Review: Reign of the Fallen by Sarah Glenn Marsh

Synopsis/Cover Image from Publisher's Website:
Without the dead, she’d be no one.

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 soul from a dreamy and dangerous shadow world called the Deadlands. But there is a cost to being raised: the Dead must remain shrouded. If even a hint of flesh is exposed, a grotesque transformation begins, turning the Dead into terrifying, bloodthirsty Shades.

A dramatic uptick in Shade attacks raises suspicions and fears around the kingdom. Soon, a crushing loss of one of her closest companions leaves Odessa shattered, and reveals a disturbing conspiracy in Karthia: Someone is intentionally creating Shades by tearing shrouds from the Dead–and training them to attack. Odessa is forced to contemplate a terrifying question: What if her magic is the weapon that brings the kingdom to its knees?

Fighting alongside her fellow mages–and a powerful girl as enthralling as she is infuriating–Odessa must untangle the gruesome plot to destroy Karthia before the Shades take everything she loves.

Perfect for fans of Three Dark Crowns and Red Queen, Reign of the Fallen is a gutsy, unpredictable read with a surprising and breathtaking LGBT romance at its core.

Sarah Glenn Marsh's Reign of the Fallen has to be one of the most talked about releases of 2018. The more I heard the larger my expectations became, and I couldn't wait to dive in and see what all the hype was about. 

As it turns out Reign of the Fallen deserves all the buzz and hype it has obtained because this book is GOOD! The premise was fresh and exciting; the characters were lovable; and the action, deceit, and sabotage made this book unputdownable. 

Reign of the Fallen introduces a large cast of characters. At first I was worried that it would be hard to keep track of everyone; however, Sarah does a fantastic job of making each not only well developed but also memorable. Odessa, the lead, was my favorite. She was confident and had a sass to her step that made it easy to respect and admire her. Shortly into the book, however, Odessa experiences a loss that makes her question each and every aspect of her life. Suddenly, she's wondering if her job is worth it and if she'll ever be happy again...Her downfall broke my heart; however, I think Sarah Glenn Marsh did a great job of making authentic as well as believable. As the saying goes: sometimes you have to hit rock bottom to be whole again... 

In addition to Odessa, I enjoyed reading about her friends. Valoria, the princess, was nothing like what I had expected. I thought she would be docile; however, she was anything but that! She was smart, caring, and sassy. I enjoyed hearing about her inventions, but I loved reading about her friendship with Odessa even more! Evander, Odessa's longterm boyfriend, warmed my heart from the start. He was slightly arrogant but he kept me laughing. Simeon and Jax, the other two necromancers, were a dynamic duo. Their little spats were hilarious, and I loved how their personalities were so different! Meredy, Evander's sister, was a surprise, and at first I didn't like her. She seemed hostile and even a tad foolish; however, as the story continued, I started to like her more and more. 

The premise is what originally drew me, and I thought the execution was well done. Anything involving necromancers is always an instant sell for me, and I loved seeing Sarah develop their role within Karthia. At first, they seem to have a straightforward job - bring the dead back to life; however, there's much more to it than that. There's politics, drama, and risk involvedand as the story continued a sabotage related mystery appeared. The mystery kept me on my toes, and while I was able to predict some of it, some aspects still managed to surprise me. Additionally, the royals brought an interesting dynamic to the book. They rule with no change - they think everything is great the way it is. At first, I thought Karthia was the perfect. I mean, a land where death isn't forever and parties are a constant thing? That sounded great, but nothing can be perfect...

There was one aspect, however, that brought Reign of the Fallen down a starpacing. In the beginning, Reign of the Fallen moves at rapid speed; however, as I approached the middle everything started to slow down. I wanted more action and more excitement - the spark that the first part had. 

In all, Reign of the Fallen is an exciting new addition to YA fantasy. While I enjoyed the ending Reign of The Fallen provided, I look forward to seeing what the next book brings. 

4 stars!! 

Reign of the Fallen will be released Tuesday, January 23, 2018!

Source: eARC provided by publisher

Buy Links: 

Amazon | BN |  Kobo | Indiebound  

Author Links: 


  1. Great review, Lauren! It makes me want to know why the bringing the dead back to life is so important to this kingdom. I also appreciate that all the characters are well-developed and distinguishable. That tends to be one of my issues with fantasy - the secondary characters all blend together.

  2. So happy this one lived up to the hype for you!! I've been on the fence about it, but your review makes it sound amazing. I also do love books with lots of deceit and sabotage, haha ;)

    Fantastic review :)

    Amy @ A Magical World Of Words

  3. This book sounds so good! I was unsure about it when I first saw it, but reading your review made me want to read this book. I might have to pick it up in the near future. Thanks for sharing your review.

  4. That's a bummer about the pacing towards the end, but otherwise it does sound like a wonderful read. The cast of characters sounds especially interesting. Glad you enjoyed it overall :)


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