The Fall of Babel Review (The Books of Babel #4)

The Fall of Babel by Josiah Bancroft

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Original footage of Josiah Bancroft sticking the landing:
With this magnificent masterpiece of imagination Josiah Bancroft joins the pantheon of my favourite writers of all time. Every tiny weakness that the previous books had has been erased, more, turned out to be a strength after all because in this last installment of the Books of Babel, all of them are revealed to have served a great and brilliant purpose.

The Fall of Babel does not just stick the landing and put the perfect capstone on top of the pyramid of this unique and fascinating series, it is also a masterpiece in its own right: the best in the series and without a doubt one of the best books I’ve read this year. Readers will marvel at the beauty of its prose and the grand reveals of its plot, will discuss about the surprising ending and never forget its wonderful characters. Steadfast headmasters, human stags and inhumane villains roam the pages of The Fall of Babel, and all of their lives and storylines come together here in one huge, epic finale – I have compared this series to The Lord of the Rings before, and I’m definitely doing that again now.

The travails of Senlin, Edith, and all the others, the grand quest for Marya through the fascinating ringdoms of the Tower always reminded me of Tolkien’s magnum opus, and the structure of this final installment and the imagery of the final confrontation continued to do so. But while Tolkien’s quest for the destruction of the One Ring can easily be placed into the Fantasy genre, Senlin’s quest for his missing wife transcends all genres. It is part steampunk, part fantasy, part romance, part adventure – and all of these parts come together perfectly.

The book addresses many issues of our modern world, and especially towards the ending things might feel a bit too on the nose, too preachy even for some readers – not for me. I thoroughly enjoyed every single page of this, even though I had my issues with Marya and the beginning of the book, because almost the entire first part of it is spent without meeting our favourites – instead, readers finally find out what the heck Adam Boreas has been up to. And while that part was certainly interesting, I kept asking myself “What about Tom/Edith/Voleta though?”. But once I was able to guess why Bancroft had decided to show us this part first, and once that guess came true, it all made perfect sense.

I was not a big fan of how the book started, I questioned that decision throughout the entirety of part one, but at the ending it was more than justified – all of the complaints I had about the unusual pacing of this book and its prequels have vanished. There was a purpose, and it was totally worth it. Not everyone will like the ending, not everyone will be pleased with how it all ends here – but it worked for me, all of it made sense, all of it resonated with me – five stars, easily.
Many thanks to the publisher (Little, Brown Book Group) and Netgalley for providing me with a digital advanced reading copy in return for an honest review.
Dialogue 5
Setting 6
Characters 4
Writing Style 6
Plot 4
25/25 (100%) 5 stars

Check out my reviews for Senlin Ascends:

Senlin Ascends (The Books of Babel #1) ( by Josiah Bancroft

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