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Heroes of the Fallen Hardcover – April 14, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 30 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

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: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (30 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,712,262 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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Format: Kindle Edition
If Robert E. Howard or David Gemmell had written Tennis Shoes Among the Nephites, he would have written something like this. This is sword and sorcery set in the world of the Book of Mormon. The best way to describe this is "Conan the Nephite." Even if you have not read the Book of Mormon, you can still enjoy this book but if you have read the Book of Mormon, you know more about the background that the story takes place.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Being a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints I wanted to see how this story was handled. I found it interesting to read this author's ideas on the last days of the Nephites and other tribes that we learn about in the Book of Mormon. I appreciated the way he taught gospel principles that apply to all Christians regardless of their religious affiliation by inserting them in the story while not being "preachy" about them. I enjoyed this book so much that I was disappointed when it came to an end and learned then that it was only the first in what I presume is going to be a series. I was also unhappy that I did not know before I started reading that this was only book 1 with no idea of when further books would be available. Now I will anxiously await further books in this series.
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