In the world of Omara, belief in gods or magical power can be punishable by death. But when Korbillian arrives from out of a storm-tossed sea, there is no denying something is at work that's beyond explanation. Korbillian hails from another world and he's on a mission to destroy the evil growing from an earthen mound in the distant land of the east. However, as powerful as Korbillian is, he can't do it alone. Along the way, he must recruit as many others to the cause as he can. Korbillian must convince the non-believers that if they do not help, Omara will meet the same demise as his home world. Out of misfits, ruthless enforcers, fellow refugees, rival soldiers, and even Omara's animals and plant-life, an army is formed. But will they be enough? And are they really Korbillian's allies or just fodder to be sacrificed for the cause?
Calling Adrian Cole's style and prose beautiful is like calling a handsome man pretty. He has his own style which I can't quite nail down but definitely has a unique masculine quality. The first part of A Place Among the Fallen is thrilling. Mr. Cole builds a sense of foreboding that reminds me of when, in The Fellowship of the Ring, Frodo first realizes the Nazgûl are on his trail. Cole creates a dark mystery and sense of dread that pulls the reader in.
Throughout the first quarter of the book, I was sure I had found a hidden treasure and wondered why I had never heard of this series or its author before. A Place Among the Fallen is a quest story with an original plot and characters that have a lot of potential. However, just when the story really gets going, Cole's pacing becomes too rushed.
The book covers a whole lot of ground -- apparently too much. One epic event is immediately followed by another and another, with little build-up in between. So things that should amaze, become repetitious. Characters that should have been very interesting, or even endearing, seem all but lifeless.
Cole had a really great idea, and the story does take some interesting turns. Even though I had no idea what to expect, there is enough quality stuff in A Place Among the Fallen that I really did want to like it more. The beginning is very strong, but the rest of the book quickly loses its captivating appeal, never to attain it again.