- Fate of the Fallen (Shroud of Prophecy #1).
- Kel Kade.
- 352 pages.
- Fantasy / Epic Fantasy.
- My Rating: Hell Yeah Book Review.
Not all stories have happy endings.
Everyone loves Mathias. Naturally, when he discovers it’s his destiny to save the world, he dives in head first, pulling his best friend Aaslo along for the ride.
However, saving the world isn’t as easy, or exciting, as it sounds in the stories. The going gets rough and folks start to believe their best chance for survival is to surrender to the forces of evil, which isn’t how the prophecy goes. At all. As the list of allies grows thin, and the friends find themselves staring death in the face they must decide how to become the heroes they were destined to be or, failing that, how to survive.
I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
You’ve all heard of the chosen one, the one who will keep the shadows at bay, the one who will push back the tides of darkness, the one who will defeat the forces of evil and the one whose destiny is to save the world. Well…what if, after years of planning and preparation the chosen one failed? What if the chosen one died and never had the chance to fulfil the prophecy?
How would you react? How would the world react? Would you fight or would give up and wait to die? Your hope dying along with the chosen one and the colours fading to grey. With their death, their failure the world is left with no way of fulfilling the prophecy and the impossible task if any have the courage to pick up the burden and, at least try would fall to another. To the left behind, to the others, to the sidekicks and to the normal people who were destined to live ordinary and uneventful lives, not the chosen, not the hero but the nobody. To the forgotten sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers. Those whose name history wouldn’t remember, those who were destined to be nothing more than footnotes in the story of the chosen one and those, who under normal circumstances would never have crossed paths with the chosen one. But, would you trust a nobody to save the world? Can the nobody succeed and save the world? That is the concept in Fate of the Fallen, not how the chosen one saves the world but, instead, exploring what happens when the chosen one fails to fulfil the prophecy and another is left to carry on in their place.
Beloved by all, Mathias is the golden boy in the village of Goldenwood who dreams of one-day being the village mayor. But, alongside his best friend Aaslo, he has been raised, taught and trained by his strict grandmother and destiny has a different path for him. Mathias is ‘the chosen one‘ and he is destined to fulfil a prophecy, destined to be the hero that saves the world.
Aaslo is Mathias’s childhood best friend, more than that, they are bonded, not by blood but in kinship and they are like brothers. Aaslo would have been happy staying in Goldenwood and its surrounding forest for the rest of his days and living an ordinary life. However, when events take a turn, the truth is revealed and Mathias has to abruptly leave the village, Aaslo follows him. Mathias’s prophecy is to save the world and Aaslo, as his best friend, as his brother will be there, walking right beside him.
Matthias is charming, enigmatic, extroverted and he is the definition of a charismatic hero. Aaslo, a forester is the opposite, he is gruff, contemplative, introverted and stubborn. Whereas Mathias is a people person, Aaslo prefers trees and he is far more at home in the comforting embrace of the forest and away from civilization than surrounded by people.
Aaslo isn’t a warrior, but, he trained alongside Mathias, is a competent swordsman and due to being a forester he is more than capable of handling an axe and he is able to handle himself in a fight. Throughout the journey in Fate of the Fallen, Aaslo grows and we see him change in some unexpected and unforeseen ways. Sacrifices have to be made if there is to be any chance of survival and Aaslo, the ordinary man becomes the reluctant hero, the hero that he doesn’t want to be, that he never wanted to be but also, taking the steps to become the hero that the world needs.
There is a sense of adventure to the story, a lot of journeying, perhaps with no real goal other than to find possible allies and help. Even with his reticence around people, the honest, strong and stalwart Aaslo draws them to him and inspires others giving them hope simply by being himself. Throughout the arduous and perilous journey, he finds some companions, the marquess of Dovermeyer, Ijen, a mysterious prophet, Teza, a spirited and spunky waitress and former fledgeling mage, a couple of scoundrels and thieves in the duo of Peck and Mory and Dolt, an endearing ill-mannered and idiot horse.
Magic inhabits the world but it is rare and slowly fading away. There are 12 bloodlines that carry magic and it is inherited, passed down from one generation to the next but, with each passing generation the strength of the magic is getting weaker. There is also a scheming pantheon of meddlesome and interfering gods stoking the flames of conflict involved in the story. Monstrous creatures and zombies also make an appearance during the story too.
The characters in Fate of the Fallen are highly likeable. For Aaslo and his companions, they are misfits galore that find their way into your heart and make you root for them. I also liked Magdelay, Mathias’s stern grandmother and mention must also go to Myropa, a reaper and a collector of souls who is a very intriguing character and the gateway character for the reader to see what the gods are currently plotting. The story itself is engaging and exciting. The writing is descriptive and flows well with a good sense of location and the settings where the story takes place are all easy to visualise be it the forests, towns/cities or the swamps. There are emotional moments interspersed throughout and a bountiful amount of banter. The banter really shines and it is a mixture of darker, needling and sarcastic along with light-hearted, jovial and good-natured. It is often laugh-out-loud hilarious and it is some of the best that I have read in a long time.
I had a great time reading Fate of the Fallen, it felt like classic fantasy injected with a fresh new feel, it is incredibly entertaining and a hell of a lot of fun. I found it hard to put down, the ending came far too soon and it was with a heavy heart that I turned the final page as I wasn’t yet ready to leave either the characters or the story behind.
Purchase Fate of the Fallen (Shroud of Prophecy #1).
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