Book Review: Godblind – Anna Stephens


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Release Date: June 15th 2017
Pages: 497
Publisher: HarperVoyager
Find it on: Amazon. Goodreads.
Source: I won a copy of this book from DHH Literary Agency in a Twitter competition.

This is my favourite book of 2017.

Synopsis:


There was a time when the Red Gods ruled the land. The Dark Lady and her horde dealt in death and blood and fire.

That time has long since passed and the neighbouring kingdoms of Mireces and Rilpor hold an uneasy truce. The only blood spilled is confined to the border where vigilantes known as Wolves protect their kin and territory at any cost.

But after the death of his wife, King Rastoth is plagued by grief, leaving the kingdom of Rilpor vulnerable.

Vulnerable to the blood-thirsty greed of the Warrior-King Liris and the Mireces army waiting in the mountains…

GODBLIND is an incredible debut from a dazzling new voice of the genre.

Review:

There aren’t enough words to convey how much I loved this book. This might be my favourite books of 2017, but it’s also shot right to one of my favourite books ever. Despite the massive TBR pile I have, I’m sorely tempted to start from the beginning and read it all over again. This book has so much in it I definitely think I would notice new things and find just as much enjoyment out of rereading it. It’s a stunning debut and if you’re a fan of grimdark novels, this should definitely be at the top of your purchase list.

Now that I’ve gibbered on about how wonderful it is, I’ll attempt to write a cohesive review on Godblind. This book is dark, brutal and visceral. This book is certainly not for the faint of heart, but after a single chapter you’re completely hooked in, and I spent several nights staying up way later than I intended. (My dissertation has also seen zero edits, because lets face it I’d much rather be absorbed in this fascinating world). The world building is really complex and well done in this book and the two religions are very well fleshed out – those that worship the Red Gods and those that worship the Goddesses of Light. Those that worship the Red Gods have been banished for many years, but the Red Gods are rising and all is not what it seems. This book is wonderfully written in all it’s gory beauty. It’s grim, compelling and a stunning example of fantasy fiction.

The thing for me that really made this book superb was the fantastic cast of characters. The book is told from alternating points of view – there are quite a few of them – but I really loved that, because there was sometimes a little bit of overlap, which gives you the chance to see events from different perspectives. Each of the characters are really complex and fascinating, I particularly loved Crys, Captain in the palace ranks, and Corvus, the war chief determined to make it to the top.

All the characters are very well portrayed, but the one thing about Godblind is the wide array of kick-ass female characters. My absolute favourite has got to be Rillirin, kidnapped and forced into slavery, she flees and becomes the fighter she always wanted to be. There’s also Captain Carter, the only female soldier in the ranks, who kicks butt and also deals with those that think she shouldn’t be allowed to fight, as well as a slightly terrifying priestess who will do just about anything to remain in power. I loved the wide array of characters, and it was that in particular that made me love Godblind so much. This book is full of surprises and I am so so happy that it is the first in a trilogy, because I’m already champing at the bit to find out what’s next in store.  This is everything you could possibly want from a fantasy novel so if you like your fantasy dark and disturbing, pick this one up now!

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