The Fall of Koli by M.R. Carey #BookReview #BlogTour


The Fall of Koli is the third and final novel in the breathtakingly original Rampart trilogy - set in a strange and deadly world of our own making.

The world that is lost will come back to haunt us . . .

Koli has come a long way since being exiled from his small village of Mythen Rood. In his search for the fabled tech of the old times, he knew he'd be battling strange, terrible beasts and trees that move as fast as whips. But he has already encountered so much more than he bargained for.

Now that Koli and his companions have found the source of the signal they've been following - the mysterious "Sword of Albion" - there is hope that their perilous journey will finally be worth something.

Until they unearth terrifying truths about an ancient war . . . and realise that it may have never ended.

I'm thrilled to be hosting the blog tour for The Fall of Koli today. Many thanks to M.R. Carey, Orbit Books and Tracy Fenton from Compulsive Readers for inviting me and for my advance digital copy of the novel received through NetGalley.

So we've come to the end of M.R. Carey's Rampart Trilogy and although this is a moment I've been eager for and dreading in almost equal measure, the telling of Koli's full story has been a rare treat throughout the three books, with this conclusion being everything I could have wished for and more besides.
It opens immediately after the concluding events in The Trials of Koli and finds Koli and his disparate group of companions - healer, Ursala-from-elsewhere, the formerly shunned Cup and Monono Aware, his closest friend despite being the AI interface in what was originally a Dreamsleeve music player - attempting to board the 'Sword of Albion' before their stricken craft sinks. It's worth saying here that this is a series that should be read in order and in its entirety in order to fully appreciate the full richness of this wonderfully inventive trilogy.
The world-building is superb once more; after two books which found Koli and friends at the mercy of a wild, dangerous landscape where the trees have the potential to maim and kill, this time they are in a man-made environment but it's no less deadly. Although set in an England - or Ingland - several centuries into the future, there's a fable-like quality to this series, largely due to the colloquial nature of the narrative voices. As with The Trials of Koli, most of the novel follows Koli but there are some chapters set in his home village, Mythen Rood which are written from the perspective of his childhood friend, Spinner. Koli and Spinner both use language which is familiar and yet has evolved from the English we use presently. It's arguably a simpler, less grammatically correct form but there's a poetic beauty to their speech which perhaps belies those who fear a dumbing-down of the spoken and written word.
As the various strands of the storyline are pulled together and we learn more about the origin of some of the myths and belief systems of this future humankind, the parallels with our own world are uncomfortably obvious. Over the course of the trilogy, we've realised that this post-apocalyptic world came to pass due to the catastrophic errors of mankind but the destructive violence of ultra-nationalism is markedly apparent here. As Koli and Cup experience bequeathed racism and transphobia, it seems that for all that society has lost, its ability to divide itself according to appearance or background persists.
However, Koli has Monono and we finally learn more about her story this time, with some chapters written from her unique point-of-view. She describes herself at one point as a manic pixie dream girl but this doesn't do justice to one of the most complex, original characters I can ever remember reading. This might be Koli's story and he is a wonderful character but Monono's importance is finally revealed in this moving, beautifully constructed conclusion. Meanwhile, in Mythen Rood, this relationship between flesh-and-bone and sentient tech is mirrored by the understanding that develops between Spinner, Challenger and Elaine. 
While Koli has to escape the clutches of a would-be fascist warmonger, Spinner needs to keep the village safe from the ironically named Peacemaker. The final reckoning is inevitable but M.R. Carey never rushes the storyline, allowing it to unfold with all the immersive expansiveness of a tale which has been told and retold down through the generations. The violence is inescapable; there are some dramatic surprises and emotional revelations before the end but as Spinner observes, a story needs to have "a good shape and end where it's supposed to." The Fall of Koli ends exactly where it should and is a stunning finale to this exceptional series. I cannot recommend it highly enough.

The Fall of Koli is published by Orbit Books, purchasing links can be found here but please support independent bookshops whenever possible, either by buying directly or through

Don't miss the rest of the blog tour, details are below.

About the Author
M. R. Carey has been making up stories for most of his life. His novel The Girl With All the Gifts has sold over a million copies and became a major motion picture, based on his own BAFTA Award-nominated screenplay. Under the name Mike Carey he has written for both DC and Marvel, including critically acclaimed runs on Lucifer, Hellblazer and X-Men. His creator-owned books regularly appear in the New York Times bestseller list. He also has several previous novels including the Felix Castor series (written as Mike Carey), two radio plays and a number of TV and movie screenplays to his credit.