Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh (Reign the Fallen #1)
Published by Razorbill on January 23rd 2018
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy
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 souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.
A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?
Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh is the first book in a new YA fantasy about NECROMANCERS! Yes, caps are required because stories about necromancy are cool.
Reign of the Fallen follows Odessa, a newly promoted master necromancer that help the royal family come back to life every time they die. But the more they die, the more of their soul they lose. Once they lose their soul, they become Shades, zombie-like monsters that are deadly and lethal. So when more and more Shades start coming it’s up to the necromancers to find out who’s making them.
I struggled a bit with this one sadly. I want to say that first off I enjoyed the concept and the execution of the plot, but the story fell for me because of three things. One being the lack luster MC. Second, the writing wasn’t on the same level of the story. Third, the big reveal was seen from a mile away… and being correct made me sad.
Odessa as the MC could have been so much more. She didn’t come across as strong, but rather meek and boring. It’s sad when the story’s side characters start to outshine the MC, and that is exactly what happened. I found that I gravitated more to the princess, and Odessa’s fellow necromancer’s more than her. And the flip flopping romance was just too much. You’ll know what I’m talking about if you’ve read it too.
Oh the writing… it just didn’t capture my attention and draw me into the details of the world and story. I didn’t feel anything for the descriptions, and the dialogue was just meh.
Finally the big reveal. I can’t explain much, but just know there are no surprises to come. I know it’s hard to fool the reader, but you can guess how it will end somewhere at the mid point.
I’m still on the fence if I want to continue with the series, or maybe just stop here and admit defeat. I have a year to decide at least.
Have you read Reign of the Fallen? What did you think of it?
Let me know in the comments!
Until next time,
SARAH GLENN MARSH writes young adult novels and children’s picture books. 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.
When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys watercolor painting, ghost hunting, and pursuits of the nerd variety, from video games to tabletop adventures. She’s never met an animal or a doughnut she didn’t like.
Sarah lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and their tiny zoo of four rescued greyhounds, three birds, and many fish. She is the author of Fear the Drowning Deep, the Reign of the Fallen duology, and several picture books.