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(The Faithful and the Fallen #1)

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  13,324 ratings  ·  1,323 reviews
The first book in acclaimed epic fantasy author John Gwynne's Faithful and Fallen series, Malice is a tale of blind greed, ambition, and betrayal set in a world where ancient monsters are reawakening--and a war to end all wars is about to begin.

The world is broken...and it can never be made whole again.

Corban wants nothing more than to be a warrior under King Brenin's
Paperback, 646 pages
Published December 3rd 2013 by Orbit (first published December 1st 2012)
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Shane Kiely The protagonists are actually genuinely very likeable rather than compelling bastards that grow on you (which is generally a hallmark of Grimdark in…moreThe protagonists are actually genuinely very likeable rather than compelling bastards that grow on you (which is generally a hallmark of Grimdark in my opinion) but it's got Grimdark levels of violence & can get quite bleak at times. (less)

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Average rating 4.13  · 
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 ·  13,324 ratings  ·  1,323 reviews

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Feb 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Epic Fantasy & aSoIaF fans
Recommended to Petrik by: ☽Luna☾
4.5/5 Stars

Do you ever have this feeling, just after you finished reading the first book of a series, you knew immediately there's a huge potential for the series to become one of your favorite series of all time? Malice, the first book in The Faithful and the Fallen quartet by John Gwynne is one of those rare cases for me.

What started out as a simple classic tale of Good vs Evil ended up being not as simple as I thought. As the story progressed, the story evolved darker gradually while keeping
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 ...more
Melissa ♥ Dog/Wolf Lover ♥ Martin

My thoughts . . .


I wanted to kill people seven ways til Sunday in this book! The damn bullies and the evil people. If you read this book you best not like anyone or anything because they are going to DIE! Well, not all of them, but still! You know how these epics go =)

Some of my favorite characters:
1. Corbin
2. Cywen (Corbin's sister)
3. Gar (stablemaster)
4. Thannon (the smith & Corbin/Cywen's father
5. Veradis

Okay, there are several more I loved but I can't list them all!

Corbin and his
James Tivendale
Nov 10, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
"That is my prayer, what use is prayer to a God that has abandoned all things..." - Halvor

Gwynne's debut is the foundation of what will arguably be a perplexing but ultimately breathtaking fantasy saga. One that is flowing with age-old and perhaps cliched elements preparing for the ultimate battle. Good vs. Evil. It features a whole range of species such as humans, giants, wolven, draigs and also incorporates a friendly intellectual talking crow.

A few wise people have envisaged through their
Another buddy read with my fantasy addicted pals at BB&B


'even the brave will fall'

Warning this book is not for the lighthearted I can't even count the amount of times I was shocked and saddened in this book.


I heard this is the authors first book... Umm wow what a great start to no doubt a wonderful career for John Gywnne!

This is another great fantasy read that I throughly enjoyed. I did however find the story extremely dark with little relief but it was a good read that
Sep 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, fantasy-grim
*** 4.55 ***

A second buddy read with the Fantasy Buddy Reads Group, because this book is awesome!!!
A buddy read with my Fantasy addicted friends at BB&B!!!! We are on a quest to read all worthwhile Fantasy ever written:-)

I loved it just as much the second time around! Everything anyone could want from a Fantasy Novel!

I loved it!!! A bit of a slow start, but needed to introduce all the main players and for us to
Apr 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was a buddy read with my dear friend Orient and I thank her for encouraging me to start this series sooner than I planned.

Before I started Malice I was warned that the first half of the book is a slow burn but as soon as I was about fifty pages in I understood why. This book hosts a large cast of characters and we follow some of them through POV chapters so the slower pace was needed to get us acquainted with them and to lay the foundation of the story through them.

The premise of this story
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
Nov 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
4.5 stars, rounded up. (Half-star taken off for a slow start. But man, did that ever change.)

Move over, Martin, because Gwynne is here to steal yo’ girl.

The A Game of Thrones comparisons here are completely understandable. As in Martin’s series, there is a varied cast of characters from whose perspectives we witness this story unfold. There is no time travel here, no resurrection for those who die. Death is final, and it is an equal opportunity reaper, not caring how good or bad a person is, how
Eon ♒Windrunner♒
Sep 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fantasy lovers
Shelves: favourites
4.5 Stars

Another great debut book which surpassed my expectations!

‘For whence But from the author of all ill could spring So deep a malice.’ John Milton, Paradise Lost

A classic fantasy story with the familiar end of the world, prophecy, chosen one arc that we see regularly (because we are suckers for epics obviously), but still a book every fantasy lover will enjoy. It is told from multiple POV's and as with such books you start favoring one or two characters above others, but I did not find
Mayim de Vries
Have you ever heard me saying: The movie was better? I don’t think so, as such statement is an epitome of blasphemy for every self-respecting reader. But here comes Malice with each of its 672 pages like a severe toothache, and I promise: if they ever turn this book into a movie/series, it is going to be better than the original.

It took me (let me check) over a month to read Malice. I put it down twice and read two other books in between. And the only thing that kept me going was the sheer
Bentley ★
Feb 14, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, cover-porn
Second Read-Through Completed 4/17/17 - Review Updated to Reflect Current Thoughts

This book was just as awesome as I remembered it. It still amazes me that this is a debut novel. The character growth alone over the course of the story is enough to really set this one apart. I love watching all my little favorites grow and mature as they get pulled into the rapidly unfolding events of the plot. You can tell this was a story crafted with love and a lot of planning.

This is epic fantasy done right,
Liam Degnan
Sep 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, favorites
"There is a hole in your heart, an empty space. You must fill it with meaning. You need a cause to live for, to fight for, perhaps to die for... Choose me."

4.5 Stars:

Just a warning, this is less of a review and more of me explaining why this book was so personally meaningful to me. If you hate that stuff, please move on ;] haha. I almost feel like this book could have been written just for me, and very, VERY few books have ever done that. Simply fantastic opening to what I'm predicting
Apr 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Orient by: Craig
A great BR with three swordsmen, who where with me in warrior trial and sat the Long Night: Samir, Terry and Jokoloyo.

When I first read a couple of reviews for “Malice”, I wasn’t sure if I want to try it. Mostly there were good reviews, but also I spotted some DNFs. So when Craig recommended this book and series to me, I thought I needed backup! Thank you guys for being there for me

"Malice” is an interesting story, about how good fights evil. I found values that make “Malice” a great read:
Jun 20, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
4.5 stars.
Normally I like to leave some space between books in a series, but with this one, I feel I need to continue quite quickly. Let me explain: this was one hard book to get into- so many names, I kept losing track. I was also listening on audio and the narrator was using everything from a Liverpudlian, Irish, scouser, Australian and Bavarian accents and they were distracting! I wouldn't recommend starting this book on audio until you have all the characters clear in your head.
Having said
Feb 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned, epic-fantasy
4.5 Scottish stars!

Buddy read with my favorite warriors :
Petrik, Celeste, Mary and my Evil Twin lurking in the shadows !

Actual review

With his debut (!!!) novel, John Gwynne has just joined my list of authors who reaaally know how to write an ending (along with Brandon Sanderson and Mark Lawrence among others)!! The man knows how to grip his readers and wrap things up at the end to give a really satisfying conclusion and yet letting all the doors open to numerous unpredictable possibilities.
Deborah Obida
You know you’ve read a great book when you can’t stop thinking about it and imagining all the different scenarios for the next book. This book turned out way better than I thought it would, it reminds me why I love fantasy. What I love most in fantasy(epic adult fantasy to be precise) is its originality and the way the authors play at words. And this is no exception, the author use a very rare story telling style in this book. Some fantasy books starts with a bang then backstory of the main ...more
Em Lost In Books
Took me a lot of time to get hang of things in this story but I really enjoyed last 25% of this book. A lot was going on from the start but author wrapped up things beautifully here. Definitely an introductory book to the great things that awaits in remaining three books.
Every single review of this book by my friends is five-starred. Who am I to defy the high-end knowledge of my faithful friends?

Holden Johnson

What an ending. It's almost as if John Gwynne is begging me to buy book two...
Oh wait, I already did.

A quick note before I get into the review:

I feel as if this series was written for me. In my mind, me and John Gwynne met up for coffee and he asked me what I loved about fantasy books and I wrote a list for him on a napkin and he then took it and wrote a book about it.

I will have two sections to this review. The Non-Spoilery version which will come first and the Super-Duper-Spoilery
This is only 2.99 on kindle rn 5/17/19! PLEASE GO BUY IT! THIS BOOK IS SO FKN GOOD


This review was originally published on GracelingAccountant.

Hey Ya’ll!

This is my spoiler free review for Malice by John Gwynne, the first book in the Faithful and the Fallen series. I buddy read this book with my friend Devin and I’ve gotta say that I am obsessed with this series. I will probably be spending a good portion of OWNtober 2018 devouring at least the next book in the series. I
Tessy Ijachi
Jan 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, fantasy
The only big regret I have while reading this book was reading it for three months straight. Am absolutely glad I was able to complete it cause it was absolutely worth it.

This first book is a little bit a coming of age story, which was quite interesting. I was able to witness the characters develop in and also in other skills.

‘Be very sure you mean the words that come out of your mouth. You cannot unsay them.’

The plot centres on an angel and demon war but in a fantasy setting. I truly can't

Holy. Fucking. Shit. Those last 100 pages or so just sealed the five star deal for me. The amount of names thrown at you throughout the first half of the book was a bit overwhelming, but I got used to it and now I'm pretty much familiar with all of them. The thing about this book is that it's written in multiple POV's which made it easy for me to connect with the characters, good and bad although such a thing doesn't really exist here. They all have their own ambitions and reasons as to why they
Sep 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5+ Stars ( Outstanding)

This is my 2nd read through and overall, Malice jumped into my 'favorite' books of all times list for the sheer scope, genius, characterization and unrelenting action!

* Nearly every character is unique and shines in his/her own merit!

* A story of good vs evil- yet every turn there is a twist, a mystery and wild turn of emotions!

* A brutal book- where some of your favorite and most endearing characters perish- yet it all adds to the narrative and the vision of John
Jack +Books & Bourbon+
Aug 02, 2017 rated it really liked it
Yeah, I know I'm a slacker ass! This review should have been done last week, closer to when I actually finished the book...but it wasn't. Le sigh. I have no real excuse. I could get all defensive and offer up arguments like single parenting, full-time jobbing, yardwork, housework, yada yada, blah blah blah. But the fact is, I just didn't get around to it when I wanted to.

That being said, it's good that I've had time to let this one percolate in my brainpan for a bit. In my random wanderings
"War eternal between the Faithful and the Fallen, infinite wrath come to the world of men. Lightbearer seeking flesh from the cauldron, to break his chains and wage the war again. Two born of blood, dust and ashes shall champion the Choices, the Darkness and Light."

See, this is quite a fun premise. A good god and a bad god will start a war, and each will have their mortal champion. Who are they, you wonder? Well, their identities are carefully hidden and you will have to work it out for
Mar 05, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
4.5 Stars
What a fantastic start to a series that seems full of promise.

I’ve had Malice on my shelves for quite some time now. Whilst I’ve been desperate to read it since I bought it, for some reason I just never seemed to pick it up. Then the audiobook went on sale at audible and I couldn’t pass it up. So I started my adventure into the Banished Lands and boy was it fun.

I’d like to quickly mention how wonderful the audiobook was. It was narrated by Damian Lynch and I think he narrates the rest
Oct 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I have been anticipating getting to this series for some time now, and I’m glad I finally did. This is an epic story of good versus evil at its finest. The world building had a unique quality that set it apart from other series in this genre. The characters were well developed and interesting. It did take me a little longer than usual to get familiar with all of the characters and kingdoms, but with the magnitude of characters and information in this story it is to be expected. At least for me ...more
Jul 18, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
I really enjoyed Malice by the end. Yes, there was a certain sense of predictability about the story lines. As the pace picked up through the novel, it kept my interest. Told from the point of view of six characters, I found the book easy to follow and the characters engaging.
Nick T. Borrelli
I'm going to write a formal review on this one, I promise!
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Witch Plus Cat Bo...: * Malice by John Gwynne 1 3 Jun 21, 2019 02:49AM  
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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.

Other books in the series

The Faithful and the Fallen (4 books)
  • Valor (The Faithful and the Fallen, #2)
  • Ruin (The Faithful and the Fallen, #3)
  • Wrath (The Faithful and the Fallen, #4)
“I shall stay and tell my tale, hope that it may serve some purpose, that eyes shall see it and learn, that the future will not repeat the mistakes of the past. That is my prayer, but what use is prayer to a god that has abandoned all things . . .” 15 likes
“Come, boy, it is time for a lesson. Let me teach you the power of words,” 9 likes
More quotes…