Narrator: Tim Gerard Reynolds, Michael J Sullivan, Robin Sullivan
Series: The Rise and Fall #2
Published by Audible on June 7, 2022
Length: 13 hours, 44 minutes
Amazon, Audible, Barnes & Noble, Apple
Being an unwanted twin in the imperial line of succession, Farilane becomes a scholar, an adventurer, and—in a time when reading is forbidden—a hunter of books. Her singular obsession is finding the mythical Book of Brin, a tome not just lost but intentionally buried. Although she is respected and beloved by the Teshlor Knights, not even their legendary skills can protect her, for what she finds is more dangerous than what she sought.
From the three-time New York Times best-selling author Michael J. Sullivan, Farilane is the second novel in The Rise and Fall trilogy. This latest set of stories sits snugly between the Legends of the First Empire series and the Riyria books (Revelations and Chronicles).
Michael J. Sullivan is one of my favorite fantasy authors and you can always depend on him to produce great works and stories in a fantasy world that really touch your heart. Farilane ended up being one of the most emotional of all the books I’ve read by him, which was surprising since so much of it was an adventure with quippy dialogue and a quest for the Book of Brin.
The story of Farilane second book of The Rise and Fall series is different than many series I’ve read as it technically could be read as a stand alone and it would still be a good story. But what made it a great story for me is that this book is in the middle of two completed series. It is probably 2000 years before the Riyria books and a bit over 1000 years after Legends of the First Empire. I love how authors play with history when they do that and the stories of the past get told and retold until they become barely recognizable as the story you read.
It is an eon after Nolyn, and his many greats granddaughter is an adventurer and lover of books and reading. Which wouldn’t be all the fantastic except reading and magic are forbidden at this time. She is quite a rebel, especially for a woman and possibly the smartest person in Elon. Which is an issue as she is a princess and twin, and technically this could muddy the succession waters as her brother is not that remarkable at all. In her quest for a special book, the book of Brin and possibly the second book of Brin, she ends up with an unlikely band of people to travel with one of whom is Kile. Let’s just say that I was really excited to see Kile as I’ve read all the other books and knew who he was, it was really nice to know the entire time that Kile was here, wondering what role he was working on playing to nudge things the direction he needed them to go.
Farilane was a person of history when I first read about her in the Riyria books. She is beloved of the Teshlore Knights and has a bit of the spirit of her many greats’ grandmother Moya in her. She seems so misunderstood by her blood family, out of place in the life of a princess when she is so clearly a scholar and adventurer. When one of her beloved Teshlores needs to retire, Kile is introduced as his replacement and much to her surprise they have an instant kindship. When you live as long as elves do it is unwise to get too close to the humans, or so she has been taught.
Farilane covers how the history of those Legends we loved are changing and this is the tipping point where Nyphron (an elf) is being turning into Novron (a human/god) in a new cultish fervor. But the true wonder in Farilane is the relationship between her and Kile. It changes both in ways we can’t imagine and I was so incredibly touched by the end to this story, especially the feather.
If you have loved Michael J. Sullivan books before I think Farilane will be another that is cherished and has moments that stick with you long afterward. I’m really loving the in-between books just as much as the other two/three series set in this world. There is so much history to play with and it is really fun to see how history changed so much by the original series. So another win in the Michael J. Sullivan column.
“Life is a gamble, my friend. The trick is to wager wisely, balancing risk against reward.”
“Facts are important. They are the notches we cut in trees as we explore reality—lose them, and we might never find our way.”
Tim Gerard Reynolds is always magic in his narrations. There are books I buy just because he is the narrator. He has done all of the books set in Elon and each one has been masterfully performed. While all of MJS’s books are good there is just a special magic I feel when listening that I don’t get when I read them on my own and that is all due to the fantastic performances by Tim Gerard Reynolds.
Listen to a clip: HERE
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