Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen #1)
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Malice (The Faithful and the Fallen #1)

4.14 of 5 stars 4.14  ·  rating details  ·  1,081 ratings  ·  153 reviews
A black sun is rising …

Young Corban watches enviously as boys become warriors under King Brenin’s rule, learning the art of war. He yearns to wield his sword and spear to protect his king’s realm. But that day will come all too soon. Only when he loses those he loves will he learn the true price of courage.

The Banished Lands has a violent past where armies of men and gia...more
Hardcover, 672 pages
Published December 6th 2012 by Tor (first published December 1st 2012)
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Mark Lawrence
I finished Malice by the excellent John Gwynne whilst at hospital with Celyn this week. It's taken me a very long time to read due to the many calls on my time, so I've read it in small chunks over many months - and that's exactly the opposite of how I would want anyone to read my own work. It's a particularly bad way to read complicated books, and with a GRRM-sized cast and many point-of-view characters this is a book that really needs your attention on it or you'll get lost in the whirl of nam...more
Wendell Adams
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews

Malice by John Gwynne is the first book in The Faithful and the Fallen series, and it is an epic fantasy that has flown under the radar of a lot of fantasy aficionados. After reading it, I can understand that to some extent, because – in this time when grimdark and its close cousins are all the rage – Malice is more of a classic fantasy story with many of the tropes that go along with that term. However, where some novels might flounder under those clas...more
Well, I had high hopes for this one.

Unlike The Red Knight by Miles Cameron, which I read and reviewed recently, this one didn’t meet them, sadly.

There is an unwritten rule that reviews should not spend most of their time comparing a book with other books. The review should be focused on that book, the emphasis on the impression that book leaves.

Wise advice.

However, they are both debut Fantasy novels published at about the same time, treading similar ground, and I suspect that readers may have to...more
Very under rated book, if you like slow builds up to the story flow then this is one best you can read. Mutiple points of view done very well.

very well written fight scenes right at the end.

so in short get the boook read and enjoy. Epic fantasy as a new member.
Dave de Burgh
I heard about ‘Malice’ from John Jarrold – he let me know that this novel was the closest thing he’d ever read to A Song of Ice and Fire, so I was intently interested as soon as I heard that. Being a massive fan of Mr. Martin, I thought the claim was bold and perhaps a bit too much, but considering John Jarrold’s stature in Genre Fiction I knew that he hadn’t meant it literally. So I managed to secure an ARC for myself through Julie Crisp and Laura Hammond, and settled in to read it.

I agree with...more
Originally posted at

Malice is John Gwynne's debut in the fantasy genre, and was set as a big release back in 2012. I am always a sucker for a good epic fantasy story and Malice promised to be one, the synopsis already pays well into it and with mentioning a part coming-of-age tale I knew that this book was a treat. While I added this book on goodreads I saw that John Gwynne won the Morningstar Award for Best Fantasy Debut, well to be honest if you win suc...more
Craig Slater
These days I read mainly genre books.

And then mainly Fantasy.

Once in a while, to mix it up a bit, I slip in some Science Fiction or Urban Fantasy but I always come back to Fantasy books because that’s just what scratches my itch, and there’s nothing to gain from denying it.

Anyone that matters to me already knows I’m a Fantasy Geek!

Of course, there’s pros and cons to such a mighty endeavor.

It can sometimes get a bit tiring if I end up reading the same old same old, and in a way that’s nearly i...more
I admit that I picked up Malice not really having any preconceptions, I’d read the blurb but hadn't read any reviews at the time I started reading the book itself. Generally speaking though, I don’t read reviews, I’ll go by word of mouth a little, but primarily I'm won or lost on the blurb. With Malice, I had the good fortune to win a copy which, to be fair is the reason I've read it now rather than at some point down the line – I’d probably have picked it up based on the attractive cover (front...more
Jason Williams
16 Having just finished 'Malice: The Faithful and the Fallen Book One', the only adjective that I can think of to properly describe my thoughts is, WOW! What a wonderful fantasy adventure it turned out to be for me. I simply must say, that I am going to have a hard time waiting for book two. John Gwynne can definitely hang with the big boys when it comes to writing epic fantasy.

The book follows along the line of 'A Song of Ice and Fire', in that each chapter is written from the perspective of a...more
Nick Brown
Malice : The Faithful and the Fallen is by far one of the best constructed, written and enjoyable fantasy novels i have read. John Gwynne is a gifted author with the potential to be the next Robin Hobb, Abercrombie or Mark Lawrence. With such an epic debut novel, weighing in at 672 pages John Gwynne is a writer to watch from now on. Read this and become absorbed in a whole new fantasy world.

John Gwynne gives us a lot of information and background about the world he has created and it's easy to b...more
Mark D
I can't even remember how I found this book as it wasn't up on amazon or kobo.

I think I Googled "Greatest Book Ever Written" and hit I'm Feeling Lucky and this popped up.

Either way, I had a friend over and he went to the washroom and picked up my eReader. It happened to be on this book, I didn't see him again for an hour and when he got out he told me he's stealing my eReader to finish this book.

We fought. I won. He went home to buy it and went MIA.

The journey that Corban goes through in this bo...more
Malice is a debut novel from John Gwynne that travels a more traditional path than many novels in recent years. It’s a debut fantasy that reminds me very much of lazy summer days as a teen barricaded in my parent’s air conditioned home while pouring over the latest dictionary sized fantasy novel. Malice, in a way similar to Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World, is a novel that seems written to bridge the gap between teens and adults. As a result Malice’s prose walks a middle ground as it tries t...more
Fantasy Review Barn

It is a story that epic fantasy fans will fall right into, as comfortable as a favorite shirt. Signs are starting to show of an ancient prophecy coming to pass; stones bleeding, giants attacking, solar eclipse coming, etc. A fight between the gods is coming. There will be war. There will be clashes between kings. There will be a chosen one, or maybe chosen ones as each side picks their own (The Bright Star and the Black Sun of prophesy). Comparisons to the big hitters of the...more
Malice left me absolutely in awe of how wonderful it was. It's definitely a book I'm going to go back to and read over and over again. I fell in love with all the characters; they were so well written and portrayed that I got emotionally invested in every single one of them.

I could write my own novel praising this book. There are so many words that I wish to say, but can't seem to be able to put them into coherent sentences. This book honestly left me speechless when it ended. I'm so beyond exc...more
Laura Hughes
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....more
Chris Whybrow
Initially, I had high hopes for this book. Yet as I pressed on through it, I found that I was not utterly outstanded by it. That's not to say it was boring, because it wasn't. But in places it seemed to be moving both too fast and too slowly. (The book covers a period of two years, which surprised me when I found out.)

I never got tired of it, but in places I became worried that it might end up a bit dull towards the end. I didn't feel any particular attachment to many of the characters either.

This one had a really rough, slow start for me. It wasn't bad, but there wasn't anything keeping me reading for long spans of time. About two thirds through and it kicked up a big notch, though. I kinda had an idea where the story was going, and was pretty much right about the twist, but it still turned out fantastic in the end! Actually reading the twist was exciting despite predicting it.

Characters were enjoyable; no one really grated on me. Authors in this genre tend to write females that ann...more
Wow, this was a really good read.

One item to note, there A LOT of characters in this novel. And I mean A LOT. It reminds me of the Game of Thrones series with all the characters.

I will tell you, you have to stick with this story. There is a ton of back story, character and world building going on. Sometimes a bit too much, but as you get deeper into the story, the characters are developed very well.

A lot of mystery with Corban. Many people dies and die horribly. I am not one ot feel "bad" when...more
John Gwynnetells his story through the eyes of a large cast of characters, each readily identified with and easy to believe. The striking thing is that Gwynne has chosen characters that are usually looked over to narrate his book: never the power players or chief politicians, but their guards, children, best friends and counsellors. It lends a quality to this epic fantasy that most others lack, bringing an element of reality to the narrative. The larger-than-life characters and their deeds are t...more
I. Black99
If you like your fantasy novels to have big epic settings, a vast collection of different characters, bloody battles, giants, and swords, then you will absolutely love Malice by rising star John Gwynne.

I know they say you shouldn't judge a book by its cover, but when I was strolling the online site of Waterstones and came upon this beauty of a book, something inside of me said "You want that book, don't you?" And I found myself smiling in acknowledgment. This book will appeal to fans of George...more
David Caldwell
I won an advanced reader's copy on Goodreads Firstreads.

Malice is a high fantasy story with multiple storylines and a huge cast of characters.There is magic but not a lot and it isn't very flashy.The only fantasy race is giants but an angelic and demonic race are mentioned and will probably appear in later additions to the series.The themes of honor,family, and faith play huge roles in the story.Lots of twists and turns help to make the suspense level to be fairly high.Plenty of action will also...more
D.E.M. Emrys
The Good: Fully fleshed-out world, engaging characters, solid plot.

The Bad: A little on the longer side so it’s not a single-sit on a Sunday afternoon, and I felt a lull in pace towards the middle.

The Ugly Truth: Malice is a hugely impressive debut. The characters are very much real, you believe in and feel for them. The world and setting has a very ‘lived in’ feel, as if the author has taken time and care to craft his realm with an artisan’s touch.

For Those That Like: David Gemmell, J.R.R. Tolk...more
Anoop Menon
cant believe i came across a book that has entertained me much more and raised my interest!!! it is similar to the blood song, and the song of fire an ice but better according to me as i am not a fan of Song of fire an ice....... thats me i know it has a lot of followers..... but this is awesome characters well drawn but better and not that negative... love it and now longing to get the second book.. i would suggest you try this and the second book... beautiful and awsome.. slow to start but gai...more
Well i really dont know where to start as this is my first book that I've been compelled to write a review about. But enter Malice, an epic fantasy book that transports you to the world rich in imagination and gripping in its storytelling style.

There are a host of characters from which the book is told, from young and hot headed warriors to corrupted kings and queens. The story is set against the war of gods, and the banished land must come together lest they be destroyed by their very own.

What a debut!

I loved this book. I was sucked in from the very first page and couldn't stop until I reached the end.

The world building was fantastic, and the characters were well written. It reminded me slightly of Game of Thrones, having each chapter focused on a different character, but John Gwynne has a style all his own, and I found myself laughing, crying and raging along with the characters.

I love that the characters are realistic. They each have their flaws, their struggles and their stren...more
Danny Horscroft
Very good, along the lines of game of thrones, in writing style etc. Took me a little while to get into felt in the first half of the book it wasn't smooth between characters. The pace picks up half way through and the story is woven together well. Some good character development and should be interesting where this goes in subsequent books......If you like this genre its a must read, I was starting to get bored a little of fantasy as i've read 20 odd books this year but this does stand out of t...more
I picked this up in the airport before getting on a flight despite not having heard of the author or the novel itself. I loved this book and even found myself recommending this book to a random person in a different book shop. The character of Corban I found easy to empathise with, because he was young and basically wanting to run before he could walk. I am sooooo looking forward to the next instalment and was disappointed when I realised I would have to wait :(

Definitely would recommend this bo...more
Outdoors Nerd
A bloody hard read but worth it. I found the range of key characters hard to follow; frequently having to check back on who this character was.

A very slow burner that exploded into action in the last third. Plenty of richly depicted locations and characters. Some strong female characters in a sword and sorcery world tortured by petty gods and devious bastards.

Looking forward to book 2 in spring 2014
A solid debut which, although not perfect, kept me entertained and left me eagerly anticipating the sequel.

The story started off slow, mainly due to the number of POV characters and plot lines it balances throughout, but with a little patience it soon picked up and I found the pace in the second half was much improved. Ultimately I would say the characters were all interesting, despite some being more developed than others, and the story culminated in a satisfying crescendo that left itself ope...more
The only reason I'm giving this book four instead of five stars is down to personal dislike of the underpinning mythology of the book's world: it's simply too close a lift from Biblical myth, too-thinly carpeted with various bits of other European mythologies here and there. It also has a very powerful good/evil dichotomy which gives the story a rather dated feel, even though it is a staple of epic fantasy.

It actually comes over to me as too immature for the characters, many of whom have a grea...more
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Malice is my debut novel. Goldsboro Books of London, specialists in signed first-editions, have made Malice their 'Book of the Month' for December 2012.

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....more
More about John Gwynne...
Valor (The Faithful and the Fallen #2)

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