Monday, March 17, 2014

Book Series Review: The Rift Runners series by Jennifer Fallon

The Rift Runners series by Jennifer Fallon

Comprising of #1 The Undivided, #2 The Dark Divide & #3 Reunion

Publisher: HarperVoyager
Tagged under: fantasy, 2014 read, 2014 favourites, trilogy marathon
Buy at: Amazon

The Undivided are divided...

Psychic twin, Ronan and Darragh, have been separated by the traitor Druid, Amergin, who has kidnapped Ronan and thrown him through a rift into another reality. Now time is running out for Darrah. If Ronan isn't found soon, they will booth die. But his twin brother is lost in a reality where Druids are legend, and there is no magic. Somehow, before the Autumn Equinox, they must find one young man in a world of six billion people... 
Meanwhile, Ren Kavanagh has no notion of where he comes from. He is plagued by strange injuries that appear from nowhere and everyone is convinced he is deliberately harming himself for attention. Then he meets the enticing and mysterious Trasa, and before he can figure out how it happened, he is in serious trouble - arrested for arson and possibly murder. 
Rescue will come from a completely unexpected direction. Ren is about to discover more about his origins than he bargained for, meet the twin brother he never knew he had, and discover nobody is what they seem, especially his new friend, the half-faerie, half-human Trasa... Amergin's daughter.

Book Review [Spoiler-Free]

In recent weeks, it feels like I have not stopped talking about Jennifer Fallon. Of course, she is one of my favourite authors and when I stumbled across this trilogy in the library, I was super excited and grabbed them at once. They are quite thick volumes, each numbering over 500 pages, but once I started, I simply had to keep going. I finished all three books in succession over the span of roughly 48 hours.

Jennifer Fallon is known for her high fantasy sagas encompassing multiple characters, each with their own story line which weaves and intersects with one another, culminating in a climax with a hint of something more to come. There is a lot of politics thrown into the mix too, ensuring there is battle of wits as well as of the brawn. Her Hythrun chronicles, both the Demon Child trilogy and the Wolfblade trilogy, are some of my favourite high fantasy sagas to reread.

With the Rift Runners trilogy, Jennifer Fallon is taking a bold step away from high fantasy and has produced a work that is probably more suitably classified as urban fantasy. Or a mix, I'm not quite sure. Ronan and Darragh, the psychic twins currently designated as the Undivided, have been separated into different realities - with one stuck as a young man in a world of six billion people. From that number alone, it doesn't take a genius to work out that Fallon is writing about our reality. Darragh, on the other hand, is in a world filled with druid magic and an uneasy treaty between the magical folks and humans. Everyone has their own agenda and beneath the courteous smiles on the surface, schemes are brewing - for the Autumn Equinox is not that far away.

I really enjoyed this series. Although I'm a huge fan of high fantasy, I found myself enjoying the chapters set in our world a bit more. The characters, across all realities, are engaging and easy to relate to - even those that you dislike. It is interesting to see the struggle between the two camps, one keen on keeping Ronan locked away in a world without magic and another desperate to find him in time and bring him home. Both sides have their reasons for their goal. It is not a straight case of black versus white.

The Rift Runners series is probably targeted more towards a YA crowd. The style of writing is not as dense as her high fantasy sagas, which makes it easy for the reader to fly across the pages. The characters themselves, too, are a bit younger than some of Fallon's previous works, with most of the main characters teenagers or just above the legal age. The themes and plot lines, as well, are not as complicated and intricately set-up as the Tide Lord quartet or the Demon Child trilogy, but for a younger audience seeking to try out Jennifer Fallon, this is probably a great series to start with.

The ending, in typical Jennifer Fallon style, ties up things yet leaves the reader with questions about what happens next. Since Fallon's next project is apparently to revisit the Hythrun chronicles, I'm not sure if there will be a sequel in the future.

Conclusion: 4.5/5 as a series [Book #1 5/5] Book #2 4.5/5 [Book #3 4.5/5]

The Rift Runners series is probably going to be one of my favourite reads this year. It is entertaining, engaging and once I started, it was difficult for me to put the books down. While this series is probably more geared towards the YA market and more urban fantasy than high fantasy, it's still a really well-written trilogy with lots of actions and intricate story-lines. For YA-readers who don't mind the multiple characters and interwoven storylines that are key feature of Fallon's works, I'd highly recommend you to at least give this series a go.


  1. I'm not a huge fan of high fantasy, so I'm happy this is urban fantasy! It looks like a really good series! I'll add it to my tbr!

    1. It's definitely a good read. I don't think it's as good as Fallon's Hythrun chronicle but it's still an amazing series :) Hope you enjoy it!