From Publishers Weekly
For 4,000 years, the people of the Nine Lands have lived peacefully under the guidance of their hundred gods. When the goddess Meeryn is murdered, the peace is shattered, and Tylar de Noche, a defrocked knight who as sole witness is now sole suspect, must, rather predictably, find the killer and prove himself innocent. Tylar isn't too bright, but fortunately he can turn to Delia, a priestess who conveniently doubles as love interest, and to Rogger, a thief wise to the ways of the criminal underworld. Slogging hither and yon for scraps of clues, the three begin to suspect that the supposedly pacific gods are in fact engaged in an ongoing struggle for power and control. The self-absorption of the gods and the apathetic ignorance of the people form stumbling blocks on Tylar's quest, forcing a slow pace that makes sense in context but is frustrating. Once Clemens (Wit'ch Fire
, etc.) understands that what characters do with their knowledge is more interesting than how they get it, things should pick up in future installments.
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The Nine Lands were created by, and still have, 100 gods. So one would think that the death of a single god wouldn't be all that momentous. But the death of Meeryn, goddess of the Sundering Isles, implies that a dark force that can destroy anything and everything is on the loose. Tylar de Noche, a crippled former Shadowknight, can identify the killer and also has received superhuman powers from the dying goddess. That makes him a marked man in the eyes of humans and dark entities, both certain that he is their enemy. This is one of those fantasy novels that could not have been written without the adjective dark,
but Clemens, a seasoned fantasist, has broken darkness down into its various aspects and developed at great, possibly excessive, length how those aspects affect the world and the characters he creates. If hardly original in conception, the first volume of the Godslayer Chronicles is well above average in execution. Roland GreenCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved