Fate of the Fallen by Kel Kade
The Shroud of Prophecy tests fate to discover what happens when the path of good and right, the triumph of light over darkness, the only path to salvation… fails.
Everyone loves Mathias. So naturally, when he discovers it’s his destiny to save the world, he dives in head first, pulling his best friend Aaslo along for the ride.
Mathias is thrilled for the adventure! There’s nothing better than a road beneath his feet and adventure in the air. Aaslo, on the other hand, has never cared for the world beyond the borders of his sleepy village and would be much happier alone and in the woods. But, someone has to keep the Chosen One’s head on his shoulders and his feet on the ground.
It turns out saving the world isn’t as easy, or exciting, as it sounds in the stories. Mathias is more than willing to place his life on the line, but Aaslo would love nothing more than to forget about all the talk of arcane bloodlines and magical fae creatures. When the going gets rough, folks start to believe their only chance for survival is to surrender to the forces of evil, which isn’t how the stories go. At all. To make matters worse Aaslo is beginning to fear that he may have lost his mind…
This book was provided by the publisher in the hopes of an honest review (and they know they’ll get me hooked ad I’ll buy the next books). The fact that this is gifted doesn’t really affect my opinion on the book (and I don’t read the book thinking “it is a proof/review copy, you have to love it”).
Mathias and Aaslo are good friends. Best friends. Brothers (not biological). They train together, they study together (but Mathias studies more) but they have very different expectations of life. Aaslo is pragmatic, he is a forester and he’s happy with that, he’s reayd to settle and just likes his life as is. Mathias yearns for adventure in the great wide somewhere, and he likes playing around, not planning on settling.
So when we find out that there have been many prophecies and they all boil down to Mathias being the hero and saving the world from utter ruin, well, it is perfectly fitting and Mathias is ready. But somehow, fate is having a laugh and Mathias dies a little too soon. Aaslo then realises that someone has still to try to save things and he isn’t ready to give up the “simple” life he had planned, so he takes on a bit of being the hero (a lot against his wishes, but he has a good heart).
I enjoyed the world, the quest, and the whole “what if the bext friend, the not the hero but good support, had to step up and be the hero because there is no other choice?”, Sam takes over Frodo’s quest. And I was very skeptical of how this would be accomplished without me being angry for the whole Mathias thing, but Aaslo basically won my heart on the first few pages so I was rooting for him all along.
So much for fate, by the way. Not sure if the intent of the author was to point at how the whole “chosen one” trope could be undone by something relatively simple as it does here to Mathias and what would happen when it does. It is a good question, and one Aaslo is trying to figure out. He wasn’t trained, he just was ready for a life in the forest. But he still moves forward, gains a rag tag team of quest members and sets off.
There are a few characters that amde this very interesting (but I’d rather not spoil, a certain female character was my favourite of them) and there are parts of the “Gods” discussing things and negotiating and it is interesting to have this overall view and still be unsure what the final outcome may be.
Looking forward to the next one, because I need to know what is going to happen now after that revelation of Aaslo’s ability.