A Curse of Memories

A Curse of Memories continues the story of The Greatest Sin, this time in a ‘closed house’ sort of murder mystery. Fallen have been killed and now everyone is locked into the Tower until the perpetrator is found. At this point, you’re not (and really shouldn’t) start this far into a series… but if you’ve read this far, this is a more than adequate continuation of the story. It’s only a bummer that (as of this writing), this is the end.

Chivali remains still the real draw of the series. She’s wonderfully snarky and capable of either lying blatantly or making the truth dance as she needs. Take this scene where a truth finder is employed to question her:

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Illusive Echoes

Illusive Echoes continues following Chivalis second life as an agent of the Fallen, sent on all manner of weird missions throughout the world with her fellow agents. This time around, they have to find a statue of a cat. Made all the more interesting with flavors of gang warfare and corrupt law enforcement and royalty. Pretty crazy. I still want to see more about those Drowned Ones, but at least we get a few hints this time around. Not yet forgotten.

To me, the most interesting part and real draw of these stories remains the interactions between Chivali and the other Fallen.

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Moon Shades

Moon Shades is a bit of an odd book in that plotwise, it doesn’t actually have much to do with either The Fallen or especially the big events of Harbinger, at least not until the last few chapters of the book. After everything, I expected more.

But it’s still an interesting enough book on it’s own merits. Essentially, it’s a fairly standard ‘something took the children… and our neighbors are WEREWOLVES!’ type story (which is amusingly specific enough to be a trope) with Chivali and the Fallen as an entrypoint into the world. We learn a very little bit about magic in this world, along with the aforementioned werewolves (pretty standard).

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Harbinger

Harbinger is a bit of a tonal shift from the The Fallen. Where The Fallen had a split feel between Chavali’s life with her clan and then after her death as one of the Fallen, Harbinger is almost entirely concerned with a single mission she’s sent on on behalf of her former masters.

We still have hints of Chivali’s former life. How she uses her powers; occasional sad memories of all she’s lost. But for the most part, she seems to be fitting into her role as something like a spy, running missions for the masters of the Fallen. It works, although I was hoping for a bit more even about the clan she’d lost, perhaps rebuilding it, and why it happened to them in the first place. We get a few answers, but really more questions than ever.

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The Fallen

I have a pretty good number of less known / self published stories that I’ve collected through various sales and bundles that I keep meaning to work through. The Fallen is one such book. I’m not even sure where I picked it up anymore, but it seems worth giving a try.

Structurally, The Fallen starts with Chavali (a fortune teller who just so happens to have a gift for mind reading) and her clan of travelling folk. Fascinating world building already and we just keep getting hints of even crazier things going on in the greater world as everyone dies and Chavali is brought back as one of the mysterious "Fallen" . Quite a twist.

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