One Year after the Fight against the Werewolfs, Andrej and Abu Dun come to the end of their journey, as they are attacked by strange children, who manage to “kill” Andrej. The swordmen awake in a gypsy camp, and finally meet Anka, the Puuri Dan they were looking for. But the old woman gives unsatisfying answers, so Andrej and Abu Dun decide to stay with the gypsies, who are not really welcomed by the townspeople, for some time
Andrej then is having an unhealthy affair with Elena, Anka’s granddaughter and the gypsy-leader Lauros’s wife. Abu Dun wants to leave, but begins to behave strangely after a while. Mysterious incidents around the camp gets the inquisition’s attention, and Andrej makes a horrific discovery concerning Abu Dun and the camp which leads him to a fateful choice.
This book, dispite being better than the third one, is much bigger in content, but also a lot more boring. For a long time, nothing special happens, but that needn’t to be bad, in fact, it has time to develop a relationsip to the gypsy-people. But there are only a few Andrej actually interacts with, and the most ineresting person is Elena. Their “Sex-scenes”, which occur in the second half,are – in my opinion – the best reason to read the book. You know exactly that something is not as it seems, but like Andrej, you can’t withstand Elena.
Important stuff is happening to Abu Dun too: After been nearly killed in every other book, Hohlbein finally decided to give him immortality. This happens by…nearly killing Abu Dun. It´s not stated directed how it works (as if it would be different any other time…), but the reader can eventually imagine how it works (which makes him smarter than Andrej in later books, by the way).
But the book is not only in terms of the relationship between Andrej and Abu Dun important, but also in terms of Andrej’s fate: After extinguishing the whole gypsy-clan, which happens – of course – “off screen”, he is a hunted immortal. He knows it, and he knows that he is nowhere safe anymore. This is a very crucial storyarc, which unfortunately – to be foreshadowing – only lasts until the 7th book.
The Downfall may not e the worst book, but it is one of the weaker ones. It’ too long despite little happening, and the “sex-scenes” are the main reason for re-readings. But at least two things happen that make it an important part in the series.