Empress of the Fall by David Hair
Publication date: 09 March 2017
I received an advance copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. This review is spoiler free.
I was initially wary of this title as it is part of an established universe, but it was made clear that you don’t need to read The Moontide Quartet to enjoy Empress of the Fall. So I dove right in, but sadly I have to admit that it made it to my DNF pile.
I’m an experienced fantasy reader and have read and enjoyed books with some of the more complicated worlds and histories. However, I just couldn’t keep up with this one. The first chapter crams several hundred years of complicated history and conflict into a very small amount of space and ends up being quite convoluted and unclear. The following chapters assume you’re crystal clear on what has happened in the past, but to be honest I was not.
I powered ahead and it all just fell flat. I couldn’t connect with the characters. They were just not particularly interesting and felt very generic, almost like a set of tropes were chosen and the characters were shaped around that. The fight sequences felt a little sloppy and unclear as well. I kept pressing myself to go on, but in the end I decided to put it aside. For me, it was just a bit of a jumbled mess that required a lot more groundwork.
However, I will say that fans of David Hair’s Moontide Quartet should absolutely give this one a shot. I feel like my reading suffered because I had no prior knowledge of this world, which would have helped me a lot.