Genres: Dark Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Fantasy | Release Date: 8 August 2023 | Series Book: #1 | Pages: 440 | Publisher: Immortal Works | Review
A huge thank you goes to Cambria Williams, for letting me read an e-ARC of her debut dark fantasy, The Befallen! This ominous tale of spreading evil, forgotten lore and a grieving heroine is one you are absolutely going to *love*. I know I certainly did! But before I dive into my happiness boosts, let me give you an overview…
Sloane has always longed to prove herself, and the opportunity to go to Market Day by herself is too good an opportunity to miss. But this chance is the start of a new and terrifying adventure, because when Sloane returns home it’s to find the Befallen has slaughtered everyone within her village. Now completely alone in the world, Sloane can only put her faith in the goddesses of the moon. Determined to help vanquish the Befallen, Sloane soon realises that no one believes in the lore of old. The promise of a hero has been forgotten, and no one wants to listen to a disabled young woman telling them something different. Can Sloane persuade an order of knights that a weapon will soon be at hand? Will their leader, Sir Tolvar, allow Sloane to accompany them on their hunt? Is there any hope for defeating the ever-devouring Befallen?
Cambria has created a novel of fairytale-like mythology, with hints of Avalon and a darkness akin to Brothers Grimm or the Ravenloft multi-author series. There’s a titanic clash between faith and evil within The Befallen, and Sloane navigates deadly (and creepy) locales like the bog with pure courage. I absolutely adore the world-building within this dark fantasy, and would’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself even if this book was twice as long! When a story is written this well, it just never seems long enough, does it?
Let’s talk about heroines, shall we? Sloane is our unwilling FMC, and her immense courage towards the unknown is something I admire with all my heart. The fact that she feels a need to do something, *anything*, against the Befallen, no matter the cost? My heart was in my throat as I frantically raced through the pages! And the overwhelming grief Sloane is experiencing… I don’t know how she kept going. I really don’t. But she’s an incredible heroine and I’m in awe of her determination.
The Befallen has one of my favourite tropes: found family. So of course it’s a massive happiness boost! But we also get an epic quest, a brooding hero, and an unlikely heroine. There is so much to love within this dark fantasy, and I’m completely enchanted with the ominous atmosphere Cambria has created!
There’s a bit of a cliffhanger at the end of The Befallen, but that’s not actually a downside for me! It just means that I wish we had book two already!
The Befallen by Cambria Williams is a captivating debut dark fantasy, featuring a menacing evil, forgotten lore and an unwilling heroine. I really, *really* wish that we could read book two straight away, because it’s just that good. You can bet I’m going to be getting a physical copy of this tale as soon as possible! If you love the sound of this story from my review? Just click on the link below to pre-order a copy! Happy reading, glitterbugs!
You can pre-order The Befallen via this link: Amazon