fantasy book reviews science fiction book reviewsbook review Jennifer Fallon Harshini Demon Child Trilogy Hythrun ChroniclesHarshini by Jennifer Fallon

Up till now I’ve enjoyed Jennifer Fallon‘s Demon Child trilogy; her writing is competent (not beautiful, but competent), her characters intriguing, and the story was interesting enough. But I always had this feeling… the same feeling I get when I watch my 2 year old daughter constructing a tower of blocks by stacking the big ones on top of the smaller ones…

Sure enough, just like my daughter’s tower, in Harshini, it all comes crashing down.

R’shiel finally embraces her role as Demon Child and we at last see her putting her riding leathers to good use — she actually rides dragons in this novel (though it doesn’t help much when taking a trip on a flying dragon takes just as long as it does in a rowboat). And that’s probably the nicest thing I can say about R’shiel. She was never a particularly loveable heroine, but in Harshini, she’s just a bitch. She is suddenly an outspoken expert in world politics and military tactics and the rulers of all the lands jump to obey her (even though she has no political or military experience and her grand plan in the last novel was a complete disaster). If they don’t obey, she threatens to sic the gods on them. She’s a bully, and it’s hard to like people who act like that.

Then we still have the problem with the arbitrary activities of the gods, the demons, and the Harshini. Gods and demons are called on to help at random times in random ways. I was really ticked when a demon popped out of nowhere to protect Brak from a crossbow bolt and Brak informed us that “the demons live to protect the Harshini.” Huh? If this is true, why haven’t we seen them protecting Harshini before now? R’shiel is supposedly undertaking this very dangerous and important mission, so where were the demons when she was beaten, raped, captured, stabbed in the gut, etc.? And, if they exist to protect the Harshini, why are they running around trying to gather believers so they can become gods? And, about the Gods: okay, I can understand a goddess of love, but a god of thieves? And, if Xaphista (the “bad” god) can so easily coerce people to try to kill R’shiel, why does he only try it with one person (who fails)? Why not several people? He’s bad, but he’s not smart.
And I won’t even get into the hypocricy of the Harshini not being able to do anything that might indirectly cause death — there are too many logisitcal problems with that.

The climax and ending of the novel was also random — R’shiel’s weird idea for killing the “bad” god was just plain silly. Most of what R’shiel does to solve problems is arbitrary and easy. She puts on a glamour to escape. She puts on a glamour to help other people escape. She threatens someone into doing what she wants them to. She gets crazy ideas that end up working. This randomness causes the reader to never be concerned that things won’t work out in the end. I never felt any sort of fear or tension. Got a problem? Call a god or a demon, or do some random magic trick. Fantasy novels needs tension, and Fallon fails to deliver it in the last Demon Child novel.

But, she’s a good author — I will not hesitate to pick up another Fallon series someday.

The Hythrun Chronicles — (2000-2016) Publisher: According to legend, the last king of the Harshini sired a half-human child, known as the Demon Child, born to destroy a god… The Sisterhood of the Blade rules Medalon with an iron fist — an iron fist within the steel gauntlet of the Defenders, elite warriors sworn to uphold the sisters and keep Medalon free of heathen influence. R’shiel, daughter of the First Sister of the Blade, has pulled against the short leash of her mother ever since she was a child. Her half-brother, Tarja, is the dutiful son who serves as a Captain in the Defenders. But when they run afoul of their mother’s machinations, they must flee for their lives. They soon find themselves caught up in the rebellion against the Sisterhood, though they revile their fellow conspirators heathen belief in the Harshini — a fabled race of magical beings thought long extinct. But then Tarja and R’shiel encounter Brak, an Harshini outcast, who forces them to face the most shocking fact of all: the Demon Child, thought to be nothing more than legend, may have been loosed in Medalon.

The Demon Child Trilogy

Jennifer Fallon Demon Child Trilogy: Medalon, Treason Keep, HarshiniJennifer Fallon Demon Child Trilogy: Medalon, Treason Keep, HarshiniJennifer Fallon Demon Child Trilogy: Medalon, Treason Keep, Harshini

The Wolfblade Trilogy is a prequel to The Demon Child Trilogy

Jennifer Fallon Hythrun: Wolfblade, Warrior, WarlordJennifer Fallon Hythrun: Wolfblade, Warrior, WarlordJennifer Fallon Hythrun: Wolfblade, Warrior, Warlord

War of the Gods Trilogy


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  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.