Study Guide

Fallen Southern Charm and Southern Gothic

By Lauren Kate

Southern Charm and Southern Gothic

The surreal, creepy, but kind of romantic campus of Sword & Cross in Fallen is kind of like its own character. Can you imagine this melodramatic, centuries-long romance of the literally damned taking place anywhere else? We mean, really, this is a place that's surrounded by Civil War cemeteries and has a gymnasium that's really a converted old church. If we were teenaged fallen angels, this is where we'd go to hang out and fall in love and save the world, too.

Questions About Southern Charm and Southern Gothic

  1. How would this story be different if it took place in a different part of the country, or in a different country altogether?
  2. Since Luce grew up in the South—at least in this lifetime—she has some familiarity with the setting of Sword & Cross. What if she had grown up in a different part of the country, and the South was a whole new world to her?
  3. Does the fact that the campus was an old Civil War site add anything to the Gothic feel of the story?

Chew on This

The South is, overall, a pretty Christian place. Imagine how the idea of fallen angels would have gone over somewhere like New York or Los Angeles. Consider how people would react differently there if they knew fallen angels were in their midst.

Many of the characters have lived many lifetimes in many different places, but they seem somewhat untouched by those places in this lifetime.