Among the Fallen by N A Dolkart. Book review
After the battle of Silent Hall, a reorganization of gods has put the world in turmoil. The tightly knit band of young people, severed from their homeland by a disaster, has begun to fracture. As they go their separate ways, they end up on opposing sides of an ongoing war.
Once again N S Dolkart has achieved an epic tale with an intimate feel because, despite the vast topographical and conceptual canvas, you experience the characters’ needs, emotions and concerns. This is not an easy thing to achieve, but by seeing the world through the characters’ eyes and having created different personalities and a network of relationships between them of different qualities the first book, Silent Hall, made it possible for the reader to connect with all five of the individuals in the band. Moving them all around the landscape as a group was also another component of the appeal of the last book.
This time the group of young people is split up, but to have kept them together might have restricted where the author could have taken the story. Dolkart has also made the interesting move of including narratives from other characters, occasionally slipped between the stories of the main protagonists.
The strength of both Silent Hall and Among the Fallen is the character development. In Silent Hall Each member of the group differs in interesting ways, for example, Narky was selfish and unlikable, but ended up a hero because circumstances drove him into that situation, Hunter was the classic hero, but so emotionally withdrawn he almost starved himself, Criton was able to mutate into a dragon.
But it was the two young women who were most interesting. Phaedra could do magic, but only through intellectualising the process. Bandu channelled the power of magic through her very soul, her whole body responding from a sense of feeling what needed to be done. Among the Fallen provides an opportunity to develop all the friends further.
The different directions the characters take is well plotted and drives towards a logical conclusion.
Among the Fallen was courtesy of Angry Robot.