I am here to tell you about a book by David J. West which literally left me in a state of wonder. I want to make it clear right up front that I am friends with David. We talk quite a bit about writing and the publishing industry and genres and markets and literary works and classics and history and archaeology and astronomy and geography and mound builders and the Old World and explorers and religion and this list could go on for quite a while. We have many of the same interests. But don’t think for a minute that this review is slanted towards the glowing-like-a-sun-about-to-go-supernova realm, simply because we are friends. His book is very good all on its own, friends or not. In fact, getting to know David and seeing the background he has as a well-read writer only strengthened my resolve to give this book a full five stars on Goodreads. And Heroes of the Fallen isn’t even my favorite work of David’s (it actually ties for second place).
Let me tell you why I recommend that you read his book…
Heroes of the Fallen is not your average historical fiction novel based on the Book of Mormon. A skillfully woven tale of nations in decline, intrigue, faith, and hope, it is a book filled with believable dialogue and expertly crafted characters. David is very good at creating villains. His writing voice is reminiscent of more classical works, and his love for reading certainly shows. With a myriad of storylines in this one novel, the reader does need to be prepared to pay attention so as to not get lost, but I promise you it will be worth it. The series promises to be a long one, and I look forward to knowing more about the characters: Amaron, Zelph, Onandagus, Bethia, Mormon, and Akish-Antum the Gadianton Grand Master. There are many others!
I eagerly await the second book in the series.
Might I suggest that you follow David on his blog, Nephite Blood, Spartan Heart. David recently had a couple of his short stories picked up to be included in anthologies. One of them is called “Whispers of the Goddess”, and is one of the best short stories I have read in a long time. I am sure he will post links to it when he can. When I was in high school, I read a lot of fantasy. Fritz Leiber was an author I really enjoyed. My plug for David: Although reminiscent of Leiber’s style and characters (in a very general way), I think “Whispers of the Goddess” is better than anything I read by Leiber. Hands down. And it is my favorite read of David’s works.
I can see I have made this review to be more than just a simple book recommendation… Yes, I am recommending the author here. He has more novels coming. His short stories are excellent. One of them, “Dance the Ghost (With Me)”, a Porter Rockwell tale, won first prize in its category at last years LDS Storymakers Conference. I recently read it, and in my opinion, it’s as good as Heroes of the Fallen. I look forward to David turning “Dance the Ghost (With Me)” into a novel.
Let’s sum up Heroes like this:
An epic tale of valor and degeneracy where heroes are beset on every side by wicked schemers–whose schemes, like a flood, threaten to drown them all–Heroes of the Fallen is sure to please any reader who enjoys a multi-threaded plot full of both historical wonders and vicious intrigues which rule the day. Heroes of the Fallen will have you praying for the good guys! — Daron D. Fraley, Author of “The Thorn” book one of “The Chronicles of Gan”
Now for some logistics on his book release… His book launch party takes place this Friday. Here are the details:
HEROES OF THE FALLEN
Friday, April 16th from 6 to 8 p.m.
132 East Winchester Street
Murray, UT 84107
You can order a copy of his book here: Heroes of the Fallen
Go say hi to David on his blog. Then go to his book launch. Tell him I sent you. 🙂