Godslayer: The bad guys’ story

Godslayer by Jacqueline Carey fantasy book reviewsGodslayer by Jacqueline Carey fantasy book reviewsGodslayer by Jacqueline Carey

I loved the unique world, loveable characters, unusual plot, and sumptuous prose I discovered in Jacqueline Carey’s KUSHIEL books. Most of these elements are also present in her THE SUNDERING duology but, as I mentioned in my review of the first installment, Banewreaker, I found the book easy to admire and hard to love. With its formal style and remote, larger-than-life characters, it reads more like a myth than a story. If you’re in the mood for that type of tale, I’d recommend this duology.

Godslayer is the end of the story started in Banewreaker. (So you‘ve got to read Banewreaker first.) As prophesied, humans and their allies are rising against Sartoris and his once-human generals who’ve betrayed their race and served the evil god for a thousand years in exchange for immortality. THE SUNDERING is reminiscent of THE LORD OF THE RINGS (and perhaps written in response to it) with a few sets of characters / armies independently converging on Darkhaven, the scene of a final epic “battle between good and evil.” There are several characters and events that have recognizable parallels in LOTR.

The uniqueness here is that Carey is giving us the viewpoints of both sides, good and evil. She’s successful with this conceit, requiring me to occasionally remind myself whose side I was supposed to be on and reminding me that those we consider wrong or maybe even “evil” can still be honorable and may have understandable reasons for their beliefs and behaviors.

If you were enjoying the story in Banewreaker, then you’re sure to love Godslayer. The writing is smoother, the plot is more exciting (at least toward the end), and the characters, especially the human ones such as Danny and his uncle, inspire more empathy than they did in the first book. If you thought (like I did) that Banewreaker was slow and aloof, but you want to find out how it ends, I think you will (like I did) appreciate Godslayer more, at least during the last third or so of the book. The final scenes were wonderful.

I listened to the audio version recently produced by Tantor Audio and beautifully read by Antony Ferguson. Godslayer is 15 hours long. If you decide to read THE SUNDERING, I recommend this edition.

Originally published in 2005. Audio edition published February 13, 2018. Once human but now immortal, Supreme Commander Lord Tanaros fled the realm of Men and chose darkness when he killed his adulterous wife and his liege king who cuckolded him. A thousand years have passed in service to his master, the dark god Satoris. The world view Satoris as Evil Prime and the name of Tanaros is the byword for treachery. The races have united in their quest to rid the world of the Dark God and his minions. The key to the prophecy is the beautiful Elvish princess Cerelinde – and Satoris has captured her. Yet not all tales told are true and evil may have another face.

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KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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