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Fall of Kings by David and Stella Gemmell

Great end to the series.

So this book covers the end game and is most closely aligned with the Iliad (from what I remember) than the rest of the books. It covers pretty much all the major points though does it in its own unique style. Honestly some of them are so brilliantly done that I don’t really want to go into too much details about the book itself incase I inadvertently give away any spoilers.

There’s a lot of switching POV’s through the book, as is usual in Gemmell’s style, but as he’s put the work in in the previous books, this flows quite smoothly. A lot of the characters, as you would expect, don’t exactly have a happy ending but they are memorable. The last third hits hard.

There are a few flaws, nothing major but was noticeable. Helikaon almost disappears from the final third. The reason for it is actually very realistic but it is a bit jarring when what could consider being the main* character is omitted from a lot of the climax, and seems almost shoehorned in at the very end. Also the Gershom strand that has been hinted at from the first book onwards really doesn’t go anywhere except for a few pages in the epilogue. I’m wondering if there was another book planned to deal with that before the author’s untimely death.

Other than that though this was a brilliant end to the series. I read somewhere that the author wrote this after seeing the film Troy and thinking that they could have done so much more. I actually like that film, even with its cheesiness, but he had a point and made it well with this series. If you want to read a modern, ‘realistic’ take on the Iliad then look no further than here.

4.5 stars rounded up

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