April 5, 2010

The Fall

The Fall (Seventh Tower #1)Title : The Fall
Author : Garth Nix
Reading Dates : 5 Apr - 7 Apr 2010

Seventh Tower Series. The Fall is the 1st book in Garth Nix's The Seventh Tower series. The books in the series includes :
  • The Fall
  • Castle
  • Aenir

  • Above the Veil
  • Into Battle
  • The Violet Keystone

Book Summary of The Fall.
13 year-old Tal's father Rerem is missing and possibly dead. His mother Graile is stricken with a mysterious illness and dying. Neither his younger siblings, 9-year old Gref and 3-year old Kusi, seem to comprehend the trouble the family is in. With the family's Primary Sunstone lost together with their father, their family will be unable to enter Aenir on the Day of Ascension. This would not only mean they would lose a chance to find a cure for Graile but their entire family could be demoted from Chosen to Underfolk forever.

All Tal's attempts to gain a Primary Sunstone seems to be doomed to failure. From asking for one from his cousins, winning one by attempting an Achievement or even seeking an audience with the Empress. Tal begins to feel as if someone is working against him with strange Chosen and Spiritshadows picking on him for no apparent reason and Shadowmaster Sushin purposefully making life more difficult for Tal. His great-uncle Ebbitt seems to agree with Tal that someone higher up has taken a disliking to their family and suggests Tal climb the Red Tower of the Castle they live in to steal Sunstones despite the enormous risk. Desperate, Tal agrees only to fall from the Tower into the unknown world outside.

Tal survives the fall with the help of his Shadowguard but is almost killed by Milla, an Icecarl of the Far-Raider Clan. The Far-Raider clan agrees to spare Tal and even help him home on the condition that he give them a Sunstone to replace their own failing one. Now Tal has to depend on Milla, a girl who sees him as an intruder to be killed, to navigate and survive on the ice.

Book Review of The Fall.
The world of the Chosen and the Icecarls that Garth Nix has created is certainly interesting. A world that is covered in darkness by a Veil created by the Chosen. Why this is done is a mystery that is yet to be explained.

Then, we have the Chosen in the Castle and the Icecarls who live circling this world of ice. Tal like all Chosen sees having free-willed Shadows which aid and protect them as normal. Those who do not possess such, like the Underfolk, are no more than servants to be lorded over. And since none of the Chosen are supposed to ever leave the Castle, it comes as a great surprise to him when he stumbles across the Icecarls who refuse to behave as servants. On the other hand, the Icecarls find the idea of Shadow magic disturbing and prohibit Tal's Shadowguard from behaving in a manner unlike a normal shadow on pain of death. The Icecarls too speak of a long ago past when they fought and drove the Shadows away. What could have happened and why do the Icecarls avoid contact with the denizens of the Castle when they are aware of them ?

All of these are interesting questions waiting to be answered as Tal starts his journey back to a hostile home with an equally hostile companion.

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