Blog Archive

View My Stats
Friday, March 12, 2021

SPFBO Finalist: The Fall of Erlon by Robert H. Fleming (reviewed by Adam, Lukasz & Mihir)

Order The Fall Of Erlon over here USA / UK

AUTHOR INFORMATION: Robert is a writer of fantasy stories who lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife and daughter. He grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina before attending UNC-Chapel Hill to study Economics and Creative Writing.

Robert has always been drawn to certain authors and the worlds they create - from Harry Potter and Middle Earth as a child to discovering Westeros as a teenager. He has since fallen in love with the worlds of Rothfuss, Erikson, and Sapkowski (as well as many more).

Robert's enjoyment of real-life military history has combined with his enthusiasm for creating fantasy worlds with the Falling Empires SagaWhen not reading and writing fantasy, he enjoys cheering on UNC Basketball and the Carolina Panthers, exploring the exquisite North Carolina craft beer scene, and feasting on his wife's fine southern cooking.

CLASSIFICATION: Military Fantasy

FORMAT: Self-published by the author on September 29, 2019, The Fall of Erlon is the first book in The Fallen Empire Saga. It's available in ebook and paperback format through Amazon. The book is 338 pages long. Cover design by Flintlock Covers.


OVERVIEW: The story starts promising enough. A man is trapped inside a prison fortress in the middle of nowhere, Edmond Dantès-style. We find out that this important man was a former conqueror/emperor who united? divided? his people, spurning many wars, before being toppled by some other group unknown.

Several chapters pass and we learn little else other than he was a man of import, and with no explanation of how or why his rule meant anything. Instead, we spend most of our time jumping around different militia camps, visiting generals and princes and other local influencers. Everyone is angry because nothing is being done the way they want it — but to the reader, they’re just names and troop movements. This book didn’t quite work for me.

- Who wins?

- What they’re fighting over?

- WHY they’re fighting?

 All are missing details that leave me wondering why I should have a stake in any of this. If it were all fallout stemming from an exiled emperor’s actions, it would have been helpful to know the background and motivations of anyone involved. I’d tried my best to stick with it, but the early focus on random militia movements and artillery positioning details kept my interest at bay.  This book didn’t quite work for me.


OVERVIEW/ANALYSIS: This was a very interesting epic fantasy, which also had a very cool cover. I enjoyed the Critiquing Chemist review as it highlighted a lot of what to expect and I was pumped for it.

The story opens with a terrible thing, the city of Erlon has fallen and Elisa Lannes, the Princess of Erlon is tasked by a “god” to save her people. There’s quite a few other POV characters:

-        -- King Nelson of Brun

-        -- Prince Rapp of Wahring

-         --  Scythe Commander Andrei 

-        --  Marshal Alexandre Lauriston

There’s a couple other minor characters who also get some POV time but their role is minor. Elisa is the main character around whom the whole story hinges.

The story takes an interesting note as it focusses on what happens after the fall. This is a bit of a different take as usually fantasy stories often focus on the invasion or the lead up to the invasion. So right off the bat, this was a key difference to this story. The main plot for the story also focuses on a lot of magic with godly apparitions who are presented as gods but we as readers get a sense that there’s something more going on.

There’s also a ton of scene switching as we get to see a lot of POV characters and all of them seem to be having conflicting opinions as to what the empire should do next. The plot unfolds with a rapid pace and that’s one of the positives of the story. However the story happened to attempt many things and somehow the execution did not quite match the ambition. This was an unfortunate aspect as I wanted to like this story and on the base level, it did have quite a lot of things that epic fantasy showcases well (battles, magic and a big character cast). But and this is crucial, the amalgamation didn’t quite work out as intended.

This epic fantasy debut will find its fans but it will also have its share of detractors. For me, it did have quite a few things to like. But the other parts didn’t hold up the promise shown and so the end result wasn’t a spectacular one.




Click Here To Order “Cardinal Black” by Robert McCammon!!!

Order HERE


Click Here To Order “Cyber Mage” by Saad Z. Hossain

Order HERE


Click Here To Order “Miss  Percy's” by Quenby Olson!!!
Order HERE


Click Here To Order “The True Bastards” by Jonathan French!!!
Order HERE


Click Here To Order “Rumble In Woodhollow” by Jonathan Pembroke!!!
Order HERE


Click Here To Order “The Starless Crown” by James Rollins!!!
Order HERE