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Ruin (The Faithful and the Fallen, 3) Paperback – October 13, 2015
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The cunning Queen Rhin has conquered the west and High King Nathair has the cauldron, most powerful of the seven treasures. At his back stands the scheming Calidus and a warband of the Kadoshim, dread demons of the Otherworld. They plan to bring Asroth and his host of the Fallen into the world of flesh, but to do so they need the seven treasures. Nathair has been deceived but now he knows the truth. He has choices to make, choices that will determine the fate of the Banished Lands.
Elsewhere the flame of resistance is growing -- Queen Edana finds allies in the swamps of Ardan. Maquin is loose in Tenebral, hunted by Lykos and his corsairs. Here he will witness the birth of a rebellion in Nathair's own realm.
Corban has been swept along by the tide of war. He has suffered, lost loved ones, sought only safety from the darkness. But he will run no more. He has seen the face of evil and he has set his will to fight it. The question is, how?
With a disparate band gathered about him -- his family, friends, giants, fanatical warriors, an angel and a talking crow he begins the journey to Drassil, the fabled fortress hidden deep in the heart of Forn Forest. For in Drassil lies the spear of Skald, one of the seven treasures, and here it is prophesied that the Bright Star will stand against the Black Sun.
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"Influenced by Gemmell's Rigante and George R. R. Martin's Game of Thrones ... Hell of a debut."―Conn Iggulden
"Middle Earth-ish extravaganza with all the usual thrills, chills, spills and frills ... there's plenty of action."―Kirkus
"Three-dimensional characters, a gripping plot, and a world that became real to me ... this is the type of fantasy I love to read and I truly can't wait to read the next volume in The Faith and the Fallen!"―Fantasy Book Critic
"John Gwynne hits all the right spots in his epic tale of good vs evil . . . there's a lot of pleasure to be had in this debut novel; Gwynne is definitely one to watch."―SFX
"Warring clans, sleeping giants, Banished Lands and omens and portents ... a strong contender for 'if you like Game of Thrones, why not try this?' award."―Independent
About the Author
- Publisher : Orbit (October 13, 2015)
- Language : English
- Paperback : 800 pages
- ISBN-10 : 0316386324
- ISBN-13 : 978-0316386326
- Item Weight : 1.8 pounds
- Dimensions : 6 x 2.13 x 9.25 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #65,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from the United States
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In Ruin, people really start to choose sides as the God-War starts to spill across the Banished Lands. Kings and Queens are trying to hold power and strengthen their claims, while those usurped move to reclaim what is rightfully theirs. Corban has an incredibly well done arc and continues to be the heartbeat and moral compass of this story for me. As does Veradis, but for other reasons.
While the writing of battles between warbands are really good and engaging, the one-on-one fights are even more intense. Gwynne does a remarkable job writing about violence of war and its cost to those swept up in it. Another theme that's become prominent to me, is that the perception of what is good or what is evil can be a relative concept. Place, circumstance and context tends to change the characters idea of which side is right during the story as events unfold.
The dialog and banter between characters really shines for me in this book as well. Now that I'm three books in, I'm very invested in what happens to them and I cringe a little each time imminent danger is near. By now, you should know that no on is safe or off limits in any of the conflicts in his books.
The ending, like the others, leaves you reeling and needing time to process the final events and scenes of the book. I already downloaded the final book, Wrath, and will start to read it right away. I'm anxious and nervous to see what John Gwynne has in store for the closing act on this series.
What makes this a 5 star book for me is the existence of strong emotional moments that were lacking on the previous ones. Again I ready this one quickly too, so there is no doubt for the score.
You will find epic large scale battles (not just one), plot twists, deaths, duels, love, everything!
Oh, there is also the most disgusting description I have read for the last couple of years - not out of place though.
The finale was also pretty good and TOTALLY unexpected, though I was expecting to hear of some of the other heroes.
Want to note down again that Veradis is the best character by far!!
The whole of the book is battle after battle and siege after siege, and those characters that you love, or love to hate are never at rest. There's no safe corner in the Banished Lands, so sides are picked and maybe sides are changed, but the one sure thing is you must fight or die, or fight and die.
It's an emotional roller coaster and I loved every minute of it!
This volume has a great deal of conflict and battle, both physical and metaphorical. Be prepared for a bloody ride through it all. How this story will end is anybody's guess. But for sure I, for one, will certainly be along. Thank you, John Gwynne!
John Gwynne is a bloody genius. The Master Smith of words.
This book created a war of emotions inside of me.
The characterization is brilliant and absolutely genuine.
I sobbed. I laughed. I screamed.
This book sits on a Throne in my heart.
Top reviews from other countries
At times in all three books now I have felt that the same thing is being told numerous times, everyone loses their father and looks for revenge, numerous people are betrayed by their brother, two interchangeable young heirs to different thrones are on the run from those seeking to end their claim to that throne etc. And the number of times groups just happen to cross paths in what is supposed to be a massive, dense, unnavigable forest, often just at the right time, is frankly preposterous.
While some of the characters and some plot devices aren't great, the story telling and world building is brilliant. Once you remember who the character is and what they were doing last chapter (sometimes 100 pages ago!) it really is very gripping reading. Now that we (and they) know who the good guys and bad guys are, the balance in strength is constantly shifting as people change sides, massive warbands are wiped out in battle or castles taken/re-taken and groups flee through the forest. There is a lot of ground to cover in the last book of the series, but with all the main groups now zeroing in on the same area I expect this to be done to a satisfactory conclusion with the same pace as shown here.
But then things change. Before I realised what was happening, I was drawn in, engaged, invested and unable to put this book, or the subsequent 3, down until I had finished them all. What John manages to do so incredibly well is blur the lines. It isn’t classic good v evil. There’s more to it and the nuances of each fleshed out character and the beliefs they hold make sure that each person reading the series will have a different opinion on what is right and wrong.
Jaw to floor action scenes are delivered at pace and what some may consider “book finishers” or “end points” crop up in the most unexpected places. Skills of characters, particularly the main protagonist, Corban, feel earned in an incredibly authentic way. The world building is extremely well done with just the right amount of depth without feeling like you are reading the wiki page for one particular tree.
I went into this book with no expectations and was left feeling incredibly grateful that I got to experience this work. Fans of Robin Hobb, fantasy in general, epic worlds and true page turners will love this. It deserves its place on the shelf of “great fantasy reads” and watching (or reading) John grow in strength as an author through the series was an absolute joy.
Truth and Courage!
This series began with 'Malice'. And this volume isn't a jumping on point, because there is nothing here to bring new readers up to speed. So they start with Malice.
Regular readers of the series, read on.
And be aware:
This is not a trilogy. It was never billed as such on any of the books. Nor did they say how long the series would be. So perhaps we are all guilty of assumption. But don't go into this thinking it will end the story. Because it doesn't. And it will work better if you know that in advance.
This volume runs for seven hundred and forty six pages. It is divided into ninety three chapters. There's a map of the setting at the start. Plus a cast of characters. Nice having that at the front because it makes it easier to refer to if needs be.
Because there are a lot of characters here. And a lot of those are viewpoint characters. This will change for every chapter. All ninety three of them. Often characters will be in groups or pairs and one will be the viewpoint character for one chapter and then another from same group or pair for the next chapter. Which actually works quite well and is pretty neat.
Anyhow, as a tale of war in a fantasy kingdom, this progresses nicely. If you read a lot of fantasy and it's been a while since you read the last one in the series, it can take a while to get back into the next volume when you pick it up. This isn't too much of a problem here, as it did all come back to me quite quickly.
A lot of it is very good indeed. But it's a long book and not being the end means there are parts which perhaps could be stronger and shorter. But for the bulk of it, this is a very solid continuation of a very good series. And a pretty good read. Just being not the end of the story does take it down slightly from five stars. It does of course end on a huge cliffhanger. For the next book to resolve.
So not entirely perfect, but still a decent read in a very good series.
I won't put any spoilers in but suffice to say some characters that have been there from the start don't make it, he doesn't appear to have fallen in to the trap of everything going wrong then miraculously not consequently leaving the reader feeling that the author run out of ideas.
There is no way that you can read Ruin as a stand alone, way too many characters to juggle & there are plot lines firing off everywhere. If you are new to the story, start at the beginning & hopefully by the time that you are ready for number 4 it will be out!