The Fall is a prequel novella to Ryan Cahill’s much-praised The Bound and The Broken fantasy series. It’s a series I’m desperate to start at some point this year and so I thought, after a slow reading month last month, I’d pick up his sub-100 page prequel novella The Fall. And wow.
Please note that this article contains affiliate links. This means that if you choose to purchase any products via the links below, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. These affiliate links do not affect my final opinion of the product.
Ryan Cahill‘s name is constantly being bounced around my Twitter feed as someone whose books are an absolute must and that, topped with some wonderfully mature and appealing front covers, has made his The Bound and The Broken series an absolute must for me. When I received his free novella The Fall (which you can also get a free digital version of by signing up for his newsletter) I didn’t think much about it but eventually, I ordered the physical copy and picked it up and finished it in the space of about 24 hours.
The Fall plot – 4.5/5
The Fall essentially gives you four fairly lengthy chapters of four different people’s points of view of a massive invasion of a city. This means there are no filler chapters here, each one is filled with action, cool spells, cool action scenes and somehow plenty of deep lore too.
Writing a novella is hard, writing a fantasy novella is even harder. The reason fantasy books are often longer than other genres is because the author needs more time to immerse you into their fictional world and cultures. The Fall manages to give you enough information about the world that you feel the scene is wonderfully set each time and you never question why certain characters are doing certain things. It really is remarkable and a talent I’ve not quite seen before.
Each chapter, as I said, is riddled with action and full of motion, plot and cool moments. If you’re a fantasy fan, you’ll absolutely love this short book. Cahill does a great job of explaining the magic system, filling you in on back stories and explaining the logic behind everything without information dumping or ruining the flow of the action. It’s incredible.
The Fall characters – 4/5
Writing characters that you genuinely care about into a book with less than 100 pages is incredibly difficult but Cahill manages to just do it. He gives you just enough background of each of the characters that when different things happen to them, you genuinely begin to care.
Yes, there aren’t enough pages here for you to build a bond or form a connection with them but Cahill has still managed to write characters into The Fall that you’d happily carry on reading about if they were to appear in future books.
The final chapter focuses almost solely on one of the characters’ thoughts and gives you a completely new perspective on the events that happened before it.
The Fall final rating – 4.5
The Fall is without a doubt the best novella I’ve ever read. Its sole purpose was to get me hyped to dive deeply into Cahill’s The Bound and The Broken series and it has very much done that. How Cahill has managed to write in so much action whilst also building genuinely cool characters, explaining some of the lore and delivering a genuinely engaging plot is simply incredible.
If this is just a taster of things to come then colour me excited for Cahill’s The Bound and The Broken series.
Pick up your copy of The Fall from Amazon here.
If you like the sound of The Fall then you might want to read my reviews of the following books: