Fallen Land — a Book Review

I can easily say that Taylor Brown’s debut novel, “Fallen Land”, is the best thing I’ve read all year.  Of course, it’s only February.  But, I will bet that by the time December rolls around it will remain one of my top picks if not THE top pick.  See, when I finished reading the last page I was sorry there was no more, certainly didn’t want to return it to the library and was tempted to go back to the beginning and start again!

Fallen Land

 The story takes place during the last days of the Civil War, in the devastated south, at the time of Sherman’s march to the sea.  This is not a story of the Civil War but rather a story of surviving the dangerous, lawless land left in its wake.  A land left with little resources and filled with groups of marauders looking to take advantage of the vulnerable.  

The cast consists of 15-year-old Callum and 17-year-old Ava, both “war orphans” in their own way.  A group of marauders that not only brought them together but relentlessly pursue them.  And, a magnificent horse named Reiver.  

I read at least one review that said the story was too “slow-paced” but I have to disagree.  This is an excellent chase story that I found hard to put down and finished all too quickly!  Brown’s writing is both brutal and beautiful.  He manages to tell of horror and ugliness interwoven with bits of sweetness and mercy while constantly keeping one tiny thread of hope dangling before you.

 I loved Callum and Ava.  I loved Reiver.  I loved this book.  It deserves a place on my book shelf and I will look forward to something more from Taylor Brown.

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