This Child is not the chosen one. She is a demon to be destroyed.
Born of magic, Nerana is labeled a demon and forced into hiding by the Order of Saro. Living with a curse that binds her to their leader, Nerana seeks to free herself from their hold and soon learns that the path to redemption may prove more fatal than the Order itself.
But for Nerana, this is more than a quest for survival… It’s a promise of revenge
I’ll just get this out of the way, I love this book so fucking much. H.C. Newell has tapped into something here that just worked for me. The world is fascinating, the lore is immersive and the characters are fantastic.
Newell throws the reader into the deep end like a dad from the 1980’s teaching their kid to swim. Mid fight-scene, we are introduced to Nerana, Loryk and Gilbrich and right away, their friendship dynamics are established with how they work together and their banter.
Speaking of banter, that is a big part of why I loved Curse of the Fallen. The dialogue feels so real, showing the chemistry between Neer and Loryk specifically. They are the heart of this story, a friendship for the ages up there with Locke and Jean. Newell never muddies the waters of their friendship with a forced romance, she just lets them be friends and I appreciated it so so much.
With some really interesting and original world-building, Newell gives just what we need to follow the story. Although we only spend time in one relatively small corner of Laeroth, what we do see is fully developed. Full of mystery of intrigue, Newell knows how to pace the world-building in a way that feels natural but never like you’re missing something. And there’s still so much more world to explore!
I could sing the praises of this novel all day, but I won’t go on to long for fear of accidentally spoiling something. I went into novel with just the cover to pull me in and it was an incredible experience. I finished this book in two (TWO!) sittings. I never do that. I am beyond excited to read book two. Curse of the Fallen put me in a slump for days and all I want is to read book two. That’s probably the highest praise I can give a first book. With humor, heart, drama, horror and a dash of romance, H.C. Newell has joined the ranks of authors I will read everything they write. Magic is the purest form of darkness, and those born of it’s power must be purged.