Customer Reviews


250 Reviews
5 star:
 (177)
4 star:
 (46)
3 star:
 (15)
2 star:
 (8)
1 star:
 (4)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swords and courage
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...
Published 3 months ago by R Bay

versus
25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A great idea sadly wasted.
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...
Published 11 months ago by Targle


‹ Previous | 1 225 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

25 of 29 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars A great idea sadly wasted., 7 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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. As a result nothing is a surprise, nothing is unexpected, it's just a relief to get the various plot points out of the way.

(The combat and battle sequences are really hammy as well, although to be fair I have just finished the red knight which is brilliant)

It is a real shame, as the idea of the story is good, just don't believe the reviews.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Swords and courage, 19 Dec. 2014
By 
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Pedigree is easily discerned, 4 Oct. 2013
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Malice is well written, containing everything you would expect from the genre.....Perhaps that is the problem. I found it far too long and slow, nearly abandoning it several times.
Halfway through, it picked up and became quite gripping at times.
I doubt I'll be preordering the sequels.
Only for the true enthusiast, with a lot of patience.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it now!, 3 Jan. 2015
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 'Malice' by John Gwynne, 16 Dec. 2013
By 
L M Hughes (Manchester, England) - See all my reviews
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. The characters are all very different - we have the blacksmith's son Corban (my personal favourite PoV), his fiery knife-throwing sister Cywen, the skilled archer and former brigand Camlin, the gentle giant-hunter (and unwilling noble heir) Kastell, and finally Veradis, the first-sword and blood-brother to an unwitting servant of Asroth. All these characters are very different in their own ways, and it's not immediately clear how they relate to one another, but as the plot unfolds we begin to see how they each might be involved in the grand scheme of things.

The Faithful and the Fallen is clearly intended to be a sweeping epic series, with conflict spreading across the entire world and involving gods and monsters. However, there are some nice personal moments that stand out in my memory, namely involving Corban, such as the naming of his horse (Shield) and his defence of the wolven cub Storm. It would be nice to see more of these, and perhaps more character-driven scenes within battles, which are often described in ways that give more of an overview than a one-to-one account.

Malice won the Gemmell Morningstar Award for best debut novel earlier this year, and although I haven't read any of the other books that were shortlisted for this one, I can understand why this one made the list. Slow to start with, but intriguing, and improving in pace and intensity with every chapter. As Conn Iggulden announces on the cover: it's a `hell of a debut'. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


70 of 85 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fine balance, 4 Dec. 2012
This review is from: Malice: The Faithful and the Fallen: Book One (Faithful & the Fallen 1) (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. People you care about will die and victory is not assured, but this does not undermine the central thread and draw of the story or stop it being 'uplifting' a thing some of ultra grim modern fatasy books have lost of late.

The books roots are steeped in Lord of the Rings but it has grown it's many gnarled branches in the 21st Century of contemporary fantasy and is I think a hi-bred that will please lovers of both schools.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3.0 out of 5 stars Just tries too hard to be Game of Thrones II, 12 Mar. 2015
By 
BVI Diver "BVI Diver" (British Virgin Islands) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Malice is clearly the start of an ambitious fantasy epic, and throughout the book the homage to George RR Martin's writing comes through loud and strong. (Sometimes a bit too strong, when the homage gets slightly ludicrous - the hero adopts an orphaned wolf cub. Really??) But whilst Malice is not an unenjoyable book, it certainly lacks the wit and craft of the books that inspired it. The characters in Malice are much more one dimensional. The book is pretty open about being the long tale of fulfilling a prophecy between a champion of dark and a champion of light, but it is pretty strikingly obvious who those two champions are going to be from an early stage. Gwynne fleshes out his world by adding a lot of colour through peripheral characters, but their narratives don't really grip you because you don't sense that they are key to the evolution of the plot. In short: an enjoyable if less inspiring fantasy work - but if you buy it on the basis that "If you like Game of Thrones you will love this", I am afraid you are likely to end up feeling a bit disappointed.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read, 12 April 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Well crafted storyline, with characters you can feel invested in. Hardly put it down and am already on to the next book! Would definitely recommend.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


5.0 out of 5 stars Slow beginning but the rest is awesome, 12 Jan. 2014
I was searching something new writer to read in local bookstore. My eyes fell in this book and I read it in about one month. The first one thirds of the book was a little slow in tempo and maybe needed something of strenghtening but the last two thirds of it was accelerating and fascinating to read. My primary language is finnish but I have read english books about 25 years, and mostly fantasy. Reading was easy but invigorating at least ! I have strong opinions against R.R.Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire books so I don't want to compare this book to those hideous books. But David Gemmell Award is well earned in this book, there's something Gemmelish in it. I think that John Gwynne can bring a lot more in tales about giants and wyrms, which is great ! I strongly recoomend this book to all fantasy-enthusiasts. And I wait with great expectations about the next book !
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Detailed, Gripping Fantasy. Loved it, 21 Aug. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
Couldn't stop reading this book. I know John Gwynne explains his inspiration are the works of George R.R Martin and David Gemmell. He writes chapters based on each main character and their view of events, not unique, but helps when the list of characters gets long enough to confuse me. I wanted Corban, the main character to fulfill his promise. Much like Harry Potter, Corban is much vaunted by a number of people, but in actuality doesn’t do anything which warrants their adulation. he himself spends this book unaware of his importance to the forces being drawn up against him. In truth in this book it is never explained why he is the chosen, he doesn’t particularly excel and often fails to come good under pressure. But, its fabulously and descriptively written with rich content and a well-crafted world build which spawns some wonderful characters with a terrific plot line about who exactly is the good and just who then is the bad. I loved it
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 225 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Malice: The Faithful and the Fallen: Book One (Faithful & the Fallen 1)
£16.99
Not in stock; order now and we'll deliver when available
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews