Terror. Callousness. Denial. Rebellion. How the four teenage children of leaders in the duchy and the neighboring empire of Hanaobi choose to adapt to their nefarious parents' whims is a matter of survival.
Rohesia, daughter of the duke, spends her days hunting "outsiders," fugitives who've snuck onto her father's island duchy. That she lives when even children who resemble her are subject to death hardens her heart to tackle the task.
Fastello is the son of the "king" of the raiders who steal from the rich and share with the poor. When aristocrats die in the raids, Fastello questions what his peoples' increasingly wicked methods of survival have cost them. An orphan raised by a convent of mothers,
Cateline can think of no higher aim in life than to serve her religion, even if it means turning a blind eye to the suffering of other orphans under the mothers' care.
Kojiro, new heir to the Hanaobi empire, must avenge his people against the "barbarians" who live in the duchy, terrified the empress, his own mother, might rather see him die than succeed.
When the paths of these four young adults cross, they must rely on one another for survival-but the love of even a malevolent guardian is hard to leave behind.
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"An original story, with vivid details told in alternating chapters... There was drama, action, intense moments and soul searching and new friendships born." ~Sheri W., Juniper Grove
"Intense and brutal and just a whirlwind of a ride... Watching them slowly come to terms with the fact that their own morals might not actually align with those of the people who raised them makes for a wonderfully compelling story." ~Daiz
"It is so easy to read that this book can be read in one sitting. It's impossible not to like this book after reading it." ~Alex the Shadow Girl
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
I received an e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. I seriously need a physical copy of this now, because this series just became a new favorite. This is a powerfully compelling story of 4 very different teens struggling to overcome the dubious legacies of their parents. I was first intrigued by this book because the cover features an Asian character, and I love seeing diversity in fantasy and YA lit. What really drew me in though, was this gut punch of an opening line, “I’d lived only five winters the first time I saw an infant drowned.” How could you not keep reading after that? From the first paragraph I could tell that this was the voice of a powerful new storyteller, and I couldn't wait to see where this book would take me. Normally I strongly dislike shifting perspectives in a novel, but McNulty handled this really well and it actually was a wonderful component to this particular tale. The diversity that I was hoping for was very present, and the cast of characters were brilliant, broken, human creations who I loved. My favorite sentence: • “I knew that there was a sea beyond that tower and the cliff behind it, but I couldn’t help but feel like it was somehow the edge of the world, perfectly poised at the end of the dirt road." Do yourself a favor and check this out! I'll leave you with that, because I'm going to start the sequel now.
I received an ARC of Fall Far From the Tree by Amy McNulty in exchange for an honest review. Have you ever read a book that you really want to like, but just can't get into for some reason? Well, that's how I felt about Fall Far From the Tree. The story is unique and each chapter rotates betweeen the point of view of the 4 main characters. However, the characters and the story didn't draw me in. I debated on trying to finish this book in the hopes that at some point it would draw me in, but about halfway through I decided not to since I have so many other books in my TBR list that I want to read. Don't let my review sway you from trying this book out for yourself. I'm sure for plenty of readers who enjoy a young adult fantasy read this would be a very enjoyable read.
Reviewed by Liz Konkel for Readers' Favorite Fall Far From the Tree is a dark fantasy by Amy McNulty about four teen children of leaders in the duchy and neighbor Hanaobi who grow up in fear of one another. Rohesia is the daughter of the Duke, trained to hunt the fugitives from the neighboring empire, despite her familial connection. With her father's growing reign as a tyrant, she begins to question her role. Fastello is the son of the nomad king who runs raids on the rich as they travel through the Stargazer's tower. He's beginning to question if he can truly follow his father's ways when he's not sure they're right. Cateline was raised by the Stargazer mothers since her parents abandoned her at the tower. She's never questioned the beliefs the mothers taught her until she's sent to town to ask the Duke for help in dealing with the rise of nomad raids. Kojiro is the next heir to the Hanaobi empire, and he's been taught to fear and hate the “barbarians” of the duchy, being trained to speak the language so he can do what he can for his people. But will he have what it takes? When these four meet, everything they believed in turns out to be not what they thought. Fall Far From the Tree is tragic and honest with themes of violence and hate, but has a sense of hope that things will be better. One of my favorite aspects of this is the structure, with four different perspectives from each of the four areas. Each of the characters grew up hating the other people, or viewing them as barbarians, and everything is slowly becoming more and more violent and fueled with hate. A lot of things are thrown at the four main characters, but they're each starting to see the flaws, and are questioning their roles. There's a lot of heavy themes, but Amy McNulty handles everything well. It opens in a very dark place, foreshadowing more violence to follow, but it ends on a more hopeful note. Not to say that this isn't a tragedy. It is a tragic story, but when these four stand up, there's hope. A must-read dark fantasy adventure for readers who love dark fantasy.