Rise of the Fallen by Chuck Black is an epic Christian Fantasy, with a powerful focus on spiritual warfare. With vaguely familiar themes, and astute scriptural references, this book brings Christian belief onto and beyond the fantasy stage. Angelic warriors, and fallen foes rampage in a battle with one side valiantly trying to preserve what is holy, well the other seeks their destruction and the destruction of all they seek to protect.
This book captured my imagination and attention from the first page. Validus was once an apparently insignificant angel and is now a warrior and commander of renown. This story follows his journey from before creation nearly to the end times. Through the epic flow Validus struggles with questions, well fighting through various battles and attacks. Why should a commander become an assistant guardian? How can the angelic forces continue to hold the enemy at bay, when all hell is focusing in on one man?
Well Rise of the Fallen is very exciting and interesting. The end goal is never fully revealed. I don’t know how or if they will succeed in their end goal. The battles are epic, friends are true, and danger is everywhere the Fallen roam. All the reader knows for certain is that hell and high water will have to be even more difficult than they have been, if they want to stop Validus from carrying out his mission.
I found the beginning of the story easy to understand and engage in, despite not having read the previous book. From descriptions, I would guess the first book is from the human’s perspective while this book gives the angelic perspective on the same situation and events. I enjoyed the book. It kept me up till after midnight since I knew if I stopped the ending would be bugging me and not letting me sleep anyway.
Well a good book, it unfortunately contains my biggest pet peeve. The one thing that will make me decide not to follow the rest of a series. It stops smack in the middle of a battle, not-quite classic cliff hanger style, but close. Only one question is answered in this book, why is Drew Carter so important? The other questions, how does this all end and does Validus succeed in his mission, are left till another book. However, stories that raise specific questions and then never answer them, and/or end in the middle of the action, are frustrating. If you find that frustrating, then consider yourself warned.
However, I will admit that Validus is a very engaging character. Well an angel, his struggles and questions are eminently relatable. His constant challenge, a friend who Fell and is now his bitterest enemy, brings out both strength in battle and Validus’ strength of character. What is interesting, is that even angels have their questions!
I would say this would be an awesome book for fans of Piercing the Darkness, or This Present Darkness. Particularly since they deal with similar themes, and all have warrior angels. After all, who doesn’t like warrior angels? Well, besides the demons that the warrior angels are killing of course.
I received a complementary review copy from Blogging for Books. I am under no obligation to leave a positive review, only my honest opinion of this book. And, other than that it triggered my pet peeve, it was an excellent and highly recommended read.