In this opener of a new fantasy series, Mathias discovers it's his destiny to save the world, and he dives in head first, pulling his best friend Aaslo along for the ride. However, the going gets rough, and folks start to believe their best chance for survival is to surrender to the forces of evil—leaving the friends to decide how to become the heroes they were destined to be or, failing that, how to survive.
The worldbuilding is simple enough to grasp right away without having to slog through paragraphs of exposition. In fact, the whole book is written in an accessible fashion—the chapters are easy page turners, and talking scenes can often be joined by intense passages of brutal action. Add to that the likeable characters and world-ending odds—you’ve got a recipe for a highly enjoyable fantasy ride. Kel Kade does a masterful job of subverting our expectations of how a Hero’s Journey should play out—while simultaneously fulfilling the key components of the journey in her storytelling ... Fate of the Fallen is a journey worth stepping into, an epic story that doesn’t mind speaking to its reader in a casual manner ... One might not expect to be inspired by a fantasy story, but here it is—complete with an idiot horse, a couple of thieving sidekicks, and a witch with a ‘tude.
These various clashes of will allow Kade to interject necessary humor and levity into what is otherwise a rather dark concept. This interplay makes it a joy to read about how her peculiar characters fare in truly unpredictable situations ... Kade creates a captivating dual narrative between the terrestrial and celestial worlds through her use of the character of Myropa ... Due to their machinations, the story takes a number of surprising twists and turns, ending on an infuriatingly, tantalizingly good cliffhanger. I am ready for the next book in this bizarre gem of a series, and excited to say that I have absolutely no idea where it will go from here. I can’t wait to find out.
There is a great idea at the core of Fate of the Fallen, and that is mostly what sustains this novel. To play so drastically with the rather bloated trope of the chosen one by murdering him in the very first act is a rather confident move, and quickly adds adrenaline to a novel slow to get moving. And that idea, that whatever cataclysm is to come can now not be averted, fuels a lot of the interesting relationships in this book ... Unfortunately, many parts of Fate of the Fallen fail to hold up to the excitement of the core premise. Without really knowing who the chosen one is, we don’t have any investment in his loss. Without really understanding what the prophecy and this supposed world-destroying calamity is, we don’t feel the consequences of his demise ... we get drips and drabs of information, but so much is thrown at the reader at once regarding worldbuilding, cosmology, godhood, mages, side characters, and more, that there’s no chance for any of the stakes to sink in before we’re whisked away. While I believe being vague about stakes is being done on purpose, it holds the reader back from any investment in the story or the characters ... Ultimately, if you’re a fan of epic fantasy narratives that live in a very classic space, while exploring ideas of destiny, prophecy, and choice, then you’re going to enjoy Fate of the Fallen. There are some great ideas explored here, a world rich in character and lore, and some very nice scenes played out on the road to this prophecy’s end.