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Early Review: Godblind by Anna Stephens

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Godblind by Anna Stephens // VBC ReviewGodblind
Anna Stephens
Published: July 11, 2017 (Talos)
Purchase: Book Depository or Amazon
Review source: copy provided by U.K. publisher Harper Voyager in exchange for an honest review

Reviewed by: Jo

Rating (out of 5): 4 stars

Nearly a thousand years ago the Red Gods were driven from the world by the Gods of Light. The Mireces, worshippers of the Red Gods, were exiled from the Kingdom of Rilpor, forced to make their homes in the barren mountains. A violent and bloodthirsty people, they look to appease their gods, not only with human sacrifice, but also by pledging to take back the world for them. With a new king on the throne, they look to the East—to war and glory.

The lands of The Watchers, a warrior people dedicated to the Gods of the Light, are the first defence against the Mireces and allies to the Rilpoarians. In their mists is Dom, the Calestar, a man gifted with visions from the Gods. When a vision brings him upon an escaped Mireces’ slave, Dom ‘knows’ she brings tidings of doom… just not what those tidings are exactly.

Crys Tailorson, having recently finished his rotation in the Nothern Rank of the Rilporian army, is looking forward to two years of easy palace service, taverns, gambling and women. But when the younger prince strikes up a friendship with the smooth-talking captain, Crys suddenly finds himself at the forefront of the Kingdom’s politics. All is not as it seems within the gilded walls of the palace.

On paper, GodBlind has quite a few issues. With the exception of the Gods and those that have the power to converse with them, there is actually very little in the way of magical/supernatural elements to class this as a fantasy novel (other than it being set in a fictional world). The Gods of Light are more vague influences than actual characters, while the Red Gods are shown as full characters, creating a sense of imbalance I would have like explained in more detail.

Another issue could be the sheer amount of characters that are given POV chapters. Combine this with how incredibly short each chapter is, there isn’t much time to really delve into long and intricate character studies. Rather the majority of the time the chapter switches to whichever character is at the heart of the action at that particular point, leaving more subtle storylines (such as love interests or murder investigations) either left hanging or left feeling a little rushed at times.

But even with these issues on my proverbial piece of paper, I did not give a flying fig because I bloody loved it. Godblind read like an action-packed, lightening-speed fantasy soap opera with battles, betrayal and romance round every corner. I raced through this book, and while the lack of world building left me feeling slightly disoriented at the beginning, I soon got swept away into this world.

While the characters might not be the most well developed (the villains of the story in particular are little more than plain evil), I quickly cared what happened to them, making the whiplash-inducing plot twists pack all the more punch. I particularly liked Crys’ character, not just for his dry and witty dialogue but his internal struggles. I felt for Dom and his tragic past, and cheered for Rillirin when she escaped brutal slavery and found her inner warrior.

Be warned though, this is a dark book. It’s gory and crazy violent, with a lot of sexual violence as well. What I loved though was how many badass women where in the middle of all these battles. From skilled warriors, to wise women with spines of steel, to scheming villainesses, woman held their own in Godblind.

For me Godblind is a bit of holy grail find: an epic fantasy that is perfect for the beach. Brimming with twists and turns, but not so complex that it takes major concentration to keep track of multiple character and plots, it’s thoroughly entertaining. I seriously can’t wait for the second in the trilogy to come out next year!

Sexual content: sex, rape, sexual abuse and violence

Note: This title has an earlier release date for UK friends, and is already available on Book Depository!

One Response to “Early Review: Godblind by Anna Stephens”

  1. Angie says:

    Loved your review which makes me want to read this one NOW. 🙂

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