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Leviathan's Blood: Book Two of the Children Trilogy Hardcover – May 31, 2016
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"Leviathan's Blood is arguably one of the best modern fantasies to come out in years...from it's vividly beautiful world building and dynamic societal examination through to its diverse and wonderfully cast melting pot of characters, Leviathan's Blood is the book that just keeps on giving to its readers. There is literally something here for everyone." - Smash Dragons
"Ben Peek is one of the most accomplished writers of richly detailed an intricately plotted epic fantasy working in Australia today. If you're a lover of epic fantasy and you're not reading the Children books, you're missing out." - The Newton Review of Books
“Peek weaves multiple threads of the plot together with considerable skill...readers fond of open-ended epic fantasies set in vivid, and occasionally lurid, worlds will find it right up their alley.” ―Publishers Weekly on The Godless
“Not just a quick read, but a genuine fat fantasy with an epic scope, huge cast of characters, and intriguing premise.” ―Blackgate Magazine on The Godless
“Ben Peek is a writer I fully expect to blunder out into the scene like a run-away brontosaurus one of these days. He has titanic talent.” ―Jeff Vandermeer, Locus on Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth
“What I got from it is this: that truth matters when it matters, and doesn't when it doesn't. And that each of us must find our own path as to where that distinction lies. 26 Lies, 1 Truth is an intelligent, playful, funny, challenging, thoughtful and deeply moving work. It is a book filled with outrageous lies. And it is a book filled with truth.” ―Ben Payne, ASif on Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth
“This is a clever, moving, funny and insightful book.” ―Paul Haines, author of Doorways for the Dispossessed, on Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth
"Ben's mixture of adventure, politics, myth and ancient legend is completely immersive, totally absorbing and unashamedly 5* stuff." - The Book Bag
About the Author
BEN PEEK's previous works include autobiography Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth, dystopian novel Black Sheep, and the flip novel Above/Below, which was nominated for a Ditmar Award. He lives with his partner, and their cat, in Sydney, Australia.
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I only recently discovered Ben Peek and the first book in this trilogy, The Godless. I am always on the search for another author to add to my collection of favorites. After The Godless, Peek was in the club. His book has been happily placed next to Brandon Sanderson, Patrick Rothfuss, Mark Lawrence, Joe Abercrombie, and George RR Martin.
Peek's writing style is what really drew me into this series. He has a deliberate, constant pace with little flair for the overly dramatic. Even in the action scenes, there is no sense of being rushed through the passages. It is an interesting change from some of the frantic action I have been reading lately, and it lends itself well to this world and these characters.
Writing is a window into the world the author has created, and the goal is to make the reader forget about the window. Ben Peek definitely fits that bill. His world building is superb, and his characters are well written and multifaceted. There is nothing that feels short changed, no detail that feels thin or overlooked. Even the supporting characters are memorable, some of them make me wish for more focus on them. The story does not hand you the answers, or even the major questions. It does not taunt you with its mysteries.
The Godless took a little while to really hook me. The writing and the world kept me with it until the plot really started to reveal itself. By the end, I was craving more.
Leviathan's Blood had me from the very beginning. The Godless was a great introduction to this world that Peek has created. This second book is everything I wanted the continuation to be. We are starting to get some clarity into the backstories of the older, more mysterious characters. The arcs that the main characters go through are satisfying, and make sense based on the personalities introduced in the previous book.
Honestly, I liked this one more than the first. I am fully invested in all of these characters, and am now fighting to urge to constantly check if there are any updates on the status of the third book.
If you're on the fence about this series, just read it. It will not disappoint.
I love the sense of balance in these books. Everything fits so nicely, every detail is so clearly well thought out.
There is a “Mireead” of these characters, all from Peek’s gray matter. There is Zaifyr, the charming, haunting trial god, who takes dead aim at a newly risen charismatic and ominous goddess, seemingly without the ghost of a chance of his coming out ahead (or with a head)—she is a deceptive idle enemy with enormous latent power. There is the wandering Bueralan Le who gets touched in an intimate, inappropriate way by the incipient goddess, and then feels wounded. There is Ayae who seems to carry a torch for Zaifyr, but is not yet his match. There is the First Queen who it seems is not the worst Queen, though full of theater of the type you might see of her when seated in a dark Cynama. There is The Voice of the First Queen, Zi Taela, who leaves some speechless with her beauty. There is Samuel Orlan, a cartographer of great latitude, and when we listen to Orlan do a biographical recounting of his many past avatars (male and female), we see a Woolfishly clever homage being paid to another author. There is Aelyn Meah, a real keeper. There is Jae’le, a zoomorph who is no pigeon but has a full tank of petrol and often wings it. There is Aned Heast, a man of true spine and a warrior of “leg-end.” There is Aela Ren, called “The Innocent,” though usually leaving others out of sense, rather than innocence. And the list goes on; this is not a listless novel—which reminds me not to forget to mention the plot—or rather plots—before I plotz. They are masterfully written, as is the prose that frames them, and will keep you engaged longer than Angelina Jolie, forsaking the need for Pitt stops.
“Leviathan’s Blood” is, in summary, one of the best books I’ve ever read—and that’s no mere flowing of flattery given the behemoth size of what I can draw from. It’s the second novel of a trilogy, though, so don’t waste a second, and get the first, “The Godless.” Read both in order—two books about gods may see a Ceres flower when “de meter” runs out waiting for the third, and then all Hell may break loose.
It was a good mix of action, intrigue and actual characterization. I found the characters well developed and interesting, while the story was really great.
However, reading Godless first is pretty necessary for newcomers. Having said that, the story takes off with a neat summary of the previous book to help you remember what happened (something I wish more Fantasy books would adopt).
The only real problem I had with this ( aside from my favorite character's death...) was the spacing on the chapters. Throughout the book, whenever something really interesting happens it cuts to another character's scene and doesn't come back for a while. This was fine for most of the story, but I found myself getting frustrated with it in the last 80 or so pages.
Otherwise, this was a fantastic improvement on the last book and I can't wait to see what's next.