A Sorrow Fierce and Falling
A Sorrow Fierce and Falling is an impactful conclusion to Jessica Cluess’s Kingdom on Fire trilogy, but the series as a whole leans much too heavily on existing works for it to be truly memorable.
The plot follows heroine Henrietta Howel on her final quest to save England from an army of grotesque “ancients,” monsters that spread disaster and disease. She learns more about the monsters that haunt her and about her own past. However, in three books, Henrietta fails to grow as a person or change under her circumstances. Promises are broken, secret identities are revealed, and nothing is as it seems. The trilogy contained an endless supply of brooding male characters, as well as the quintessential love triangle of sorts. The end product is a noisy amalgamation of everything, with an atmosphere so dark and dour it’s impossible to tell if any of the characters will ever be happy again.
It is clear that A Sorrow Fierce and Falling draws inspiration from modern YA fantasy authors such as JK Rowling, Libba Bray, and Cassandra Clare, as well as from authors who wrote novels in the Romantic and Victorian eras, such as Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters. In fact, the dialogue from the final scene is mostly paraphrased from Pride and Prejudice and comes off as garish and tacky. It’s a tale as old as time: a story that has been written before and likely will be written again.
|Page Count||416 pages|
|Publisher||Random House Books for Young Readers|
|Bookshop.org||Buy this Book|