The opening novel in the Gods of Blood and Power trilogy was a very enjoyable read. If you are into epic fantasy, this is a novel you will want to check out. What I enjoyed the most was the world building. Although the genre is epic fantasy, to me it’s really Civil War era America steeped in magic and sorcery, with some steampunk sensibilities thrown into the mix in its stylistic approach. It’s a really cool mishmash of genres. The level of world building blending older technology, magic, and various cultures is what sets this novel apart.
But that is not the only positives I take from the novel. The characterization was quite strong as well from Mad Ben Styke, a broken down old war hero who has been endured harsh treatment in a labor camp for the past decade, to Vlora, a powder mage who runs a company of soldiers and has magical abilities through the use of gunpowder, and Taniel, another powder mage who was supposed to have died a decade earlier, but instead has been pulling strings of and events in the background. There is lots of action, particularly toward the end of the novel, but it mostly takes a backseat to the world building.
One thing that I thought could have been done better was the abrupt shift that takes place about 4/5ths into the novel, where it seemed as if all of the storylines were discarded and swept aside for the conflict that dominates the final part of the novel. There could have been more foreshadowing built in so that it didn’t feel as abrupt. Despite that, there was so much to like in this novel that it will not disappoint. I highly recommend it and look forward to reading the next in the series.