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REVIEW | Fall of Thanes by Brian Ruckley (Orbit)

Fall of Thanes is the third and final volume of the Godless World series by Brian Ruckley. The first volume Winterbirth was one of my favorite fantasy debuts of 2007. The follow-up Bloodheir carried on the story well, but I entered Fall of Thanes a bit trepidaciously as I hope Ruckley would not rely too heavily on some overused tropes of epic fantasy. My fears were alleviated as Ruckley succeeds on all fronts with keeping the epic feel right while giving the characters and world a fitting end. If you haven't read the first two in the series you may want to skip down to the last paragraph. Fall of Thanes more than lives up to the title although something along the lines of Bloodlust or Bloodmadness might have worked just as well. We finally get to learn more about the shared with a brilliant description of its corruption at Aegylss's hands as he perverts the minds of the populace. The true bloods of the lands find themselves shattered. Former allies are at each others throats while the Black Road have overrun much of their land. The relationship between Orisian and Ess'yr is a bit cardboard and K'rina turns out to be just what I thought she was but nonetheless it worked well to accomplish the goals. Overall Shraeve turned out to be one of my favorite characters along with the morose Orisian. Anyara finally comes into her own although she still seems like a bystander. The fight scenes were very good especially a couple involving a particular Hunt Inkallim, a group I felt got a bit short changed in the first two books. I was very saddened by the bleak ending, but it worked so well I can't imagine it differently. Fall of Thanes is one of the bloodiest books I have read in the last few years save The First Law trilogy although the Godless series may have a higher body count. I give Fall of Thanes 9.0 out of 10 Hats. This is definitely in contention for my book of the year list and I'm curious where Ruckley will go from here. Book Link: US Canada UK


ediFanoB said...

This is the second review of Fall of Thanes I read. And to be honest beside it is a good one it is also the second recommendation. I need to speed up reading. Anyway before I can start to read it Bloodheir is waiting for me...

Todd said...

I have this book waiting to be read on my shelf but I have to finish re-reading Bloodheir first. Enjoying it just as much as the first go through!

Unknown said...

I gotta check this out. The cover looks pretty cool, definitely catches my eye. How do you read books so quickly??? I'm still on the First Law trilogy (first book...), haven't read it in weeks. I suck.

The Mad Hatter said...

I read whenever I have a free moment. On my commute, lunch break plus anywhere else I have to wait. I'm just one of those people who always has a book with them. I can also multi-task. Meaning watch something on the tv and read at the same time. This doesn't work with comedies, but I watch a bit of history channel and there are a lot of lulls in those type of shows. I however am the kind of person who only reads one book at a time.

Jeremy Shane said...

I loved this series! I thought the second book slowed down a bit as the story/war changed directions, but by Fall of Thanes things were rolling again.

I thought the way Ruckley handled Aeglyss was great. Instead of the 'bad-guy' built up into this force you can't imagine anyone opposing we see the cracks in his armor as well as the weapon to be used against him early on in the book.

Taim and Orisian were probably my favorite characters, but they really all were very well done. The end was pretty close to perfect for me... and the epilogue brought a tear to my eye.