THE FALLEN by Tarn Richardson
Duckworth Overlook, s/b, £12.99
Reviewed by Matthew Johns
It’s 1915, and the world as we know it is a very different place. Demonic possessions are rife, Rome is plagued by demon births and ritualistic killings, werewolves abound, and the Vatican’s Inquisitors are trying to get to the bottom of all of this, but with little luck. It seems that the only person that can save the world is currently locked up in the Inquisitor’s deepest prison, facing daily torture.
Poldek Tacit was one of the most feared of the Inquisitors but was jailed for betraying his superiors. Richardson has created a lead not unlike Jean Valjean – unnaturally strong, unfairly imprisoned and vilified by his superiors but still able to love. However, Poldek Tacit doesn’t break into song and raise an orphaned child as his own – once he has broken out of the Inquisitorial Jail, he battles werewolves and demons, trying to save the world.
A gripping tale of black magic, demons, werewolves and Inquisitors, this is the second in the Darkest Hand series, and sets Richardson up as an author to look out for.