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Heroes of the Fallen Hardcover – April 14, 2010

29 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


HEROES OF THE FALLEN begins fast-paced and draws you in immediately. It draws upon fictional characters but real events. I have read the history portrayed in this book, but I have never felt of its true nature until I read this book. It helps you to understand how things were and how it could have been. It enwraps you into the story and you feel like you are there. It s not predictable. I got consumed by its words. The characters are well-developed and real. It shows the faithful and their unwavering ability to stand strong and the penetration of the Gadianton robbers into their most influential positions in their government. I found myself rooting for characters....You know you have a good book in your hands when you feel the emotions. --Timpanogos Times

David J. West has created a story line filled with excitement, archaeology, treasure and real history. This is a must-read not only for entertainment but also to open new doors and vistas of possibility for the mind. West has intertwined fiction and history in such a way that the reader comes away believing that it might be true. He has used actual archaeological evidence to weave into his story making it more real and exciting. As a novice author, West has done a wonderful job of keeping the reader between the covers of this book. --Bruce H. Porter, PHD., BYU professor

About the Author

David J. West, born in Salt Lake City, Utah, has lived throughout the United States and briefly in Mexico. He has been writing stories since he learned to read and is an avid collector of books and swords. He lives in Utah with his wife and three children, each with more unusual names than his own.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 306 pages
  • Publisher: WiDo Publishing; First Edition edition (April 14, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979607035
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979607035
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.5 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,554,079 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

David can't remember a time he wasn't writing. From the primordial splash of a drowning Atlantis to a pair of vigilantes' six-guns blasting raw justice in the old west. From obsidian tipped arrows raining down on Cumorah's slopes, to crusaders' broadswords sweeping over shadowy terrors, and on to the cold vacuum of space and the birth of a new star, David is there, recording it all for your edification and amusement.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Big Dave on April 15, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is a swords and sorcery-style tale of savage adventure set in the last days of Nephite civilization. Akish-Antum and his Gadiantons plot the downfall of Zarahemla while Lamanite priests pluck hearts from their victims' bodies in search of good omens for their own grudge-driven schemes. Beginning at the massacre of Cumorah and the apparent moment of death of grizzled Lamanite-looking Nephite Amaron, we flash back to Amaron's youth as a guardsman in Zarahemla to watch the fall in its terrible grandeur. West incorporates lots of Book of Mormon detail (Amaron, the Sword of Laban, the Gadiantons, Teancum, and much more) and nineteenth-century extra-Book of Mormon folklore and speculation (Onandagus and Zelph are both prominent characters) into a story of long-thewed warriors, wily and beautiful maidens and dastardly villains with hearts black as pitch.

Like Robert E. Howard and the Book of Mormon? This book is their love child. If you like either of them, give Heroes of the Fallen a try.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Charles Gramlich on October 5, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Heroic fantasy, the kind of tales that Robert E. Howard wrote, that Edgar Rice Burroughs wrote, that more recent writers such as David Gemmell wrote, is driven by the engine of sheer imagination more than any other genre, with the possible exception of SF. Good stories can be told in the field without venturing much beyond the seminal imagination of a Howard or a Burroughs, but it's very nice when you find an original vision at work. I've found one of those in David J. West ([...]), whose Heroes of the Fallen has imagination in spades. The world created by West is fully realized and backed up by both firm historical knowledge and a good feel for mythology.

The setting for Heroes is not the common pseudo-European one, either, but a dynamic "New World" one that provides all the same potentialities for storytelling without retracing the steps of earlier writers. West combines Mesoamerican history and myth with the stories and history found in The Book of Mormon to create a truly unique brand of heroic fantasy fiction. In places, the book reminds me of the fine 2006 movie Apocalypto, although I understand from the author of Heroes of the Fallen that the book was written before that movie came out. Both the book and the movie capture the essence of heroic literature while giving it a seldom seen Mesoamerican flavor.

If imagination is the engine for Heroic Fantasy, fine prose is the fuel. Here, too, West achieves. I'm a sucker for good poetical prose, for heightened language that draws you into the exotic worlds that the best Heroic Fantasy creates.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By M. Gray on April 19, 2010
Format: Hardcover
You know you have a good book on your hands when your jaw drops open for the prologue, you need to read it twice, and then once more. And when you've read the final page of the book, you're so ridiculously stoked that inside you're cheering like a crazed spectator at the Colosseum. That's what Heroes of the Fallen did to me... and that was just the beginning and end.

David J. West has a gift for metaphorical language. I would read a description of a character and then just shake my head to myself, "How did he come up with that? That is unreasonably original." Take this quote for example:

'"You were missed." It was the bone dry voice of Menares, the ugly old priest. His ratty gray hair and big nose stuck out from his face like the splayed branches of a dead diseased tree. The dirty maroon cloak he wore stunk of vile smoke, burned flesh and singed hair. Congealed gore had stained his hands a violent crimson, looking black in the darkness.'

Do we not see this man? And feel a sense of wonder at this poetic description?

When I first learned that someone was writing a book based on the last events of the Book of Mormon. I thought, "Good. It's good to read those types of books." No, no, no! It is not simply good! And good is the wrong word! It is intrigue, fascination. Power. Obsession.

West walks the fine line of intrigue amidst restraint. He lures his readers into the haunting culture of the Gadiantons without becoming graphic, and demonstrates spirituality without exhibiting the sacred.

His wicked characters make sense and his righteous characters have flaws. Amaron, a righteous character, has a peppering of arrogance that aids in his likeability. Conversely, Grand Master Akish-Antum's lies to Aaron almost have me convinced to join his vile band.

This is not a fluffy tale to pat ourselves on the back for considering reading. This is the real deal. See you in the Colosseum.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By An Amazon Customer on August 13, 2010
Format: Hardcover
I don't normally read "Mormon fiction." I had some painful experiences early on with the genre, involving terrible dialogue and smack-my-head plots, and I've avoided it ever since. So it was with much trepidation that I approached Heroes of the Fallen.

If David West's book is any indication, the genre is finally, happily evolving into something readable! It preaches less and shows through example (positive and negative) more. It doesn't pretend religious people are perfect while their non-religious counterparts are evil. It faces real-world issues head on.

Best of all, it doesn't insist tragedy is uplifting. I have never felt inspired from reading about a character that is completely torn down by life and yet somehow is comforted with hollow platitudes. Instead, the characters in Heroes sometimes allow life to get to them. They make mistakes. They pull themselves back up by their fingernails.

I would have liked to see a more detailed map of place locations. I get turned around easily, and I had a hard time keeping track of where each group was in relation to the others. Also, I was a bit confused by all the characters at first, but their unique personalities soon help me set things straight in my mind. My favorite plotline was Bethia's. She reminded me a lot of myself as a teenager: naive, determined to see the world on her own terms, and resistant to the advice of her elders.

Overall, I enjoyed this book a lot. It leaves the reader on a cliff-hanger, and I can't wait until the next book in the series comes out!
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