If you’d told me after I read Rebel Of The Sands that this series would go on to be one of the best fantasy series I’ve ever enjoyed, I would probably have laughed in your face. The first book was pretty rough in terms of storytelling but had so much promise. The second book made good on that promise with a nuanced exploration of the politics of rebellion but even so, I did not expect this final volume to be as amazing as it was. Hero At The Fall was smart and funny and tragic and tender and I cried for pages and pages at the courage of our rebel army as they fought to free Miraji from oppression. So many people die for the cause, and HatF acknowledges the heroism of their deaths and the grief of the survivors so beautifully, without giving in to lazy rhetoric or cheap conclusions. Most importantly, HatF is a reminder of the power of storytelling and the legacies we leave.
I’m really glad I didn’t give up on this series after the first book, even as I’m amazed at Alwyn Hamilton’s ability to go from strength to strength. HatF isn’t a perfect book — there are still a few underwritten bits — but overall, it’s one of the finest fantasy novels I’ve ever enjoyed (with honestly one of the best love scenes ever written, in fantasy or otherwise.) Can’t recommend it highly enough!