An Introduction to John Gwynne’s the Banished Lands universe
John Gwynne is the author of two fantasy series, The Faithful and the Fallen quartet and the Of Blood and Bone trilogy. Set in the Banished Lands, where angels and demons wage war, his books are perfect for fans of epic fantasy like George RR Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire. If you’re new to John’s work or have yet to delve into his newest series, here’s everything you need to know.
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Often, the best heroic fantasy is both intimate and epic, whether our hero is triumphing over inner demons – or the ones rampaging across the countryside. And John Gwynne is no stranger to either conflict. His books, set in the Banished Lands, sweep masterfully from bloody battlefields to fraught personal dilemmas, which culminate in tense, explosive climaxes.
Here’s a primer on the Banished Lands, its conflicted human occupants, and the forces of light and darkness determined to claim the world.
The Banished Lands
Plenty of books deal with the celestial versus the demonic. In the Banished Lands, angels and demons wage war against one another in a landscape heavily inspired by Paradise Lost. At first, the protagonists seem obvious; the Ben-Elim are the angels, bringers of light, while the brutal Kadoshim are the harbingers of darkness and death.
But not everything is so black and white. The Ben-Elim reveal themselves as brutal rule enforcers, with their human followers often paying the price. And the demonic Kadoshim offer tantalising freedom. Through wonderfully conflicted characters, Gwynne explores the classic dichotomy of angels versus demons.
The Faithful and the Fallen quartet
The Faithful and the Fallen centres on Corban, a young man on his quest to become a warrior and protect the Banished Lands from the forces of darkness.
Of Blood and Bone trilogy
Set a century after the events of Wrath, Of Blood and Bone focuses on Drem, a trapper, and Riv, a young, tempestuous soldier. They both carrying life-changing secrets – ones which will change the Banished Lands forever.
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