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Malice: Book One of The Faithful and the Fallen (Faithful & the Fallen 1) Paperback – 4 Jul 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; Main Market Ed. edition (4 July 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330545752
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330545754
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 3.9 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (254 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,584 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I was born in Singapore while my dad was stationed there in the RAF. Up until he retired that meant a lot of traveling around, generally a move every three years or so.

I live with my wife and four wonderful (and demanding) children in East Sussex. Also three dogs, two of which will chew anything that stands still. I have had many strange and wonderful jobs, including packing soap in a soap factory, waitering in a french restaurant in Canada, playing double bass in a rock n roll band, and lecturing at Brighton University.

I stepped out of university work due to my daughter's disability, so now I split my time caring for her and working from home - I work with my wife rejuvenating vintage furniture, which means fixing, lifting, carrying, painting and generally doing what my wife tells me to do...

And somehow during this time I started writing. I've always told my children stories at bed-time, and they pestered long and hard for me to write some of it down. At the same time I felt that my brain was switching off a little - vintage furniture is my wife's passion, whereas my passions are geekier!

That's how The Banished Lands and Malice began, though along the way it became more than just a hobby. I'm still in shock that it is actually a real book, rather than just pages on my desk.

You can find me online at http://www.john-gwynne.com/

Product Description

Review

Influenced by Gemmell's Rigante and GRR Martin's Game of Thrones - two good strands of DNA. Great characters and plot - it gets faster and more fascinating by the page. All I want now is for the author to put everything else aside, including his health - and write two or three more as fast as humanly possible. Hell of a debut: Highly recommended (Conn Iggulden)

‘With its warring clans, sleeping giants, Banished Lands and omens and portents . . . is a strong contender for the “if you like Game of Thrones, why not try this?” award’ Independent blog

‘Malice is easily one of the best fantasy novels I read this year, and one which will appeal to most fans of the genre’ Iwillreadbooks.com

‘It’s exciting when you find a strong new voice ringing out through the halls of fantasy, and John Gwynne hits all the right spots in his epic tale of good vs evil, the first in the Faithful & The Fallen series . . . there’s a lot of pleasure to be had in this debut novel; Gwynne is definitely one to watch’ SFX

‘With three-dimensional characters, a gripping plot, and a world that became real to me, John Gwynne’s Malice is a great debut. In short, this is the kind of fantasy I love to read and I truly can’t wait for the next volume in The Faithful and the Fallen!’ Fantasy Book Critic

Book Description

Even the brave will fall . . .

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R Bay on 19 Dec. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Love this, it has all the elements for any fan of this genre and a great read for those who are new. I mainly read historical fiction and a little fantasy, Malice is a great blend bringing together the best of the two with a deeply rooted feel for the history of the world that Gwynne has created. If you are a fan of Roman, Saxon or Samurai warrior style historical fiction I recommend you give this fantasy a try.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Alex Henderson on 3 Jan. 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Awesome book! Couldn't wait to start reading the second one in the series... If you are into Game of Thrones, Joe Abercrombie etc then you should love this! Gripping plot and fantastic charactors that will have you hooked in no time
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By L M Hughes on 16 Dec. 2013
Format: Paperback
Malice is the debut novel of fantasy writer John Gwynne, and is the first book in his new series The Faithful and the Fallen. Despite being fantasy, the book has a Celtic, almost historical feel, with character and place names such as Dun Carreg, Cywen, Gwenith, Mordwyr, Dath etc., and with its use of dialect, such as `aye' and `bairn'. I actually really liked this: it creates atmosphere and helps when imagining both the setting and the character accents, and also makes the story feel more real. At the same time, however, the book also has a strangely dystopian feel, being set in desolate lands in an era following an apocalyptic event known as the Gods-War. It's an interesting combination.

I found Malice to be a little slow to begin with: there are times when it felt like I was reading every little detail of everything that happens, particularly to the children, and I felt that this made it a little bit repetitive. However, it picks up after a while, and by the end I wanted to start straight away on the next book (which unfortunately isn't available until next year). The characters are interesting as well as ambiguous, and the way the author switches between different points of viewcreates tension and pace very effectively, often reminding me of A Song of Ice and Fire in this respect.

Another aspect of the novel that I felt was reminiscent of GRRM was the characters themselves, several of whom are morally ambiguous. Yet most of them are likeable, or at the very least sympathetic, and it's really interesting to see them change, particularly those who are being subtly manipulated.
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70 of 85 people found the following review helpful By Mr. A. I. Harrison on 4 Dec. 2012
Format: Hardcover
About two years ago John Gwynne messaged me via the comments box on one of my review's and asked me 'not to laugh' but could he send me a chapter or two of this book he was writing to see what I thought, me having read more fantasy books than Elton's had facelifts. Of course I said I would be glad to have a look and promised not to laugh (though I was already worrying how I would break it to him if I thought it was as bad as my scrawlings!)
Several days later I was e-mailing him urging him to finish the book because I needed to know what would happen and advising him to get an agent because he was that good, and it comes as no surprise at all to me that he has secured the book deal that brings you to this page of Amazon now.

Malice is a fantastic balance between traditional fantasy and the dark modern breed of fantasy so in vogue over the last 5-10 years. It starts deceptively softly; a young boy wanting to be a warrior, intrigue in the royal court, so far, good trad beginings but then explodes out into a hugely complex world of conflict, betrayal, jealousy and blind ambition. Very modern and quite grim. But undercut with friendship, magic, courage and perhaps a refreshing absense of cynacism.

But unlike GRR Martin at present, the author does not shy away from epic battle scenes and giving us the odd triumph and hurrah. And unlike Abercrombie he does not try and work out what he thinks we want to read and then seemingly write the opposite!

This is a hugely complex book that will please and shock you in turns and you will genuinly not know what is going to happen next.
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27 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Targle on 7 April 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The idea here is brilliant and deserves much better than this book.

the problem is that the author seems convinced that we, his readers, are all idiots.
Basically, his idea is that there are two main protagonists and a prophesy for a Prince of good and a Prince of evil.
(I'm going to try not to give any actual spoilers, but he doesn't worry about that at any point in his book).

it would be brilliant if you genuinely didn't know which was going to be which, I'd have lived to have spent this book guessing at who would be which, what might happen to tip one or the other over the edge. But instead one is absolutely flawless and really loves his mum. The other keeps mumbling about how "the end justifies the means" and "wouldn't it be easier to fight the evil if this was all one big empire?"...

The rest of the book is made up from the author trying to fit in every cliche that exists in fantasy writing
Oi, there's a local bully...
Oi, I've been dared to visit the local healer that everyone thinks is a mean old witch...
Oi, I've just made friends with a big scary wolf...
Oi, the local stable master is very friendly with my family and has an air of nobility...
Oi, this secret passage way into the castle probably won't be useful at any point...
Oi, that friendly bandit doesn't seem all bad...
Oi, that giant white worm was scary, best brick up that wall to make sure no more come out...

the list could go on and on. it feels like your watching one of those really bad south American sitcoms. The shear number of cliches would be bad enough, but the author seems to think that we won't be able to spot any of them. he goes on to drop planet sized hints and allusions to his "subtly" developing plot.
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