Reader reviews and comments on Fallen Land, plus links to write your own review.

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Fallen Land

by Taylor Brown

Fallen Land by Taylor Brown X
Fallen Land by Taylor Brown
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2016, 288 pages
    Jan 2017, 288 pages

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Fallen Land
Fallen Land is a page-turner. The main characters are well developed and the story of life, hardships and danger in the South at the end of the Civil War are depicted vividly. The violence is graphic at times, but it underlines a more realistic view of what life was like at the time. Callum and Ava's story takes many twists and turns and keeps you guessing what could possibly happen next. I love historical fiction and became thoroughly engrossed in Fallen Land. A really good read.
Jane N. (Little Egg Harbor, NJ)

Fallen Land
This is a powerful book about the devastating effects of war. Not in a foreign land but in our own, that war being the Civil War. Most of us think of the American Civil War as something that happened on the battlefields, if we think about it at all. When we do, we think of the great battles, Gettysburg, Appomattox, Sherman's March to the sea, at least I did before this book. Taylor Brown drills the war down to its most intimate details. He strips away the glory of warfare and gives voice to the sufferings that were endured by soldiers, non-combatants and the land. This book also speaks to the undying human spirit.

It is a book that left me speechless and one that I will go back and re-read again. It is excellent.
Mary D. (Claremont, CA)

Fallen Land by Taylor Brown
If you are looking for a "boy meets girl and they run away, happy ending" sort of book, this is not it! Yes, boy does meet girl, they do run away, fleeing the terrors of the Civil War, trying to get to Atlanta, but my! What a journey! Taylor Brown does an amazing job of portraying the actuality of war: the brutality, the complete loss of moral conviction, the terrible price paid by civilians and by the actual land, ravaged by destruction. This is not a feel-good sort of book, but an excellent example of historical fiction with its grittiness and grim descriptions! Taylor Brown's character development is outstanding; Callum and Ava have more strength than either of them thought possible. But they are clearly human, with failings and flaws. There are great moments of beauty and tenderness, even in the midst of the horrible destruction.

Not for the faint-hearted romantic readers, but I would recommend it highly for anyone wanting a personal glimpse into real life towards the end of the Civil War.
Janis H. (Willow Street, PA)

Fallen Land
The devastated , murderous terrain of the mountains of the western boundaries of the Civil War and the burned soil of Georgia creates a backdrop for the desolation which the surviving inhabitants of the Fallen Land face in the wake of Sherman's march to the sea.

Although Callum, a young Irish immigrant and adept horse thief, commits atrocities while he rides with a renegade group who had "long ago forsaken the war of the newspapers for the one they carried everywhere with them … which could be fit neatly to any new opportunity that presented itself: ambush, pillage, torture," he is not guilty of the crime which has placed a bounty on his head. Together with Ava, the daughter of a frontier doctor, whom he has rescued from his gang of marauders, they survive the ruthless elements of nature to stay hours ahead of Clayburn, the despicable and relentless bounty hunter who will stop at nothing to collect his bounty with the death of Callum.

Taylor Brown allows the reader to picture the horrors of war first hand but the war does not dominate the action. His characters' will to survive and their love for each other in a land that seems impossible to support any new life is the memorable aspect of Fallen Land. Brown's use of language and his style of writing shows great promise for future success for this young author.
Sandra C. (Rensselaer, NY)

Courage and loyalty
It was enjoyable to read a book with the background of the Civil War, which is not common these days. At times all of the riding through the woods was tedious, but actually helped with the theme of courage and survival. The theme of love was compelling.
Mary C. (Lewisville, TX)

Brilliant Debut Novel!
This is an awesome debut novel by Taylor Brown! A Civil War odyssey, Fallen Land takes place in the last year of the war amidst the darkest days in Virginia, the Carolinas, and Georgia. The author's writing is spellbinding. Taylor Brown is so descriptive in telling this brutal, yet tender, story in a fallen land. I found myself re-reading his expressive language and appreciated how he captured the harsh landscapes and horrifying ravages, but at the same time, love and mercifulness.
Callum, a poor teenage Irish immigrant who had fought for the Confederacy and 17-year-old Ava whose doctor father and brother had both been killed in the Civil War were both orphans whose lives were linked together in the dying days of the war. Along with a splendid stolen horse named Reiver, they were trying to escape the devastations of the Civil War and reach Callum's relatives near the south Georgia coast where they could make a home.
They experienced ruthless bounty hunters, ruined lands, the destruction of Sherman's scorching march through Georgia, hunger, exhaustion, danger, starving civilians, violence, rape, armed gangs, and always the cold. At the same time, there were kindnesses from strangers, Callum and Ava's tender care of Reiver's needs, blossoming love, loyalty, hope, and above all endurance.
Taylor Brown is due multiple awards for this brilliant story. Brown's imagery shows outstanding talent. About one-third of the way through the book, I started picturing the movie, "Fallen Land." It will be a marvelous movie and I'm looking forward to it!
Karen L. (Wilton, IA)

Great book!
A great historical novel about 2 young people and a very loyal horse in the closing days of the civil war. I learned about the horrors of war and a very sad time in our history. I also felt like I was along for the ride with Callum, Ava, and Reivers, their loyal brave horse. I loved and rooted for all 3 of them. This story will stay with me for awhile. Its a great first novel and I look forward to reading more by this author! Great historical fiction, beautiful description of fallen beauty in a war torn landscape. A young couple growing up before their time due to the times they are going through. I thought the characters were very well developed. I cried once during this book. I won't give away any plot spoilers but if you read the book it was around page 261 or 262. I recommend this book for book clubs, historical fiction fans, and all readers who like a well written novel.
Elly, New Mexico

Sad Slice of History
Taylor Brown has a winner in this debut novel. He presents a story of two young people in search of a new life in the final years of the Civil War and the unimaginable hardships faced. The character development was very strong, leaving no question as to the "good, bad or ugly." This is a story of love and hate, ruthlessness and sadness, coupled with perseverance and tenacity. Brown's short, but very descriptive sentences painted vivid pictures of the adversities cast upon the land and the people.

I would, without hesitation, recommend "Fallen Land" for book club reading and discussion.

Beyond the Book:
  Sherman's March To the Sea

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