As a really nice counterpoint to the insanity of this year, I’ve been enjoying reading the Rampart Trilogy (thank you Orbit! Please can I have all of your books??). This trilogy has been released over the year and it has been a perfectly structured, paced imaginative and exciting series. This is my spot on the Compulsive Readers Book Tour!
Title: The Fall of Koli
Series: The Rampart Trilogy #3
Author: M. R. Carey
Publisher: Orbit Books
Publication Date: 25th March 2021
Ownership: eARC provided by the publisher
Rating: 4.5 stars rounded up to 5
About the Book
Koli has come a long way since being exiled from his small village of Mythen Rood. In his search for the fabled tech of the old times, he knew he’d be battling strange, terrible beasts and trees that move as fast as whips. But he has already encountered so much more than he bargained for.
Now that Koli and his companions have found the source of the signal they’ve been following – the mysterious “Sword of Albion” – there is hope that their perilous journey will finally be worth something.
Until they unearth terrifying truths about an ancient war . . . and realise that it may have never ended.
I call this series perfectly structured, because it is. It has been so well planned out that there is a perfect arc to what you’re reading here. In Book 1, we are just with Koli, seeing his world through his naïve, sheltered, uninformed eyes. In Book 2 we see Ingland, travelling with Koli, Ursula, Cup and Monono as they follow the source of the signal towards London. Yet we also stay in Mythen Rood through Spinner.
In Book 3, it’s a step up and a development, adding a later, additional point of view character that we’ve been waiting for, as well as staying with Koli and Spinner as they each navigate their own challenges.
Koli has found of the source of the signal, and is now trapped on the great warship Sword of Albion – both an object and a something more. Even worse, it seems as though the war never really ended, at least for some, which creates an even larger-scale problem than one of human reproduction.
Meanwhile, in Mythen Rood, having fought off an attack from Half-Axe (Halifax) and the Peacemaker’s troops, Spinner finds herself in a position of unwanted power, able to wield all forms of tech and making decisions in the Count and Seal. However, the threat has not gone, and she will need to use her considerable wits and cunning to keep the small community safe from the Peacemaker.
In particular, I’ve always loved the setting of this series. I love anything set in a post-apocalyptic Britain, as I get the pleasure of working out where all of these locations are set and the words that this dialect is descended from.
Even better; a world where things make sense! Each book in this series introduces new issues and ideas about what’s happened to the world and builds on this bit by bit – it’s up to the reader to assume and draw their own conclusions. But in this book, lots of things are made clear by the end – thank goodness! And with action and events that really, really ramps up.
Koli isn’t the best character, but he’s the character that we need. He retains his naiveté and, above all, his empathy for others. It’s what makes him hard to read, as you just want him to be a bit tougher, but also incredibly sympathetic, as he is able to keep something that so many others have lost in this world. He does grow, and he does develop as the series progresses – but it’s also just nice to read a character that isn’t souped-up, isn’t perfect and is, consciously, human.
This series pulls things back to a more manageable scale and manages to do what the Arc of Scythe trilogy didn’t quite get it – a clearly structured, exciting finish that gave us what we needed.
A great ending to such an enjoyable series! 4.5 stars rounded up to 5.
I received an eARC of this book from Compulsive Readers and Orbit in exchange for an honest review.