Fate of the Fallen by Kel Kade

Fate of the Fallen book cover
Rating 8.5/10
It’s almost as if Kade purposely lulls the reader into a false sense of ease before yanking the rug out from under us and beating us to the ground with it.

Stop me if you’ve heard this before: a small-town boy from a remote village learns that he is the Chosen One, destined to fulfill The Prophecy and save the world from encroaching evil. Sound familiar? Fans of classic epic fantasy from authors Robert Jordan, David Eddings, Anne McCaffrey, and even J.K. Rowling have spun their own versions of this time-honored formula. But what happens if the prophecy fails? How would the world react when it is inevitable that the forces of evil will win? Kel Kade explores this theme in the trope-subverting, wildly entertaining Fate of the Fallen, book one of The Shroud of Prophecy series.

This is a book where the less you know about the plot, the better, so I’ll dance around the details and discuss the larger themes of the story. Kade is skilled at capturing the essence of classic fantasy, focusing on strong character work and building outwards to reveal a world full of magic, monsters, multiple spiritual planes of existence, and the whimsical nature of gods. It walks a fine line between conveying a familiar sense of comfort juxtaposed with some fresh and interesting takes that help to elevate it from other classic fantasy sagas of its kind. The nature of prophecies is called into question: can the future be changed if you know how it plays out in advance? Why bother fighting if the foretold result is inevitable?

Kade writes with a descriptive, flowing prose that breathes life into the many environments we visit. One of the most welcome aspects to the story is how often I was truly surprised by some of its choices. There were at least three separate occasions where I had to re-read the passage, asking “did that really just happen?” It’s almost as if Kade purposely lulls the reader into a false sense of ease before yanking the rug out from under us and beating us to the ground with it.

There are many more aspects to the story I’d like to discuss, but I’ll refrain so as not to spoil any of the fun. And above all, that’s just what this book is: FUN. Lots of it. I wasn’t familiar with Kade’s work before picking up this story, but she has earned herself a new fan. Fate of the Fallen is a welcome addition to the classic fantasy genre, paying homage to what has come before it while adding many new twists to subvert your expectations. It’s going to be a long wait for book two, but I’ll be along for the ride.

ARC provided by Edelweiss. Publication date is November 5th, 2019 by Tor Books.

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All reviews for: The Shroud of Prophecy

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