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I Belong

Review: Before the Fall by Francis Knight

Before the FallTitle: Before the Fall

Author: Francis Knight

Genre: Science Fiction

Series: Rojan Dizon (Book #2)

Publication Date: June 18, 2013

Format: Paperback, 384 Pages

ISBN-10: 0316217700 (Orbit)

ISBN-13: 978-0316217705 (Orbit)

Reviewed by: Roxanne


Rojan Dizon just wants to keep his head down. But his worst nightmare is around the corner.

With the destruction of their power source, his city is in crisis: riots are breaking out, mages are being murdered, and the city is divided. But Rojan’s hunt for the killers will make him responsible for all-out anarchy. Either that, or an all-out war.
And there’s nothing Rojan hates more than being responsible

Quick & DirtyAll power comes at a price, and with the city falling apart and mages being murdered, Rojan will pay that price to find out who is killing them.

Opening Sentence: “No-Hope-Shitty: the name says it all really.”

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Rojan and company are back in this great follow up to Fade to Black. Rojan has destroyed the order and now magic flows freely throughout the city. Rojan is using his magic more and more to find more mages like him. This of course is a dangerous dance for him, as the pain magic and the lure of the black, is getting harder and harder to fight each time he taps into his magic. Pasha and Jake are back in this book as well, and other familiar faces from Book 1, although Jake doesn’t play such a dramatic roll. Pasha actually plays a much larger role in this book.

Religion is also is a major player, and Rojan has to walk a terrible line while searching for the killer. Especially since the Inquisition is right behind him, as each murder threatens to rip apart their society, the pressure is mounting from all sides.

Before the Fall was a quick read just like Fade to Black, and it was definitely as dark. Pasha, Jake and Rojan all seem to draw closer in their odd friendship. Pasha and Rojan really build a stronger friendship, which I admit I find a little odd considering some of what happened in book 1, but it is also believable when you understand all the forces going on in this world. So I like that it isn’t some weird kind of triangle. Rojan has feelings for Jake, but he never puts pressure on her or attempts to steal her from Pasha and their odd relationship.

With the power source destroyed, magic is really flowing and the city is on edge and while mages appear to have a little more freedom now, they are also really feared in this world. So the murder mystery may at first glance not seem to fit in the trilogy but it really does make perfect sense. Instead of everything being great after Rojan kills his father who is holding all this power at bay from the majority of the people, the society starts to break as everything they knew is being challenged and someone’s response to this, is to start killing mages.

This a solid follow-up and great second book. I am really excited to read the last book and see how this all ends. While at times I kind of want Rojan to have some romance, the lack of it does appeal to me on some level and this trilogy really focuses on the problems at hand.

Notable Scenes:

“I made a fist and pain spiked through me along with the magic, sweet and alluring, and oh so dangerous.”

“The price of my magice wasn’t pain, it was the threat of falling into the black and never coming out, of losing my fragile sanity to it.”

“I never mean to, but I kill any budding relationship stone dead.”

“They were walking targets, hated by everyone who knew their secret, knew the mark on their wrists, something I hadn’t really realized in my own quest to avoid getting lynched.”

“Few good men survived in the ministry for long.”

“Given that I am a heretic, an unbeliever and a mage to boot, I was feeling fairly vulnerable.”

“She smiled like fallen angels and went for me.”

Rojan Dizon Series:

1. Fade to Black

2. Before the Fall

3. Last to Rise


FTC Advisory: Orbit/Hachette Book Group provided me with a copy of Before the Fall. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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