Intense, brutal, gory, poignant, epic, and filled with love and vengeance; John Gwynne simply can do no wrong
“Two for vengeance. One for Love.”
Ruin, the third book in The Faithful and the Fallen series is a great example of how a penultimate epic fantasy installment ought to be written. This was even better than its predecessors; making this the best book in the series so far.
The plot continued immediately from where Valor left off. This time, following a whopping multi-perspective narrative of twelve characters, the scope of the story gets bigger and darker than before; the threat is higher, the God-War is here, and The Banished Lands are engulfed in chaos and war. In terms of plot progression and quality, John Gwynne did a really fantastic job with Ruin; a huge amount of development was implemented, the deceptions and manipulations planted since Malice have been unmasked. Betrayals and heartbreaks were everywhere in the story and this inflicted a gigantic sense of anxiety for the readers. I probably shouldn’t recommend this book to anyone with any history of heart attacks. I was so anxious that my perfectly condition heart beat way too fast at a lot of points. I seriously think participating in a 5 km run is easier for the toll this book put on my heart but guess what? I love this kind of thrilling reading experience.
Finishing Ruin means that I’ve read more than 2000 pages of this series; I’ve invested a lot of hours into The Faithful and the Fallen. The amount of time I spent reading the series so far and John Gwynne’s impeccable capability in writing compelling characters made me feel attached to every one of them; I’m genuinely concerned about their fate. This was also possible because as bleak as the story goes, the book never forgets to remind you time and time again how important the bonds you share with everyone is.
“Family. Friendship. Loyalty. These things have been my guiding stars, my light in these dark times.”
As I mentioned before in my Valor review, I won’t be mentioning any of the character’s names in my reviews for this series. The reason is this: The Faithful and the Fallen is an adult epic fantasy series that have a lot of similarity to A Song of Ice and Fire, featuring a lot of heart-wrenching moments and unpredictable events; even more so on this book. If I mention any of the character’s names, you’ll find out that the particular character survived the previous ordeals and I simply don’t want that. I’ve seen a lot of reviews did this and to me who’s super sensitive about spoilers, I count this kind of situation a spoiler for the series. I want you to feel the anxiety and tensions I felt while reading this book, to not know about the character’s fate and feel concern for their safety as you flip the pages. To say that this book was an emotional roller-coaster is probably a huge understatement because Ruin ended up being a very apt title for the book. There was a lot of up and down moments for the characters, especially during the fantastic action scenes and war sequences which consisted of numerous perspectives shifting between the hunter and the hunted.
There was a duel scene in this book and I can’t stress highly enough how amazing and epic it was. John Gwynne’s knowledge of close-quarter combat really shine in this series and this particular duel scene seemed like a culmination of his battle scene writing’s capability so far. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still hopeful for a greater duel in the last book of the series but it will be difficult for Gwynne to surpass this one. It’s easily one of the best duel scenes I’ve ever read in a novel so far, superbly written, build-up phenomenally, and executed with great finesse. Safe to say that it gave me goose bump. This doesn’t mean that I’m saying all the other action sequences paled in comparison, it’s just that this specific duel triumphed over the other incredible action sequences.
Ruin filled me with grief and joy like an unrequited love. Even though a lot of events transpired in this book made me really anxious, I can’t help but give my love towards this book for its epic scenes and heartwarming moments. I’m left speechless by the quality progression that this series has and I’m honestly baffled why this series isn’t famous yet. It’s seriously one of the best series I have ever read and I’m not even finished with it yet. One more book it is. Wrath is next, and I’m going to embrace it with my whole heart. Now.
Speaking truthfully, I’ve read more thirty pages of Wrath before writing this because the story ended on one hell of a massive cliffhanger. I salute everyone who survived the wait for Wrath to come out. Again, I absolutely recommend this series for lover of epic fantasy.
Review originally written on March 5th, 2017 and posted on Booknest.eu
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