Nathair’s mother, as she holds Tenebral in her son’s absence. We also meet Coralen, a giant hunter from Domhain who seems quite kick ass.
All our favourite characters who survived Malice are still in play. Lykos continues to slink around with his lack of morals and ruthless ambition and has point of view chapters. Cywen has a good storyline in Valour too. We get to discover more about Corban’s destiny, Gar also, and the brothers Halion and Connall’s backstory comes to the fore in this book.
In this sequel we again have some cool battles, the action is certainly not scant, nor is the deadly jeopardy of our heroes. There is a lot going on but it has been again expertly woven together by Gwynne without losing any of his elegant prose. The writing really transports you into his world of the Banished Lands and there’s a real empathy and attachment to the characters, or in case of a few a real loathing.
The story is slowly edging into darker places. The ending is both exciting and heroic and yet completely leaves us in dire circumstances as dark forces manoeuvre against our heroes, setting us up to eagerly dive straight into the next book.
Valour is another fantastic book, continuing what is turning into one of my favourite series’ of all time.
Thanks for reading
Lee C. Conley