Fate of the fallen
By Kel Kade
- Fate of the fallen
Author: Kel Kade
- ISBN: 9781250293800
- Published: December 2019
- Pages: 344
- Format reviewed: Hardback
- Review date: 12/02/2021
- Language: English
I love Fantasy, I believe it creates a sense of the epic better than any other genre. Not only do big events happen but you often get a manifest destiny. The issue can be that too much might happen. Our heroes come across so many monsters, pitfalls and dead ends that even the most ardent of Fantasy fan will find it a little too much. How can this all happen to one set of protagonists, have the Gods themselves taken against them? In the case of Kel Kade’s Fate of the Fallen this is exactly the case and when the Gods make you their playthings, you better get ready for a rough ride.
Mathias and Aaslo are different in many ways, but brothers in most. Mathias has a natural charisma and seems destined for great things. Aaslo is more of a recluse, keen to be left alone to maintain the woods that surround their village. Unbeknownst to either of them, this is not what the Fates had in mind. It seems that Mathias is in fact The Chosen One and the existence of the planet rest on his shoulders. Shoulders that may not remain attached to his head. The God’s play fickle games and it seems that Aaslo may have more just a companion role in this tale.
Fantasy can vary greatly in tone and Fate manages to strike a great balance between low fantasy with all the violence that it entails, but also create a sense of fun and humour. The stakes could not be any higher, therefore it is refreshing to have such a curmudgeon as Aaslo at the centre of the story. He should not be a sympathetic character as he is rude, condescending and stuck in his ways. However, he is just being true to himself and his vocation as a Forester. Like the characters that find themselves in his fellowship, the reader is charmed by his forthright nature and commitment to telling the truth. Whilst others are hiding their heads in the sand, Aaslo refuses to give up, even if a prophecy says that we are all doomed.
The darkness that is infecting the land could have made this book heavy going, but Kade populates the novel with several entertaining characters; a couple of thieves, a grumpy failed mage and a prophet who is unwilling to commit to the future. All of them find themselves drawn towards Aaslo.
Fate and Destiny play a large role in Fate (hence the name of the book) but, unlike with many Fantasy novels, it is overt. The Gods play an important role in the story often directing events. Suddenly, it makes sense that Aaslo is thrust into so many bizarre situations; he is being both equally blessed and cursed by a series of Gods. All he is a piece on their boardgame and the game is speed chess. By the end of this first book Aaslo is not the same man that he started as. Physically be may be different, but the stubborn personality remains.
The story is told from the perspective of the planet-based characters, but also from the point of view of a Reaper who spans both worlds of Man and Gods. Myropa becomes a major player herself as the Gods decide to use her in their games. The fact that she pops in and out of existence means that the timeline has a few jump cuts. Suddenly we are thrust back into the action several days later and it can take a few moments for the reader to get their bearings. The advantage being that there are not too many lengthy trekking sections in the book as the heroes have to cross several leagues to get anywhere useful.
At the start of Fate of the Fallen I was a little jarred by how quickly events occurred, but Kade soon writes this into the narrative. By openly showing the characters as the playthings of the Gods, events make perfect sense. A random encounter with a long-forgotten race of monster is divined from the heavens. As the book develops the action picks up and the reader just has to hang on for the ride. To keep them company are some well-developed and likable characters. This book is so fun that you don’t want it to end and the second part cannot come soon enough.
Written on 12th February 2021 by Sam Tyler .