Hammer of God (Godspeaker) by Karen Miller
|Hammer of God (Godspeaker) by Karen Miller|
|Reviewer: Loralei Haylock|
|Summary: An interesting, but slow and steady read that probably won't have you racing to finish it – something instead to savour and enjoy over a few evenings.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 704||Date: January 2009|
|External links: Author's website|
Queen Rhian of Ethrea has troubles both inside and outside of her borders. Defiant noblemen, reluctant to be ruled by a woman, are disputing her crown. If they don't submit to her leadership soon, Rhian fears it will come to judicial combat – a fight to the death to prove her worth as Queen.
Meanwhile the Empress of Mijak, a nation steeped in blood, is gathering a war host to invade Ethrea. Rhian needs to solve the Dukes' disputes, and rally the trading nations to her cause, or Ethrea will be lost. But the trading nations distrust her, not believing Mijak to be a threat, except mysterious Emperor Han of Tzhung-Tzhungchai. Han and his witch men are ready to wield their strange powers in Ethrea's aid, but Rhian isn't sure if that's a good thing or not.
Then there's Zandakar, once Rhian's friend, but revealed to be the Empress of Mijak's son. Rhian thinks her cause is fairly lost without his expertise, both in combat and in Mijak's strategies. But can she really trust him? If it comes down to it, can she ask him to fight against his mother and brother?
Karen Miller certainly isn't afraid of making books long. At 676 pages, Hammer of God is quite a handful to sit down and read. Of course, this doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. While there is merit to the 'less is more' way of thinking, if you are enjoying a good book, there's nothing nicer than seeing you still have several hundred pages to go.
So, does Hammer of God manage to maintain interest for all those pages? Well, it's funny really because it does, even though not very much happens. A lot of the book is concerned with the bickering of the trading nations, and the complicated political dance that Rhian is engaged in, trying to raise an army to defend against Mijak, while trying not to destroy fragile friendships and treaties. Sounds horribly dull, but it isn't.
Peppered with enough interesting characters and relationships, and the odd trip overseas to spy on Mijak, Hammer of God avoids becoming tedious, building steadily towards the final climactic battle. And Miller isn't afraid of being dark either. She doesn't skip over any of the gory details when describing the devastation of war.
A slow and steady read that probably won't have you racing to finish it – something instead to savour and enjoy over a few evenings. Recommended to borrow.
My thanks to the publishers for sending a copy.
If you enjoy fantasy sagas, try the Night Angel trilogy by Brent Weeks.
You can read more book reviews or buy Hammer of God (Godspeaker) by Karen Miller at Amazon.co.uk.
You can read more book reviews or buy Hammer of God (Godspeaker) by Karen Miller at Amazon.com.
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