Friday, 3 September 2010

Hammer of God Review

Hammer of God (Godspeaker 3)
- Karen Miller

Publisher: UK – Orbit

In Ethrea, Rhian sits upon a precarious throne. Defiant noblemen who won't accept her rule threaten the stability of her kingdom, Zandakar, a man she thought was her friend, has been revealed as the son of a woman sworn to destroy her and her husband, King Alasdair, is increasingly unsure of her love. Rhian's most grave problem, however, lay outside the borders of her realm. The trading nations refuse to believe Mijak is a threat and promise reprisals if she dares to protect her realm. If she cannot unite the warring factions within her land, a move again Mijak might prove the end of her reign. Which is exactly what the empress of Mijak has planned...

I should start by saying that I really like the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker duology and adore Karen Miller’s Rogue Agent series under the name K.E. Mills. However, in total the whole Godspeaker trilogy left me somewhat underwhelmed. From a purely technical side it is extremely well done with the first book Empress focusing on Mikak’s rise from slave to Empress of the desert nation and her relationship with the god. The action in the second book switches entirely to the island kingdom of Ethrea where Rhian fights for her crown against a society which expects men to rule. The parallels between these two strong women who have such similar journeys but end up in completely different places really comes to the fore in this book. Everything from their relationship with god and being ‘chosen’, to their warrior queen reputation is mirrored – even to their facial scars!

I full appreciate what Karen Miller did in the whole trilogy – and you need to rad all three to fully appreciate the scale - but what was slightly disappointing was the lack of action in this final book. The vast majority of the story was set at council meetings where people argued. A lot. I like a bit of political intrigue but there wasn’t much in here – simply people disagreeing with each other. Eventually this all ended in a huge battle, but even that was washed over with many key characters fates decided ‘off screen’. There was something about the whole series that I didn’t click with – it’s not bad at all and rather cleverly done, but I didn’t invest much into the story or care deeply for the characters.

It was an easy to read book but my lack of connection with any of the characters didn’t make me love it. Recommended for Jennifer Fallon and LE Modesitt Jr fans. 6 out 10

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