Review copy was received from NetGalley. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Godkiller by Hannah Kaner
Series: Godkiller #1
Published by Harper Voyager on January 19, 2023
Amazon, Audible, Libro.fm, Barnes & Noble, Apple
You are not welcome here, godkiller
Kissen’s family were killed by zealots of a fire god. Now, she makes a living killing gods, and enjoys it. That is until she finds a god she cannot kill: Skedi, a god of white lies, has somehow bound himself to a young noble, and they are both on the run from unknown assassins.
Joined by a disillusioned knight on a secret quest, they must travel to the ruined city of Blenraden, where the last of the wild gods reside, to each beg a favour.
Pursued by demons, and in the midst of burgeoning civil war, they will all face a reckoning – something is rotting at the heart of their world, and only they can be the ones to stop it.
Godkiller is the first book in the series of the same name following an unlikely band as they make their way to the land the gods. Kissen’s entire family was killed as a sacrifice to the gods and she is the only survivor making her way by killing gods that are rising up. Inara is just a child but somehow the God of Lies has been attached to her and they are looking for a way to find a shrine for him to move to. Elogast served in the war against the gods that killed or at least diminished many, he is looking for redemption and a way to save his best friend and king.
This is a strange world where some gods are good and some are crazy evil. We even see Skediceth, our little god of lies, get a taste of power and what he tries to do with it for a short time. We can imagine what a larger god may do for the power of some sacrifices. Blenraden was once the city of the gods and our unlikely band all needs to travel there for all of their own reasons. Kissen wants to help the girl that reminds her so much of herself at that age. Inara wants to help her friend find a way to move the bond they share to a shrine. Elogast wants to save his friend from the sure death he will suffer within a months time. They joined a pilgrimage traveling to the cursed city of Blenraden for their own reasons but each will find a reason to rely on and help each other.
Even when their shrine is gone, their power can linger. A shrine is like the keel of a ship; it holds them together.
Telle beamed and threw her hands up, Yes, exactly. Impressing Telle – that was a first. The keel keeps them balanced between the things that made them: the water it sails on is the people’s love, holding them up. The wind is the spirit, the energy that makes them, giving them power. Without the keel, they fall apart, roll over, are destroyed.
I enjoyed this story. It is a bit dark as gods can be cruel, but the worldbuilding is done really well. I liked how we learned more of the past war, the gods and the world as we travel with the pilgrims. Inara is at the heart of a deeper plot, she was hidden her father is unknown and her entire family destroyed. Kissen is the only one who may be able to help her find some answers and be restored to her house. Kissen, well lets just say I totally loved her. She has so much anger towards the gods, for good reason, but she still is the person that is going to walk into hell for the people she cares about. Kissen is someone you want to root for after all she has been though and she is a badass, completely earned the title Godkiller and just a lot of fun as a character. Elogast’s past is a little more secret but as a character I enjoyed him as well. He falls into this group easily and while his reasons for going to Blenraden are his own he will help a little girl and a woman determined to save her for as long as he can.
The twist at the end of this was amazing and I did not see it coming. I like it when an author can do that in a story and really sale it. The pacing is good with monsters to fight and obstacles to overcome, once we got the character introductions we were well on our way. While I definitely agreed to read this mostly based on the cover (it is gorgeous) there is so much inside to enjoy. For those of us who like reluctant heroes and broken characters there is plenty to enjoy in this story. I’m looking forward to continuing on with t he journey.
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