Just because a war has ended doesn’t mean everyone (or anyone) suddenly knows peace. The long war with the Sa’ba Taalor has ended, but in the land of Fellein there is restlessness due to the constant change. And what do those who’ve spent their lives fighting wars do? Andover Lashk of the Iron Hands, once revered for his power, now feels like a man without a country.
This has been a series of battles, supported by gods, but those who would now be considered the ‘losers’ have not only been driven from their lands, but they’ve been abandoned by their gods. They are now The Godless and they are gathering in the wastelands ready to follow a new master.
Just two days before I picked up this book I had looked up on my blog to see when I last read a James A. Moore book. I really look forward to Moore’s strong, adventure/fantasy.
The Godless doesn’t have quite the excitement level that we were left with in book 4, The Silent Army, but what it lacks in sword-point action it makes up for with the intense anticipation that Moore gives us.
One of the many things I like about a James A. Moore book is that there are no wasted characters. Everyone we meet seems to be a real person and they have a purpose in the book. Our main cast of characters give us quite varied viewpoints and each chapters offers up multiple storylines. It’s important for the reader to make careful note of whose story they are reading.
Sometimes it was hard not to be more interested in one story over another and in general I was really eager to read more when it was Whistler’s story (not The Whistler). But even as I write that I think about Jeron, and Desh , and Andover, and how could I ever suggest their stories didn’t hold as much interest as any other story, because that’s not true. And then I want to start listing all the characters because, as I mentioned, there are no wasted characters in a Moore book. If every page isn’t a nail-biter you can bet there will be moments for each character that will stand out.
One of the most intense moments in the book for me started with Nachia Krous’ story. “Being the Empress might have many advantages, but holding court was not one of them,” she states as she attends/hosts a soirée. which looks to be a rather dull time until ten Sa’ba Taalor show up, including King Swech Tothis Durwrae. Nachia remains calm and willing to listen. The next portion of the chapter is then the story from Swech’s point of view. And although this happens late in the book, it’s an important set-up moment.
But this is the one problem I have with this particular book… the entire novel feels like a set-up for the next chapter in the Seven Forges epic.
This isn’t to say that there isn’t great world-building and characters. Nobody is writing this ‘sword & sorcery’ fantastic fantasy better than Moore. And there is a slow build of action within the book. But the primary purpose of the books appears to be setting the stage for the next installment.
That’s okay. I’d still rather read Moore’s set-up novel than most other books.
Looking for a good book? The Godless by James A. Moore is the fifth book in The Seven Forges series. The book doesn’t have the same excitement level as the previous book in the series, but the good news is that it’s pretty clear that there will be more books in the series.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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author: James A. Moore
series: The Seven Forges #5
publisher: Angry Robot
paperback, 400 pages