Godblind by Anna Stephens
Been meaning to talk about this book for ages.
The Godblind Trilogy was the last series that I read last year and it blew me away. Anna Stephens writes such bloody good fantasy.
I first came across her writing when I read The Stone Knife, which is her second trilogy, The Songs of the Drowned (If you are interested in The Stone Knife, you can read that review here).
Right, let's crack on!
ABOUT THE BOOK
The Mireces worship the bloodthirsty Red Gods.
Exiled from Rilpor a thousand years ago, and left to suffer a harsh life
in the cold mountains, a new Mireces king now plots an invasion of
Rilpor’s thriving cities and fertile earth.
Dom Templeson is a Watcher, a civilian warrior guarding Rilpor’s border. He is also the most powerful seer in generations, plagued with visions and prophecies. His people are devoted followers of the god of light and life, but Dom harbors deep secrets, which threaten to be exposed when Rillirin, an escaped Mireces slave, stumbles broken and bleeding into his village.
Meanwhile, more and more of Rilpor’s most powerful figures are turning to the dark rituals and bloody sacrifices of the Red Gods, including the prince, who plots to wrest the throne from his dying father in the heart of the kingdom. Can Rillirin, with her inside knowledge of the Red Gods and her shocking ties to the Mireces King, help Rilpor win the coming war?
Godblind is one of those books that has been knocking about on my kindle for ages. Why? Well, the short answer is I have no idea! It’s not as though I don’t love Anna Stephen’s writing already. I mean I read The Stone Knife and it was one of my favourite books of 2020. I have also read her Marvel book with the Lady Sif and Brunnhilde as the main stars in Aconyte books Legends of Asgard series and equally loved that.
Let’s start this off by saying that I thought that this book was amazing! I am not going to beat about the bush, I loved this book, and I am subsequently hooked!
Godblind tells the story of the tensions between the two very different kingdoms of Rillpor and Mirces. However, it is not just a clash of cultures but it is a clash of faith and religion. Mirices is led by their fanatical devotion to the old gods, the gods of pain and death, The Red Gods, whilst Rillpor follows the doctrine of light and love, that of the Dancer and the Trickster, the Fox God.
Now it has to be said, Godblind is a pretty brutal book and right from the offset you know that things are dark, not only dark, but things are going to get grim, and let me tell you there are some pretty grim moments in this book. However, not the bad grim, but the good grim.
Godblind holds absolutely no punches and there are moments in this book where you are going to have a face like a puckered arse at some points as you suck in breath and wince at some of the pain dished out to the characters. And these characters go through the wringer. Anna Stephens doles out a tremendous amount of pain to her protagonists and absolutely no one is safe, so don’t get attached to the characters. Well, you can, but you will soon have your heart ripped out of your chest and fed to you between two slices of bread and told to like it.
However, this is not the allure of Anna Stephen’s books as she writes fantastically gripping stories that have you turning the pages to find out what happens next. And not only that there are some heart warming moments of tenderness amongst all the blood and brutality. She has a fantastic ability to have you smiling with warmth and radiance one moment, and in the wrenching your guts out the next, as something terribly nasty happens on the page.
I found that the structure of the book was one that I did not expect in a fantasy story as Anna Stephens uses a short choppy structure that reminded me of a thriller novel. Now this might not work for some people, but I found it an effective device in increasing the urgency and pace of the story.
There is a large cast of characters in Godblind and I have seen that a lot of reviewers found that the multiple points of view, there are ten in all, hampers their ability to form an emotive connection to any one particular character. However, I liked this particular method and found that with the change in the character viewpoints it also doubled up as a pretty effective method to build and expand the world that the characters inhabit.
I think that if you are a fan of Mike Shackle’s The last War Series, you will possibly like this book as well, coz for me, I felt it was a book that had a similar feel to that series.