Review: When The Heavens Fall. Chronicles of the Exile 1 by Marc Turner

A book giving its wielder power over the dead has been stolen from a fellowship of heavensmages that has kept the powerful relic dormant for centuries. The thief, a crafty, power-hungry necromancer, intends to use the Book of Lost Souls to resurrect an ancient race and challenge Shroud for dominion of the underworld. Shroud counters by sending his most formidable servants to seize the artifact at all cost.

However, the god is not the only one interested in the Book, and a host of other forces converge, drawn by the powerful magic that has been unleashed. Among them is a reluctant Guardian who is commissioned by the Emperor to find the stolen Book, a troubled prince who battles enemies both personal and political, and a young girl of great power, whose past uniquely prepares her for an encounter with Shroud. The greatest threat to each of their quests lies not in the horror of an undead army but in the risk of betrayal from those closest to them. Each of their decisions comes at a personal cost and will not only affect them, but also determine the fate of their entire empire.

The blurb gives you a good idea. It’s pretty much epic Fantasy and it sounds very badass!It had some really cool parts but unfortunately a couple of things I didn’t like.

The premise is great! Stolen magic book? Power-hungry magician who wants to challenge a GOD, different parties on their way to challenge him.

And they ARE on their way. For most of the book. Which is okay, I like me a good journey and stuff happens on the way^^ Just to let you know.

We follow different groups and people and I loved one, liked one, felt indifferent about another and was annoyed by one.

Parolla was SO cool and her story was SO cool as well! I would have gladly read a book only about her. Her story was intriguing and we slowly found out more about her & her past and why she is so obsessed with finding a way into Shroud’s realm. She’s a badass magician and her story is equal parts action & quiet scenes. She met a bunch of awesome people on the way, like that 4-armed dude and this demon lord she made a deal with. Unfortunately that did not get dealt with at all in the end and I was disappointed that he didn’t come up anymore.

Ebon is a prince who is trying to destroy the book in order to stop the undead overrunning his city. He also has to deal with foreigners who may or may not try to conquer his kingdom. I enjoyed his interaction with the foreign leader whose name I unfortunately forgot (sorry^^ It’s hard to find it in my Kindle version) and his story made sense to me and was interesting as well.

Luker is a former Guardian (some kind of special order) who turned his back on them but is now called back and send on his way to find the book together with some others who are not really relevant. He’s the grizzled veteran and I normally like the trope, but Luker seemed to me like a petulant child who couldn’t stop whinging about why he didn’t want to be there. Just walk away then, jeez. Of course his companions are shady as well, but they had the same task and HAD to work together. He should’ve acted more like a grown-up and less like a rebellious child. I couldn’t care less about him and his story. Also, he was able to do magic and use his ‘will’ but it was never really explained.

There was a priestess as well who was sent by her goddess to team up with the rogue mage. I didn’t really get why her goddess wanted him to keep the book but ok? Anyways, the priestess was there. That’s it.

There were a couple of minor characters that didn’t manage to leave an impression on me. I enjoyed most of the fighting scenes & the various races, gods and monsters! I did get some ‘Malazan Book of the Fallen’ vibes, with the gates to different realms, the God’s champions & ‘elder’ races & civilizations.

I think the author tried to fit in too much? If that makes sense.

In the end I felt underwhelmed. It seemed to have been solved too easily. I looked up the sequel and it’s a totally different story apparently?

If someone has read all 3 books, please let me know whether Parolla is turning up again. If not, I will leave it as that!





  1. I’ve never read anything by Turner and honestly can’t remember any specifics in reviews. For some reason I have this idea that he writes brutal fantasy? No idea how I got that idea though. I also might very well be mixing him up with someone else. Sorry I can’t help.


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