The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan
|The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan|
|Reviewer: Ruth Wilson|
|Summary: The Gutter Prayer is fantastic, fast paced action with great characters and lots of mystery and conflict thrown in. This is a dark and mysterious world with Godly forces and powerful players. The story is packed with adventure, twists and turns. What starts out as a simple robbery gone wrong quickly changes into a complex and thrilling mystery where true allegiances are hidden until the very last minute. The action is fast paced and dramatic and keeps the reader guessing until the very end.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 544||Date: January 2019|
Enter a world where Gods are real and violent, the Godswar rages far away, Gods lead huge armies of men and Saints, mortals given the power of the Gods, and thousands die as their capricious Gods battle for supremacy. Guerdon lies across the sea, and has kept the Godswar at bay so far. Geurdon's Gods are the Kept Gods, kept weakened and under the thumb of democracy but something is happening, something is stirring, how will the City defend against the coming evil?
This is a great story but first a little pickiness. The story starts with a prologue, nothing unusual there, but the prologue is written in the second person pro-noun, you. There is a reason that this is unusual, it is quite jarring and strange, as a reader it is unclear who you are, you watch the action unfold under, around and inside you and it is very odd. I had to read the prologue twice to be clear what is happening but please persevere, as all becomes clear once the plot starts moving. As the story begins, we are thrown straight into the action, a robbery in progress, and a whole cast of characters instantly erupts. There are Stonemen, Tallowman, Ghouls, Crawling Ones, along with mortal men all who try to co-exist in this city of chaos and many Gods. The plot races along at a terrific pace and events and characters whizz past without any back-story or explanation, chapters jump from one character's perspective to another and the reader has to just hold on and hope all becomes clear whilst trying to keep track of the larger story. It does become clear though, and it is well worth it when it does.
The main cast of characters are Cari, a human woman, Rat, a Ghoul, and Spar, a Stoneman. Spar and Rat are both superb characters who are complex and interesting. It is Cari, however, who is the central character and the plot hangs on her visions and trying to work out what, or rather, who, is causing them. I lost a little patience with Cari, who is a very flighty character, but this is part of her character and this flightiness is relevant to the plot. Knowing that still didn't help when she was clearly making very bad decisions which were obviously going to end badly but she charges into them anyway. That said, she is also loyal to her friends and desperate to do the right thing and her character is made more interesting because of her flaws. The story is packed with adventure, twists and turns. What starts out as a simple robbery gone wrong quickly changes into a complex and thrilling mystery where true allegiances are hidden until the very last minute. The action is fast paced and dramatic and keeps the reader guessing until the very end.
My favourite character was Aleena, who has a relatively small role but is fantastically written. Aleena is a Saint for the Kept Gods and imbued with all their power but she is rude, and inpatient and swears constantly. She is the most unlikely person to be considered saintly and is a great character, whilst this book could never be considered funny; Aleena brings a dry humour into dark situations as she swears and curses with the voice of Angels. In the acknowledgements, Hanrahan admits that Aleena was his favourite to write and that is clear, she is a fabulous character and I enjoyed all of her interactions in the book.
Overall, this is a great story. Despite my moments of pickiness, I thoroughly enjoyed The Gutter Prayer, and I would recommend it for any fan of fantasy fiction. It is also the first in the Black Iron Legacy, which means there are more books to come, and I shall definitely read them when they are released. The Gutter Prayer is an exciting, thrilling adventure and lots of fun to read. For something a bit different, you could also try Blood Ties (Castings Trilogy) by Pamela Freeman.
You can read more book reviews or buy The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan at Amazon.com.
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