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Fallen Land

Fallen Land: A Novel - Barbara Brown Taylor

Author: Taylor Brown

Rating: 3 stars


Book Blurb: Fallen Land is Taylor Brown's debut novel set in the final year of the Civil War, as a young couple on horseback flees a dangerous band of marauders who seek a bounty reward. Callum, a seasoned horse thief at fifteen years old, came to America from his native Ireland as an orphan. Ava, her father and brother lost to the war, hides in her crumbling home until Callum determines to rescue her from the bands of hungry soldiers pillaging the land, leaving destruction in their wake. Ava and Callum have only each other in the world and their remarkable horse, Reiver, who carries them through the destruction that is the South. Pursued relentlessly by a murderous slave hunter, tracking dogs, and ruthless ex-partisan rangers, the couple race through a beautiful but ruined land, surviving on food they glean from abandoned farms and the occasional kindness of strangers. In the end, as they intersect with the scorching destruction of Sherman's March, the couple seek a safe haven where they can make a home and begin to rebuild their lives.


I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review.


When I first read the synopsis of this book I thought, well that'd be about as interesting as watching paint dry. Just not my kind of book. Then I read the first few chapters in a sampler I received off Netgalley and immediately requested it. I was hooked.


In the end, this historical fiction novel about two teenagers on the run from mad men during the last year of the Civil War left me with mixed feelings. It's not YA. It's brutally, brutally violent. Yet the story was riveting. I kept with it, wanting to see if the two made it in the end. The writing was solid and Callum, our main character, was a sympathetic character although he did some pretty horrible things to try and ensure his and Ava's survival. It was riveting, but I wouldn't read it again as it was a touch disturbing.


I gave it three stars.