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The Traitor God Paperback – June 5, 2018
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From the Publisher
Cameron Johnston lives in Glasgow, Scotland, with his wife and an extremely fluffy cat. He is a swordsman, a gamer, an enthusiast of archaeology, history and mythology, a builder of LEGO, and owns far too many books to fit on his shelves. He loves exploring ancient sites and camping out under the stars by a roaring fire.
From the Author, On Heroes
I find the most compelling characters tend to be capable of both love and hate. In their own unique ways these characters bring the reader both darkness and light and the story is improved because of it. That spark of light and love might help illuminate the terribly grim darkness, but it also casts powerful shadows, and I find it all the more impactful when a character I have grown to like does something awful. Sometimes good characters have to make terrible choices, and then they pay for it. That, to me, is one of the things that grimdark fiction does best.
“An assured and complex debut novel with a main protagonist of questionable loyalty and morals that, despite yourself, you can’t help but love. It’s not often you come across a fresh voice and a fresh take on magic, but The Traitor God gives both. Moments of absolute horror sit cheek by jowl with humour of the blackest kind and some of the monstrous creations in this book are nauseatingly wonderful. After a slightly slow start I found it increasingly difficult to put this book down. I dearly hope we get to see more of Magus Edrin Walker in future books.”
– Anna Stephens, author of Godblind
“From the frantic opening page, The Traitor God grabs you and doesn’t let go. Facing Gods, monsters, and a magic elite that wants him dead, Edrin Walker’s return to Setharis is a noirish romp packed with action and laced with black humour, and marks Cameron Johnston as a real name to watch in the epic fantasy genre.”
– Neil Williamson, author of The Moon King
“Cameron Johnston is an exciting new voice in fantasy. His writing has a dark sense of humour and his debut is bursting with imagination and wonders. Fantastic stuff!”
– Stephen Aryan, author of the Age of Darkness trilogy
“High magic and low lives collide in The Traitor God, one part street-level procedural and two parts an urban magic apocalypse, this is fantasy walking tall and carrying a big stick.”
– Gavin G Smith, author of Age of Scorpio and The Bastard Legion
“Visceral and gripping fantasy, horribly and hugely enjoyable.”
– Anna Smith Spark, author of The Court of Broken Knives
“The Traitor God by Cameron Johnston is part murder mystery, part detective story, and all fantasy that’s full of magic, shady villains and even shadier heroes. A hugely enjoyable tale and definitely a 2018 debut to look out for. Marvellous stuff.”
– Edward Cox, author of The Relic Guild Trilogy
“Classic sword & sorcery with a wickedly blood-soaked grimdark twist."
– Peter McLean, author of Priest of Bones and the Burned Man series
“There’s a wonderful coarseness and vivacity to the world Johnston has created, and the magic and monsters featured are as horrific as they are fascinating… The finale is truly epic, and about as thrilling as they come.”
– Alan Brenik
"This was one of those times where the stars aligned and the read was the perfect fit for me mood. I read it in one sitting. It was entertaining, engrossing, and a bit violent (Arrr!!). I even refused to get shut-eye and instead stayed up into the wee hours of the morn turning pages because I just had to know how it ended... Pick this one up and hopefully enjoy it as much as I did."
– The Captain's Quarters
"This is a tightly written, believable world, one which will make you sit up and take notice. It’s not pretty, by any means, but it’ll seep off the page and into your pores... Its snappy, tautly written prose kept me turning pages until far too late in the night."
– Sci-Fi and Fantasy Reviews
“An exceptional debut… This book is like a video game, wrapped inside an action movie, brilliantly told in written word form.”
– Out of this World
“Something that I truly enjoyed was the fact that even though Walker’s story is one of revenge, I felt like Walker’s story is also one of redemption.”
– Adele is Reading
“The Traitor God is a wonderful fantasy story that knows how to keep you hooked till the end. Its grasp on grimdark elements is stellar and makes this a truly fun book to pick up when you feel like you need a nice quick swim through an ocean of blood.”
About the Author
CAMERON JOHNSTON lives in Glasgow, Scotland, with his wife and an extremely fluffy cat. He is a swordsman, a gamer, an enthusiast of archaeology, history and mythology, a builder of LEGO, and owns far too many books to fit on his shelves. He loves exploring ancient sites and camping out under the stars by a roaring fire.
Author hometown: Glasgow, UK
Top customer reviews
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If you enjoy clever gray characters, gritty but interesting worlds, and creepy magic, this book is for you.
What’s not to like about city-eating Eldridge monsters, insane gods, heroes and anti-heroes pulling their bacon out of the fire at every turn, villains with the unstoppable determination of the Terminator, and always the risk that everyone will just go sliding right off the map into madness? The best thing is it’s all against the backdrop of a fantasy world with some unique and cool features. I loved the way that magic is completely part of the physical world, down to the use of wizard poo (yes, wizard poo) as fertilizer that ensures the food independence of a city of a million people.
Fun characters, cool magic, crazy stuff all around? Count me in for book two.
Cameron Johnston wastes no time in throwing the reader immediately into the action of THE TRAITOR GOD. Edrin Walker is a magician with a not so sterling reputation in his home city of Setharis. When you're rumored to have killed a god in your past, this sentiment is fairly easy to understand. Couple that with a few other shady events in Edrin's earlier life and he has found himself a reviled exile from his home town for the last ten years. Edrin has the ability to connect minds with other gifted magicians that are like himself and this is introduced very effectively in the story when he senses that his best friend Lynas is in mortal danger back home in Setharis. This is troubling to Edrin since as the main condition of his exile, the Arcanum leaders of the city promised not to harm his good friends Lynas, Charra and their daughter Layla as long as he didn't ever return. Things quickly ramp up when Edrin can sense Lynas being stalked by a daemon and ultimately sees him brutally murdered through their connection. Before Lynas meets his violent end, he sends out one last ditch message to Edrin using his skill. This mysterious message forces Edrin to return to the home city that shunned him. The magician is now fueled not only by the desire for revenge at all costs for the treachery and betrayal done to him, but also a by the desperate mission to find Charra and Layla and make sure that the same fate does not befall them as well. It is now obvious that the terms of his exile have been wantonly disregarded for some reason with all bets now being off, but Edrin seems to like it that way. First he must sneak into the city undetected, which is not a small task considering that the docks are tightly guarded by Arcanum "sniffers". Then he must somehow unravel the mystery of who murdered his friend and for what purpose. Did it have something to do with Edrin's past deeds that caused him to be exiled in the first place? Or was the murder just a ploy to somehow get Edrin to return home and face one last judgment of sorts? And what exactly was the mysterious message that Lynas transmitted to Edrin seconds before he died? We are ultimately left wondering if there is a greater conspiracy at work among the higher-up Arcanum of the city and whether Lynas may have stumbled across something that he shouldn't have. And now Edrin is thrust headlong into the middle of a maelstrom of battling factions and deceitful interests. The only question that remains is will he survive and can he save Charra and Layla who also are being hunted by the same evil forces.
This book is like a video game, wrapped inside an action movie, brilliantly told in written word form. A quick disclaimer: Cameron Johnston does not hold your hand and info dump you to death, so you'd better strap yourself in and get ready for one whirlwind of a fantastic story that does not slow down. Edrin is a complex main character in that he starts off as an unsympathetic egotist but as the story progresses, his character does as well and you actually can't help but root for him by the end. It's weird to have such conflicting emotions when dealing with a main character like that. The mysteries unravel slowly and are only hinted at as the book goes on. So as the reader, you really have to remain focused on what is going on throughout because this is not a book that allows for many distractions. I love books that drop you right into the story from the beginning with minimal build-up. I know that I might be in the minority in that regard, but I just don't enjoy a book that sets things up very slowly. I guess it might be the impatient reader in me in that I am always looking for the next book to read, so I don't want to feel like I am being spoon-fed a ton of information to the detriment of the story development. THE TRAITOR GOD was just what I look for in a reading experience. Tons of action, incredible world-building, bad guys who are reaaaally bad, an intriguing mystery at the heart of it etc... This book just worked on so many levels for me and I was left wanting more by the end. I say that not with respect to being unsatisfied with the book's conclusion, but because it was so incredibly good that I wished I had book number two in my hands and ready to go. By all means, do not cheat yourself by skipping this book. It has so much to offer for anyone who loves breakneck action in their Fantasy as well as cool villains and magic aplenty. And for those who like a little bit of mystery in their reads, it has a good deal of that too.
Edrin Walker has been on the run for a decade, part of his mind locked away from him so that crucial parts of his memories of one fateful night in the city of Setharis are locked away. He’s done something terrible – he knows that – but as for what exactly, we’ll find out once he does. Not only is he a wanted man, but he’s also a practitioner of a rare kind of magic – of being able to manipulate people’s minds that labels him as a tyrant. Which is another black mark against his name.
When his bestie, Lynas, dies, Edrin (who happens to have a pack of bloodthirsty demons on his trail) is compelled to return to Setharis to solve Lynas’s murder and save the lives of the people he loves, whom he left behind all those years before.
Part murder mystery, part noir(ish) fantasy thriller, The Traitor God had everything I look for in a fantasy epic – in gory bucket loads. I can only describe my level of enjoyment as on par with all the reasons why I love games like Dragon Age so much. Johnston has nearly as much lore that he feeds into the story, trickle by trickle, so you feel as if you’re stepping into an ancient world oozing history. All the excitement. All the nail-biting boss battles and well thought-out magical systems.
His pacing is also on the mark; not once does he allow Edrin a moment’s respite, as he gets embedded into one untenable situation after the other – leaving me asking, “This can’t get worse, can it?” And then it does. Of course it does. And I found myself compelled to read (yet another) chapter. I especially loved the fact that he cleverly foreshadows many outcomes early on – so everything that happens early on in the story, has consequences later. He doesn’t shy away from violence either, and just a warning to squeamish readers – things do get rather messy near the end.
My question now is, when do we get the next instalment? I haven’t had this much fun with a fantasy novel in ages – this is most certainly one of my highlights for 2018. Johnston’s done a fantastic job, and if you enjoy the likes of Mark Lawrence, you’ll be right at home here.
Most recent customer reviews
I have to start by making it clear – I thought this was a good read – particularly true...Read more