Book Review – When Heroes Fall by Andrew Q. Gordon

Champion of the Gods #5
Publisher: Indie
Pages: 507
POV: 3rd
Genre: Fantasy, Series.

It took the Seven to create the world, each to rule Their own, until Neldin sought to rule it all.

The Six defeated Neldin three millennia ago, but time has no meaning to a god. Before the dust settled from the first conflict, both sides set in motion plans for the next one. As Champion of the Six, Farrell, with Kel’s help, gathers those loyal to the Six to meet Meglar and his army.

But Neldin plotted as well, and like the Six, His plans all lead to the final confrontation between Champions.

Kel teaches Farrell that weapons and power will not be enough—victory requires something from within each Champion. But Neldin also knows this and unleashes a final surprise at a critical moment that claims some of those Farrell loves most.

With the fate of Nendor riding on his actions, Farrell must ignore the pain and find the will to win. If not, his world and everyone he loves will fall to Meglar’s darkness.

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Wow. What an amazing rollercoaster of a conclusion to this series. As it’s a long book I had planned to read it over several nights, then got to the last 200 pages and had to find out what happened next. The author puts his characters—and the reader—through so much turmoil. I was already seriously worried about who would be left standing at the end of this story, and was surprised how it turned out.

Not that my worry was for nothing. You’ll need your tissues for this one.

The world building in this story is fabulous as I’d come to expect from this series. Not only does he build a layered fantasy world, but different societies within that world. I love how not all the characters are human or humanoid, and how they all come together as their combined strengths and weaknesses play out in the final battle. I also liked how, despite Farrell and Kel asking others for help, some are reluctant to give it.

I’ve loved Farrell and Miceral since the beginning. Despite no onscreen love scenes, I was left in no doubt about the strength of their love for each other. The scene they share before Farrell goes to confront Meglar gave me a case of the sniffles, and it got worse from there on in. Although Farrell often gets centre stage with his abilities, I enjoyed seeing Miceral in his element as a warrior in this story too.

Although this story has a large cast, each character feels real. The story itself is very rich and complex, with a few twists along the way. I liked how the gifts the Six give Farrell all have a role to play in the final conflict. Lives are lost, but it’s realistic in a battle and war on this scale. I would have surprised if everyone survived.

This series is high fantasy, and this book, like others in the series, is not a quick read, but it is one I’d highly recommend, and well worth the reading commitment. You also need to read in order, or it won’t make sense. Although there is a detailed ‘previously on’ at the beginning of the book, which is a helpful refresher, don’t be tempted to skip the other books and read that. You’ll miss a lot of the nuances of character and plot.

I’m sad that this is the final book in the series, and will miss Farrell, Miceral, and the other characters who make up this world. 5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at
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