Reviews for ‘The Fall’ and ‘The Exile’ by Ryan Cahill

As part of my quest of reading 50 self-pub books this year, here are books 1 and 2.

The Fall (Goodreads)

This is a novella set in the ‘Bound and the Broken’ series. Specifically, this is a prequel. This series genre is ‘Farm Boy goes to kill the Dark Lord, while riding a Dragon.’ You know books like ‘Eragon’ or ‘Dragon Mage?’ This is of the same genre as those.

You know the trope of how the Jedi Order fell, forming the origin story for Darth Vader? This story is about the Fall of the equivalent of the Jedi Order for this series, and also serves as an origin story for the main antagonist.

I enjoyed my time reading this. The author has a very ‘no muss, no fuss’ writing style, doing a good job telling a traditional fantasy story. This novella in particular was VERY combat focused. Pretty much every page contained combat, or took place mere moments before combat or after combat. The ebook itself was ~100 pages long, so that’s a lot of combat.

This might be chronologically the first book in the series, HOWEVER this is a terrible place to start reading the series. This in no way stands on it’s own. I suggest you start with the first book in the series ‘Of Darkness and Light’ before you read this. This was a good afternoon read.


The Exile

This is a novella set in the same series, occurring after book 2 in the series. (It’s described as being book 2.5.) This is a revenge story starring the main character of Dayne. Specifically, this is his backstory about why he joined the rebels fighting against the evil empire.

This was a pleasant 2 afternoons reading. It begins with Dayne as a young man, and his radicalization. The story then stretches on over the course of the next ~15 years, as he goes on his roaring rampage of revenge against the people who wronged him in the past.

SPOILERS!

Okay, the book begins with Dayne’s family being killed by an Evil Jedi. I thought this was a good start. However, if I were to provide critique for this book, I’d say that I wanted more from this section. The author devoted about half a chapter to the protagonist’s home life. I wanted a full chapter or two in this section before any combat began. Dayne was radicalized because an evil Jedi killed his family; Dayne’s radicalization would be more evocative if we had more time with Dayne’s family, and we grew more emotionally attached to them before they were killed.

Also, I enjoyed how Dayne got his final revenge against the antagonist. It was a ‘fate worse than death’ sort of thing, and in context it worked well.

That’s all. Both of these novellas felt like bite size appetizers written to fill the gap between the publication of books 2 & 3. Like I said above, this is a pleasant afternoon or two of reading, but don’t really stand on their own. If you’re invested in the series, check them out. I’m waiting for book 3, and I was satisfied reading these.

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