Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh
Odessa is one of Karthia’s master necromancers, catering to the kingdom’s ruling Dead. Whenever a noble dies, it’s Odessa’s job to raise them by retrieving their souls from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised–the Dead must remain shrouded, or risk transforming into zombie-like monsters known as Shades. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, the grotesque transformation will begin.
A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears among Odessa’s necromancer community. Soon a crushing loss of one of their own reveals a disturbing conspiracy: someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is faced with a terrifying question: What if her necromancer’s magic is the weapon that brings Karthia to its knees?
I really meant to read this book as soon as I got it in, but things got in the way and I put it off. But it’s one of group reads for TBR and Beyond this month and that gave me the push I needed. If you want to join in for the event, here it is.
I loved this book so much! I was ten pages in and knew then that I would.
Odessa is a necromancer that is in love with her partner, Evander. They both have blue eyes which is a characteristic for necromancers. No one else can bring back the dead. In Karthia, they don’t believe in change. So they keep bringing back their leaders/royalty from the dead to rule again and again. The dead that are brought back must be covered in a shroud. If any part of them is seen, they turn into a shade. The shades are basically monsters. They have no control and will eat anyone around them. As they eat, they become bigger and faster. The necromancers have to fight together to kill a shade using fire. But something is happening and there are more shades than normal. They almost seem organized and even work together. Some of the royal family starts to go missing, too. Something isn’t right and Odessa has to figure out what is going on.
So much happens that I don’t want to ruin for anyone who hasn’t read this yet. I loved all the other characters from the book and there was a decent amount of diversity. Odessa also deals with addiction for awhile and I thought that was such an important storyline and appropriate for this point of time. So many kids and adults are dealing with addiction problems and I really appreciated it being a part of a fantasy storyline.
This book does have some talk of sex, but never anything graphic. I actually liked that Odessa was bisexual and comfortable with her sexuality. There was no slut shaming and she did end up with multiple people pretty close together.
One of the characters I adored for Valoria. She is the princess and while she loves her family, she does want things to change. She invents things and tries to find ways to improve Karthia. But she has to keep it quiet because change is something that is not even brought up. She was sweet and strong.
I also loved Danial. He is a healer and is dating Simeon, another necromancer. Their relationship was really sweet. Honestly, I really liked most of the characters in the book.
Sarah created a really interesting world that I can’t wait to read more about.
Have you read Reign of the Fallen yet? What did you think of it?