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Fallen Land

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,848 ratings  ·  371 reviews
Fallen Land is Taylor Brown's debut novel set in the final year of the Civil War, as a young couple on horseback flees a dangerous band of marauders who seek a bounty reward.

Callum, a seasoned horse thief at fifteen years old, came to America from his native Ireland as an orphan. Ava, her father and brother lost to the war, hides in her crumbling home until Callum determi
Hardcover, 288 pages
Published January 12th 2016 by St. Martin's Press
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Philip Higgins Good news about the horse: it goes on to win the Kentucky Derby before miraculously gaining the power of speech and landing its own TV show with its n…moreGood news about the horse: it goes on to win the Kentucky Derby before miraculously gaining the power of speech and landing its own TV show with its new owner Wilbur.(less)

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Average rating 3.78  · 
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Dec 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
this book takes place at the very end of the civil war*, where disorganized and factionless gangs of opportunistic men took advantage of the confusion and lawlessness of war's aftermath to settle scores and take for themselves whatever hadn't already been destroyed.

which is the kind of story i really dig - i love cormac mccarthy, i loved The Winter Family, i love stories about individuals pared down to the barest essentials, as free from morality or politeness as animals, surviving in a world u
Angela M
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Sometimes for me it's all about the writing . From the first sentence the precise language and the perfect descriptions defy you to see anything other than what Taylor Brown hopes for you to see. I read the first page three times and then reread some other paragraphs just because. I decided to read this slowly to savor it . It continued to be the writing that drew me in but then it also became this unbelievably gripping story about these characters that I fell in love with . Towards the end I co ...more
Shelby *trains flying monkeys*
I feel like it took forever to finish this book. It's completely written in beautiful language but I felt like that very language just tried too hard. I think Cold Mountain and some of Cormac McCarthy books are written in that same style so it may be that these types of books just aren't my genre. I'm including several passages from the book in this review to give an idea of the way it is written. I'm sure it will sell thousands and millions of copies because it completely bored me.

This one star
Diane S ☔
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Violence amidst great beauty. Two amazing young characters, Callum and Ava, and a wonderful trusty horse named Reiver. On the run from bounty hunters under the mistaken notion that Callum had killed their renegade Colonel. Nearing the end of the Civil War, there is much destruction, woods full of starving men, men who kill and steal for food, there is danger behind and ahead of them. From the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina they hope to make their way to the Georgian Coast, running into t ...more
Jul 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
Callum and Ava, 15 and 17 yrs old, are on the run towards the end of The Civil War ..there is a bounty on Callum’s head for a suspected murder while rescuing Ava from the hands of a band of marauders.
These were violent times and they faced such struggles to try and survive. What a story and journey!
I’m very surprised that this hasn’t been made into a movie yet!
Jan 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
A brave young man (15), a savvy young girl (17), and a stately, fearless horse (Reiver) are on the run from a deadly, persevering one-armed man and his band of murderous cutthroats. With a price on his head during a time of upheaval as the Civil War nears its end, Callum and Eva trudge forward in hopes of reaching a place of solace to begin a peaceful life together.

Within the pages of Taylor Brown's FALLEN LAND he gives a graphically descriptive historic account of a violent and lawless time in

Elyse  Walters
Dec 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley

I struggled with the style of writing. I was more in 'aw' about how some sentences were written - even how they sounded -than I was naturally able to feel
the depth of emotion from the pretty sentences I admired. I also needed a dictionary for which my paperwhite Kindle was a blessing- as some words were 'horse terms', that I wasn't familiar with.

The story itself was easy to follow, but often the lyrical descriptions seemed to clash -- in other words the style of writing just didn't feel cohesi
Set in the last year of the Civil War, Taylor Brown’s “Fallen Land” begins with Callum. As the story unfolds, Callum is sent out with orders from the “Colonel” to their troop of horse thieves to find food for their men. While searching the closest home, he comes upon a young girl, Ava, and attempts to save her from the fate he foresees happening to her if she doesn’t hide.

Together Callum, his horse Reiver, and Ava make their way, sometimes on horseback, sometimes on foot, from her family home i
Diane Barnes
Nov 16, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
What a book! What a story! Ava and Callum, what a couple they turned out to be! Two kids on the run from bounty hunters during the last year of the Civil War. Enduring starvation, violence, freezing cold, and fear, never able to relax, but learning to love and protect each other.

This was a difficult book to read, not just because of the suspense built into the story itself, but because of the beauty of the writing. I was constantly torn between skimming the lines and turning the pages to keep up
Oct 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
I received a copy of Fallen Land through Goodreads and St. Martin's Press. I wish to thank them for the opportunity.

Fallen Land is in the vein of Cold Mountain. To parallel a debut book with the likes of that stellar novel is quite the achievement for Taylor Brown. Fallen Land focuses on the devastation, the tragedies, the brutalities during the Civil War. Brown's writing brings the severely destructive human losses to the forefront. And his words take you there.

"No colors among the trees. No ba
J.K. Grice
Nov 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: southern-writers
FALLEN LAND is a bloody and beautiful journey through the horrors of our own Civil War. The violent grace and eloquence lie in the writing of Taylor Brown, who most assuredly puts me in the mind of William Gay. His prose and sense of the natural world; of life & death, of fire & water, are all so reminiscent of the late author's style. Taylor Brown is a force to be reckoned with, and is a young southern writer showing promise to join the ranks of Larry Brown, Tom Franklin, and Ron Rash. This nov ...more
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
What would you do with a bounty on your head?
It's the end of the civil war. Man is corrupt from hunger and exhaustion. But it's not over yet. A boy tries to defend a girl from being raped. He gets concussed and dragged away. Now, he's on a mission to find her, to care for her and to take her away from the evil that now haunts this barren land.
The cost? Survival. A bounty on his head, they are hunted relentlessly.
Fallen Land is an epic story of love, loyalty and the twisted fate of humans and wh
Nov 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
"They had long ago forsaken the war of newspapers for the one they carried everywhere with them, and which had no colors, no sides, and which could be fit neatly to any new opportunity that presented itself: ambush, pillage, torture." - Fallen Land, Taylor Brown

Taking place at the end of the Civil War, Taylor Brown's debut novel, Fallen Land, follows the story of Callum and Ava as they race across the South toward the home of Callum's distant relatives while being pursued by a band of nefarious
Sep 14, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Brown writes beautiful, almost lyrical and very descriptive prose.
You cannot help but fall in love with Callum and Ava, their horse Reiver, and even the surroundings.

Set amid the war-ridden lands during the Civil War, Callum has a bounty put upon his head after rescuing Ava from a lesser fate. They flee, being hunted down. Everywhere they turn there is danger, destruction, starvation, and death. The only thing that keeps them together is their want to be together and survive. And they are only
Andria Williams
Jul 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
What a book!! Better than 'Cold Mountain,' as good as Cormac McCarthy. An epic, gorgeous, thrilling, romantic story set during the final days of the Civil War.

As perfect a novel as I have read this year.

Callum, a young Irish immigrant, and Ava, orphan daughter of a doctor who perished in the war, flee Callum's pursuers (he's wrongly accused of a murder)across the charred and devastated landscape of post-Civil-War Atlanta and environs.

The writing is infallible, never faltering. The pace never s
Jan 02, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I really wasn't sure I wanted to read this when I read the synopsis but I decided to give it a go based on the reviews I'd seen. I thought that it started off well enough but was really slow going about 3/4 of the way through. I almost put it aside but with so little left I thought I'd go ahead and finish it. I felt like this was a good novel that was trying to hard to be a brilliant one. The descriptions distracted me from the story. I didn't need to know what every leaf looked like and how eve ...more
Nov 23, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: southern, favorites
I loved this book. I loved the descriptions and the intensity of the journey. Say it ain't so, but.....the writing reminded me of Cormac McCarthy and specifically the book, The Road. Wow, I think I will be thinking of this book for some time. Well done Taylor Brown. You know it's a good book when it takes all, and I mean all, my will power not to read the epilogue. So well written. The reader gets so many vivid descriptions from the book that I felt myself remembering my own experiences such as ...more
Doug H
Feb 17, 2016 rated it it was ok
Is it safe to review this without getting hate mail yet?

Many of my respected GR friends gave this 5 stars, so don't take my word for it, but I 'm strugglng with even giving it 2 stars. I thought the characters were cardboard cutouts and I found the plot completely unrealistic and based entirely on convenient coincidences. Worst of all, I grew to hate the overblown, over-earnest, over-hyphenated Faulkner/McCarthy wannabe fake-literary language.
Here is the story in a nutshell—we start with brutal, violent killings and the hero’s close death, rapidly followed by instantaneous, passionate love. Then rape, tussles and bloodshed in the dirt. Sprinkle in more violent deaths. Then the chase begins and continues and continues in a bleak landscape of more violence ….until the glorious end when all ends up (view spoiler).

Talk about predictable!

I do not revel in brutality and violence. To top off the true to life h
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Oh my. I have to catch my breath. A trio on the run for their lives through the carnage of the Civil War. Callum, barely a man, you feel his light step, his chilled bones, the gnaw of starvation in his gut and his ever pervasive drive to endure. Ava, a young woman, hardened by cruelty yet soft with child, a will of steel, intelligent and unwavering. Reiver, a majestic steed, you can feel the rippling of his muscle beneath the gleaming black hide, his fathomless strength and soaring spirit. All t ...more
The Shayne-Train
Dec 14, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley
This book was beautifully-written, though a bit like really heavy cheesecake: delicious, but you can't really binge on it without feeling ill. It makes you slowly go through, reading in chunks, and afterwards you have to loosen your mind-belt and burp a few times and have a good think.

Set during the American Civil War (my second favorite civil war, just short of the Marvel Superhero Civil War), it follows a hard-on-his-luck lad on his journey for....just...goddamned survival. The country is ripp
Connie G
Feb 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
In this fast-moving story set at the end of the Civil War a couple is persued by a group of bounty hunters. Fifteen-year-old Callum and seventeen-year-old Ava love and support each other as they try to outrun the outlaws. Meanwhile, violence is rampant and Sherman's army is leaving Georgia in flames. It's worth reading the book just for the fabulous horse! I was impressed with Taylor Brown's writing in his first novel.
Dorie  - Cats&Books :)
It has been a while since the writing in a book is just so, so wonderful, so pitch perfect, that I found myself reading sentences, heck whole pages, just to read the wonderful prose again. This is one beautifully written book. The attention to detail is astounding. The western Carolinas and east Georgia have suffered so much destruction, and the people are so hungry that it reads like it could be the landscape anywhere after a war.

We follow Callum, a young man of only 15, who has some skills at
‘Outside the door, the world was taking shape out of the high-country mist. Blued timbers sprung of the fugitive reality of dawn, ghostlike, perfect hidings for ambushing men.’

Fallen Land tells the harrowing tale about two young people that manage to fall in love in the midst of the Civil War. Callum is riding in the company of a band of Confederates being led by a dangerous man; the Colonel. He is a man both loved and feared; described as “a man of great cruelty who nevertheless protected t
Melissa Crytzer Fry
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
If you appreciate a sense of place and lush descriptions of the natural world (and, in this case, its devastating destruction by men in battle), this slim-in-pages but big-in-heart novel is for you. I guarantee you won’t soon forget Taylor Brown’s debut. I was on the trail with main characters Callum and Ava. I felt the branches scratching my face, felt the rough earth beneath me, the heat of a majestic horse’s hide, the bone-numbing cold. I sensed the panic as the bounty hunter and his men drew ...more
Fred Shaw
Apr 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Fallen Land: A Novel by Taylor Brown

This my second novel by Taylor Brown I’ve read in as many weeks, and a big thank you to Jennifer Tar Heel Reader for recommending him. He is a superb story teller, but his writing is much more than a telling a tale. It is his ability to describe: characters, setting, temperature, odors on the air, stars at night and more that keeps me turning pages . The details are so exquisite that it makes me feel like I am there in the moment experiencing everything the ch
Nov 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Two orphaned teens and a noble horse flee bounty hunters, renegades, the desperate, the displaced, the hungry, and a terrible prophecy. Brilliant. As others have noted the writing and story are reminiscent of Cormac McCarthy: All the Pretty Horses, No Country for Old Men, The Road and yet in may ways this is a more powerful read. The writing is more poetic, the characters more likable. It was very hard to put this book down as I fell in love with the three (yes, 3 - I loved Reiver!) characters o ...more
♥ Sandi ❣
Jul 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 1-have
Collum and Ava are on the run from a band of renegades and slave hunters. Traveling by horse, just at the end of the Civil War, moving from North Carolina to family in Georgia, in hopes of finding a peaceful place to settle down. Reiver, the magical black horse, stolen by Collum, who runs like the wind, is a full character in this story.
Written during the Civil War era, this is such a beautifully crafted story. The language is beautiful and descriptions are breath taking. A solid love story - m
Tom Mathews
Jan 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Aeschylus said that the first casualty in war is truth. In just about any war the politicians, the press and the other powers that be beat the drums and spout rhetoric aimed at making the people enthusiastic about the coming conflict. This can also be seen in books and movies. At the beginning of a war, they are likely to be inspirational and full of patriotic fervor. But when the war drags on longer than expected and casualties and costs mount, public enthusiasm fades and so does the hawkish se ...more
Fallen Land is an expansion of Taylor Brown's title story from his award-winning collection In The Season Of Blood And Gold , which I read last year and loved. This debut novel follows teenagers Callum and Ava, thrown together after he saves her during a pillaging in the middle of the Civil War. Together with their horse Reiver, they search for a place to call home, while trying to evade Callum's former gang and an infamous one-armed bounty hunter.

While I was equally impressed with Brown's wr
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Taylor Brown is a recipient of the Montana Prize in Fiction, and he's been a finalist for the Press 53 Open Awards, Machigonne Fiction Contest, and Doris Betts Fiction Prize. He is the author of In the Season of Blood and Gold (Press 53, 2014), Fallen Land (St. Martin's, 2016), The River of Kings (St. Martin's, 2017), Gods of Howl Mountain (St. Martin's, 2018), and Pride of Eden (St. Martin's, 202 ...more

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