REVIEW: HERO AT THE FALL BY ALWYN HAMILTON

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Title: Hero at the Fall
Author: Alwyn Hamilton
Genre: Fantasy, Young Adult, Romance
Pages: 463
My Rating: 5 stars

FIVE_CATS

 

“I didn’t so much as twitch my fingers as I grabbed full hold of the desert.
Of my desert. I was the desert. And it would answer to me.”

This was an amazing finale and the thing that brought these books from mid-level to top tier when it comes to series I’ve read. This was the first book in a couple of months that brought tears to my eyes, and I was a total mess by the end. There were chapters where I was dying to see what happened next so badly that I was skipping sentences and I had to make myself slow down and go back. There was twist after twist, and just as I thought I had it all figured out, another curve in the story threw me off.

Pros:
– tombs hidden in mountains and bound by magic, metal boxes that produce lush fruit on command, a ship that sails over the desert sand
– unpredictable twists and heart wrenching moments; I honestly never knew who was safe and who would end up dead
– payoff from all the stories about the gods in the prev. books. I was getting tired of hearing about the gods and not having it be very relevant, but now it all was

Cons:
– Beginning of the book dragged a bit (but maybe it just seemed that way compared to the fast pace of everything else)
– The final battle could have lasted longer

 

This author is really a believer in lettings things get worse and worse for the characters in this series. Like seriously, when I thought they were backed into a corner and the situation couldn’t get any more bleak, even more went wrong. And while that helped build the tension and gave us even more reasons to hate the enemy, by this book I was really dying for these characters to catch some sort of break. I wanted Amani to be more clever, honestly. She would come up with a “plan” and it would get them out of their situation, but someone would die, or be captured, or something equally as bad would happen. The story was a little more predictable this time, but maybe that’s just me getting to know the characters and the author’s style. Or that’s me getting so invested in the story that I was throwing out predictions left and right, because I really wanted a happy ending.

“The tales would be imperfect; the legends would be incomplete. And each and every one of us standing in the garden that night would take an entire universe of stories with us when we died, the accounts of every small moment that did not seem grand enough to storytellers, which would disappear in smoke when our bodies were burned. But even if the desert forgot a thousand and one of our stories, it was enough that they would tell of us at all. That long after our deaths, men and women sitting around a fire would hear that once, long ago, before we were all just stories, we lived.”

A lot happened in the two previous books, but I definitely felt like more was accomplished in this one, which was a welcome reprieve from all the previous setbacks. We lost a lot of characters, but we also got to know the others better, and we got to see our MC grow from who she was at the beginning. Amani made some really tough decisions in Hero at the Fall, and she handled them much better than book one Amani would have.

The descriptions of everything that happened in the story were done in greater detail in this book; I found everything much easier to picture than I had before. I loved the way the gods intertwined in our characters lives, and how bargains were made and lives were changed because of these interactions. You never knew if a decision was going to come back and bite our characters in the end, but there was also always a small hope that thing could work out, and that not everyone had to fail and/or die. Overall the book was the perfect ending to a great series, and an awesome payoff for those of us that have been waiting to see what the ending of this series would bring.

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