The Fragile Fall at Tallow Bridge is a dark fantasy story that also has demonic and coming of age themes that run throughout the story. Before I get into the review or even the synopsis, I would like to direct everyone’s attention to the cover. While I don’t think that it really has anything to do with the book, it is spectacular. I mean really spectacular. I think that if the blood dripping from the eye would have been white, it would have made a lot more sense for the book and it would have been even better.
So this book is long, I mean really long. It is well over 400 pages, and most of it is about him walking around town and healing. Thaindire is a witch hunter who is of the white blood variety. What this means is that he works for a fanatical religious order whose sole purpose is to ferret out and kill those suspected of witchcraft. It is a tough job, but Thaindire has the mental fortitude to search out those suspected and to kill them. He is sent to Aftlain because there have been rumors regarding the residents, and a couple of other witch hunters have gone missing. On his way to Aftlain he is attacked and severely wounded which puts him at the mercy of the local bar and inn’s owner and his daughter.
Over the course of a long period of time, Thaindire becomes more and more mobile which allows him to see some of the strange goings and he decides that he needs to return to his home and let them know what is happening, therefore bringing more witch hunters in to kill the demons. Yeah, well not everything goes according to plan, and Thaindire finds himself being both recruited and shunned by different individuals in town. It is only after he has been there awhile does he start to learn the true nature of Aftlain, but is it to late for him.
This story was a little slow and confusing at the beginning. About 3/4rds of the way through I finally really realized what was happening, I didn’t necessarily understand it, but I knew what was going to eventually happen. The thing is, at the ending you are as confused as at the beginning. I mean I know what happened, but I don’t know WHY it happened, or what it means. This is part of a series so I am sure that the answers will be addressed in future books, but if all of the books are this length, it may take awhile to get to what the burning questions are.
Overall I think that the author did a really good job at infusing personality into the characters and definitely displaying that “secret but not secret” attitude that everyone has. I do think that for someone as fanatical as he was, it took the right amount of time for him to not only question what he sees, but to have some of his outer wards broken down by the nice, caring individuals of Aftlain.