Godkiller by Hannah Kaner
This book has been garnering a lot of attention of late, so I thought I would give it a go. Now I originally started this much earlier, but it wasn't hitting the mark, and was going to give it a miss to be honest. However, I thought I would give it another go recently and ended up quite enjoying it.
So before I get on to the book, let's tell you what the book is about.
About The Book
Kissen kills gods for a living, and she enjoys it. That is until she finds a god she cannot kill: Skediceth, god of white lies, who is connected to a little noble girl on the run.
Elogast fought in the god war, and helped purge the city of a thousand shrines before laying down his sword. A mysterious request from the King sends him racing back to the city he destroyed.
On the way he meets a godkiller, a little girl and a littler god, who cannot find out about his quest.
The story centres around four main characters, Kissen, who kills gods for a living. Elogast, former knight commander and best friend to the king. Inara, a dispossessed child that was once the daughter of a high ranking aristocrat and Skidiceth, an antlered, winged rabbit god thing that happens to be the god of white lies and is now attached for some inexplicable reason to Inara.
Godkiller kicks off straight away as we meet Kissen as a little girl. The action starts immediately with Kissen and her family being sacrificed to a god of fire. Kissen escapes with the help of her father who releases her from a fiery death by amputating her leg which she has trapped in the fiery inferno.
We then skip forwards a number of years to Kissen all grown up and is now freelancing as a Veiga, a trained Godkiller. After an incident with a god, she finds herself being hired by the child Inara, who has a slight god problem in that she is attached to Skidiceth the god of white lies. It seems that she cannot move far from the god without it causing them both physical pain. Inara and the god both wish to be separated, but there is only one way to go, a trip to a dead city and Kissen's past.
In the meantime, Elogast, the former knight commander has forsaken his former life and now lives as a baker in a poor mining town, feeding the local residents. However, one night, a figure from his past gives him a quest, which as you guessed it, sends him on the same path as Kissen, Inara and Skidiceth.
One of the main strengths of Godkiller is the interactions between the characters and how they each reach their goals. Hannah Kaner uses familiar fantasy tropes.such as found family and gods to tell the story. On the whole this book works well, particularly the relationship between humans and gods. It does tip its hat towards The Witcher, but there are also other influences in there, particularly the representation of the gods which feels like a hark back to Terry Pratchett's Small Gods and how the gods infest all aspects of life.
There are bits that didn't work for me, particularly the travelling aspect of the story, which I always find a little difficult in fairness and is one of the tropes that doesn't sit particularly well for me. However, this is buoyed by the interactions of the characters and this for me elevated this particular aspect to one that I could be invested in.
Godkiller is a strong debut that uses familiar fantasy tropes, but it is its characters that makes it feel like a fresh addition to the fantasy genre.