For the fifth ofvthese nine posts we return to the world of The Godless Trilogy for book two: Bloodheir.
Second books are the make or break points to a trilogy. I think it is universally accepted that the second film of the original Star Wars Trilogy was the best, yes? The ability to pick up a story, tell a new tale, and bring it to such a conclusion that you must go on to the final book is a powerful ability and Brian Ruckley has that ability in large quantities! Bloodheir picks you up right where the the opening book Winterbirth left you and quickly throws you into… well into a despair really. This one is a dark and moving tale where you really are in fear for any character you care for, and truly you find yourself caring for some characters you didn’t expect to care for!
One aspect of this story that I really love is that the world itself is a part of the story too. That is something I love about Dune as well. In this case it isn’t a hot desert planet. It is a vast frozen wilderness. It is ancient and hate filled forests. It is breathtaking mountains. Above all it is snow. And in this snow a battle takes place. A battle that will stretch loyalties to their breaking points. An intense battle first against the elements and then against the enemy. I love it when the world itself is a huge part of the story.
I admit that I was concerned when I started this book that the story wouldn’t draw me in further. That it would feel unneeded. However I quickly grew to appreciate this story. Truth told I thought the disasters and catastrophes that happened in the first book would be the worst of the series. Then I read this book and learned how disastrous it could still become! This book was even better than the first book. But it wasn’t the best book of the trilogy! That book is yet to come! We’ll talk about it soon.
In keeping with my nine days of posts to get back in the swing of reading and writing (see previous post for details) I am featuring another of my favorite Fantasy series: The Godless World Trilogy and specifically featuring book one: Winterbirth
First off let me talk about the book itself: Orbit has perfected the large trade paperback book style! They create the best large fwompy books! Which is the sound they make when you fwomp them down. Go ahead and try it. Fwomp. Great bookish sound! The design of this trilogy is also eye catching as they went very minimalist and bright with the red title popping off the cover. Literally as it is raised. So I discovered this trilogy because the cover caught my eye and I am a cover buy reader! The concept is interesting too. Check out the summary from the back cover:
The general concept is that the gods created the world and the living beings on it. Then the beings went to war amongst themselves and so deeply offended the gods that the gods washed their hands of the world and left it. Some still believe they can bring the gods back if only everyone believes exactly how they do and they are willing to kill everyone who disagrees until they have their unity. Those that believe this way have been driven into the far north where existence is hard and have been ignored while the lands further south grow wealthy and prosperous. However there are changes stirring and deep magics awakening, and that which has been hidden is coming back into light.
This book launches one of the most beautiful Dark Fantasy stories I have ever read. I’ll detail that more when I post about the last book in another of these posts because of course I need something non spoilery to discuss in the posts for books two and three, but just know that the story that starts here grows beyond the roots of this book. It grows into the hearts of the readers.
That said have you ever had a book you bad to give up on and return back to at a later date? That was this book for me. I got 70 pages into it the first time and the people/place names all just seemed the same and I wasn’t feeling it. So I bailed, but decided later on to give it one more try and that next try I found that everything clicked. Truly amazing when that happens!
I’ll discuss the second and third books in upcoming posts and will do so in a way that hopefully doesn’t ruin any plot points for you. I’d rather always say too lite about plot than too much, but I think the next two posts on this trilogy will be safe. Thus ends the second of nine days of reviews!
My first introduction to Brian Ruckley was to read his amazing book The Free which tells the tale of the greatest band of mercenaries ever taking one final contract that could spell their doom while possibly saving the world. It’s also the tale of a young lad snatched up from his family home and thrust into his lord’s army who ends up surviving his first taste of war and falling in with The Free. It’s a beautifully tragic tale that is full of magic and warfare. Truly an incredible book!
Brian Ruckley also wrote The Godless World Trilogy which is amazing. I’m on the final book of the trilogy now. It is a brutal world that was abandoned by the gods who created it. The beings left on the planet are warring amongst themselves and are unleashing furious magic upon the world. I honestly don’t know how this trilogy will close and have no idea if the primary characters will live to that end. That makes me love this trilogy all the more.
Brian Ruckley’s work is incredibly good! Very well written characters, excellent world building, tragic realities, brutal warfare, and captivating stories! I hope you give his work a read! Download a sample of The Free here and be ready to enjoy an incredibly moving story.