Nerana is a sorceress. An exile. The Child of Skye. And she isn’t alone.
After a vicious attack against the Order of Saro, Nerana finds herself lost in the wastelands of Aragoth. Forbidden of humans or evae, the desert is a land teeming with fire and vengeance, and Nerana’s only hope for survival lies in the trust of another.
Aélla, a powerful evaesh sorceress, travels the desert on a pilgrimage of sacrifice and strength. Determined to enter the Realm of Elements and see her quest complete, she must survive the hardened warriors of the desert, the vaxros, who banished her kind from their land centuries ago.
But the vaxros aren’t the only threat, and the weight of such imbalance could shift the fate of the world.
After the tragic ending of Curse of the Fallen, things don’t get much lighter in The Forbidden Realms. With a broken heart full of vengeance, we find Nerana on the run and in a strange new part of the world full of monsters, magic, sand and war. Populated by a race known as Vaxros, Nerana finds herself immersed in a war between the vaxros and the Evae, while helping a new character, Aélla, on her quest to save the world alongside a disgraced Vaxros, Y’ven.
With the absence of *SPOILER* from Curse of the Fallen, the tone for The Forgotten Realms feels much darker. I felt Neer’s loss through the whole story and I missed *SPOILER* almost as much as she did. In some novels, that might be a problem, but H.C. Newell uses that grief and absence to explore Neer in ways we weren’t able to before. She’s reckless, angry and impulsive, which she always was but this time it’s scarier. I was constantly afraid for her and what decisions she might make.
The new characters who join her are interesting and engaging, although at first I was as reluctant as Neer to accept them. This actually worked for me in the end because it put me Neer’s position and as she slowly warmed to them, I found myself doing the same.
The action was relentless and I was constantly thinking to myself, “when will they catch a break!?” The action scenes are just as immersive as they were in CotF, if not even more so. The use of magic was endlessly clever and continuously surprised me with Newell’s ingenuity.
The entire novel takes place in an endless desert (well not technically, but you’ll have to read and find out what I mean) and a completely new environment from the previous novel. This widens our view of the world and adds depth to the lore that was fascinating.
Full of twists and turns, action, character development The Forgotten Realms continues Neer’s story brilliantly and introduces intriguing and exciting revelations to the lore and overall story of the Fallen Light series, which is quickly becoming a favorite of mine.