Review: Godkiller by Hannah Kaner

Category:

Fantasy

Rating:

Introduction:

Kissen is a godkiller who takes pleasure in her job, but her world is turned upside down when she encounters Skediceth, the god of white lies. For the first time, Kissen finds herself unable to carry out her deadly mission, as Skediceth is somehow linked to a young noble girl on the run.

Meanwhile, Elogast, a veteran of the god war, is summoned back to the city he helped purge of its thousand shrines. He embarks on a mysterious mission for the King and on his journey encounters a godkiller, a young girl, and a small god. However, Elogast must keep his true purpose hidden from his new companions.

Review:

The story of Godkiller takes place after a significant event in the world where most of the gods were killed by the King. Although things may seem peaceful, there are whispers of civil unrest and mysterious occurrences. As a result, the main characters’ paths converge due to a secret request from the King, leading them on a quest to the ruined city of Blenraden. The intricate details of the world’s mythology and the role of the gods are revealed slowly and effectively as the story unfolds.

In the novel Godkiller, we are introduced to four different perspectives as we follow their respective journeys. Two of these individuals are celebrated figures in their fields, having played significant roles during the god war, but now find themselves in a state of stagnation. They bear resemblance to Ringil’s character arc in The Steel Remains. Kissen, the eponymous Godkiller, has made a name for herself as someone who takes contracts to eliminate gods, which aligns with her personal disdain for them. Elogast, who was once one of the King’s most trusted Knights, now operates as a baker. The third perspective is that of Inara, a young noblewoman who is largely ignored by her peers. Finally, we have Skedi, the god of white lies, who is Inara’s bonded companion.

Godkiller is a novel that features a range of diverse characters and themes. The lead character is part of the LGBTQ+ community, and there are other main characters who face mental health challenges or disabilities, including one character with a prosthetic leg. Additionally, the story includes an equivalent of sign language that is used in this fictional world. These elements are seamlessly woven into the narrative, adding depth and complexity to the characters and their experiences. The novel also boasts an array of captivating set pieces, including romance, betrayals, showdowns, curses, tragic loss, and demons. The author skillfully incorporates seemingly insignificant details and statements that later become integral to the story. As a result, readers who pay close attention are rewarded with an unforgettable reading experience.

The fantasy world depicted in Godkiller is truly remarkable, and the portrayal of the gods is particularly distinctive. The novel’s pacing is well-crafted, and the gradual unveiling of the mythology and history of this world hints that there is much more to discover in future installments of the series. Kaner’s debut novel is reminiscent of Sapkowski’s short stories or the stand-alone Season of Storms in that it follows a small group of characters on a thrilling adventure and offers a glimpse into a vast and vibrant world. Despite being self-contained, the story leaves readers with the sense that there is much more happening beyond the narrative we are privy to, which only adds to the excitement and intrigue.

While Godkiller is an impressive novel, my only slight issue with it is that due to its brevity, some of the interactions and events feel overly tidy and coincidental. To address this concern, I would love to see the next installment in the series expand its scope, introducing additional point-of-view characters to provide a more comprehensive view of the world and the events occurring concurrently. This would add greater depth and drama to the narrative and elevate the series even further. The story picks up considerable momentum towards the end of the book, and I have faith in the author’s vision for the series. I am eagerly anticipating the next installment and cannot wait to see where the story goes next.

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