Branded a witch and exiled after a dishonorable display at the king’s annual tournament, quiet Grace Hilren is forced to uproot her life of luxury as a lord’s daughter and move to the slums of the port city, Glenbard. But Grace carries a secret. Though trained to be a fine lady, she also learned to handle a sword and has made it her mission to eradicate evil and injustice where she finds it. Even in exile, Grace continues her work under the given name of Death Dealer. Her nightly deeds bring her to the notice of the self-proclaimed King of Thieves, Marcus. When the king’s power is threatened by a rival named Mac, the Death Dealer unwittingly becomes a pawn in the struggle between thieves for control of the lower city. The game becomes dangerous as Grace realizes she may not be able to best this usurper.
A foolish mistake costs Grace everything.
Grace is a beautiful young woman, but she chafes at the role women are expected to play in her world. Even though Grace conforms outwardly to most of society’s expectations, she relishes slipping into the role of the Death Dealer at night. Grace balances the demands of her daily and nightly activities very well. Unfortunately, a lapse in judgment has consequences that will change her life forever. Can Grace adapt to her new lot in life, or will she meet an ugly fate on the streets of Glenbard?
Grace is certainly an interesting heroine. She is smart, courageous, and fiercely determined to accomplish any task she sets her mind to. Despite her outward bravado, Grace is also a little naïve concerning love, life, and death. I don’t view her naivety as a flaw, rather it softens her personality a little and makes her a much more believable character given her age and upbringing.
I also really like Grace’s sense of ethics. Her nightly escapades as the Death Dealer often put her in the position of having to make some difficult choices. She is even forced to take a life. Even though she kills a man while saving the lives of others, the death weighs heavily on Grace. I think this is very realistic. Too often I’ve read books that treat death in a cavalier manner. I’m pleased that Ms. Roman treats death with the seriousness it deserves.
The ending of Fallen Grace is certainly satisfying, but leaves plenty of wiggle room for future stories. I’m very curious about what happens to Grace next. Does she continue to live in Glenbard? Is she ever accepted back into the ranks of the nobles? Will her budding relationship with Jack blossom into true love? I certainly hope Ms. Roman has a sequel planned to satisfy my curiosity.
Reading Fallen Grace was a pleasure. Grace is a wonderful, realistic character, and I thoroughly enjoyed tagging along on her adventures. Anyone looking for a fantasy laced with action and a touch of romance would do well to pick up a copy of Fallen Grace today.