“I have loved to the point of madness. That which is called madness, that which to me, is the only sensible way to love." - Francoise Sagan
Whyborne, of 'Fallow' by Jordan L. Hawk, hasn't been the same since their last adventure when he tried to stop a message from being sent to a destructive ancient people who had been to Earth before, leaving chaos and devastation in their wake. Since a signal went through, they are now preparing for war. Griffin notices the changes in Whyborne, how he's pulling away from Griffin, but can't get him to talk about what's troubling him. Whyborne thinks that if Griffin knows the truth about what Whyborne actually is and why he was compelled to come to Widdershins in the first place, he will hate Whyborne for dragging him into the chaotic events surrounding the town.
When Whyborne receives a letter asking for a meeting that will be enlightening as well as one of warning, dreadful things happen very quickly. A man is murdered and the murderer and victim are both from Fallow, the town where Griffin was raised. Needing to know more about the mystery Whyborne, Griffin, Iskander, and Christine board a train and head to the town of Fallow. Griffin is hoping now that his father is dead, his mother will accept him back into her life. Whyborne is also wishing for that to happen, but for a different reason. Whyborne is planning on telling Griffin the whole truth about his identity and, hopefully, reuniting him with his mother, keeping him safe from further harm caused by Whyborne's association with the maelstrom.
Griffin's mother is relieved to see him, but when she finds that Whyborne is with him, she's sorely disappointed. Things go from bad to worse. Griffin's 'shadow sight' detects the same kind of corruption in several of the residents of Fallow that he previously detected in the murder victim and his killer in Widdershins. It's some kind of black mold that takes over the victim's body causing them to decay and submit to mind control. Besides people, the mold has also corrupted the water, land, and the corn that grows on it. They soon uncover a plot to take over not only Fallow and its residents, but also Widdershins where they can do even more damage. The plan is connected to the ancients whose “homecoming” was thwarted when Whyborne disrupted the homing transmission in the previous book in the series. Whyborne and his friends know that they must stop the corrupted corn from getting to Widdershins at all costs.
Although there are the familiar black magic, sorcery, monsters, and mayhem of the other books in the series, this book also focuses on a real crisis in Whyborne and Griffin's relationship. Their devotion to one another is tested by harrowing events and hard, cold facts, and it raises a lot of questions and concerns not easily dismissed. Once the truth is revealed, how will it change them? Will they stay together or will it be too much and come between them? While these questions are answered, many others are raised in order to pique my curiosity, making me wonder what lies in store for the citizens of Widdershins and our group of heroes. I recommend this story to all Whyborne and Griffin fans and for those new to the series, start at book one and catch up or you will miss an extraordinary reading experience. Thanks, Jordan, for once again proving that real love can conquer all.