Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
Author: Taylor Brown
Publisher: St Martin’s Press
Date of Publication: January 11th, 2016
Set at the end of the American Civil War, this debut novel is packed throughout by superb, descriptive writing of the scenes, emotions and events, painting images in the readers’ mind bringing them to vivid life in their imagination. The writer is a talented artist, bringing the plot to life through his masterly selection of evocative words and phrases together with detailed research of life at that time.
It is a traumatic tale, appropriate to the era, making it not a cosy read but one to savour when prepared for all the horrendous destruction, desecration, attitudes and behaviour involved, especially for the two main characters, both of whom are orphaned teenagers, desperately trying to stay alive and reach safety, despite their pursuers and constant dangers encountered en route.
Thanks to the author, publisher and NetGalley, too, for letting me read an ARC of this book in exchange for this, an honest review.
Fallen Land is Taylor Brown’s debut novel set in the final year of the Civil War, as a young couple on horseback flees a dangerous band of marauders who seek a bounty reward. Callum, a seasoned horse thief at fifteen years old, came to America from his native Ireland as an orphan. Ava, her father and brother lost to the war, hides in her crumbling home until Callum determines to rescue her from the bands of hungry soldiers pillaging the land, leaving destruction in their wake. Ava and Callum have only each other in the world and their remarkable horse, Reiver, who carries them through the destruction that is the South. Pursued relentlessly by a murderous slave hunter, tracking dogs, and ruthless ex-partisan rangers, the couple race through a beautiful but ruined land, surviving on food they glean from abandoned farms and the occasional kindness of strangers. In the end, as they intersect with the scorching destruction of Sherman’s March, the couple seek a safe haven where they can make a home and begin to rebuild their lives. Dramatic and thrillingly written with an uncanny eye for glimpses of beauty in a ravaged landscape, Fallen Land is a love story at its core, and an unusually assured first novel by award-winning young author Taylor Brown..
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