I’m so pleased to be part of the The Writereads Tour of this action-packed fantasy. Here is my review of The Thirteenth Hour by Trudie Skies.
Series: Book 1 of The Cruel Gods
Source: Copy received as part of the blog tour, but this is also available on Kindle unlimited.
Cruel gods rule the steam-powered city of Chime, demanding worship, and tribute from their mortal subjects. Kayl lost her faith in them long ago, and now seeks to protect vulnerable and downtrodden mortals from their gods’ whims. But when Kayl discovers powers that she didn’t know she had—and destroys a mortal’s soul by accident—she becomes Chime’s most wanted.
Quen’s job was to pursue sinners, until the visions started. Haunted by foreboding images of his beloved city’s destruction, Quen hunts soul-sucking creatures made of aether who prey on its citizens—and Kayl is his number one target.
To ensure Chime’s future, Kayl and Quen must discover the truth of Kayl’s divine abilities before the gods take matters into their own hands.
For a city that bows to cruel gods, it’ll take godless heathens to save it.
Can I just say that this book was a whole lot of fun to read?
I enjoyed the complicated world-building and magical system. Chime holds the gate and portals to the various domains of twelve Gods. Each God can create their own mortals with unique special abilities but also literally control their lives. But Kayl, a young Vesper is one of the Godless who bows to no God on a mission to change the world. In this book, you have mortals who can control time, sunlight, which are made of trees and flowers among so many weird and wonderful people.
The story is told in the third person from the point of view of Kayl a Vesper who may be so much more than she thought she was and Quen, a conflicted diviner warden. Of course, as the story progresses, we learn Kayl and Quen are not as straightforward as you think and I had to keep reading to learn Kayl’s true nature. Kayl and Quen are sympathetic characters (especially Quen and his love of biscuits when stressed, something we can all relate too). I must admit to feeling for poor Quen towards the end of the book when we find out about his tortured past.
The book races along with an action-packed plot and I look forward to savouring all the intricate details on my next reread ( yes this book has made my reread pile). The underlying mystery of Kayl’s true nature and the underlying conspiracies is intriguing and kept me really hooked on the story. There are a few twists that really did throw me.
The author has a detailed list of content warnings.
Rape, sexual abuse, torture (alluded to but happens off-page), attempted sexual assault, physical abuse.
Perfect for fans
Who enjoy complex fantasy without an explicit description of dark themes.
I loved this complex and intricate fantasy especially as unlike a lot of other fantasies the darkness stays firmly off-page. I can’t wait to read what happens next in the second book in the series.
About the Author
Trudie Skies has been living inside fantasy worlds ever since she discovered that reality doesn’t quite live up to the hype. Through the magic of books, she wishes to share these worlds of hope and heroes with other weary souls. Living in North East England, Trudie spends most of her free time daydreaming about clouds, devouring whatever fantasy books or video games she can get her hands on, and chasing after her troublesome dogs, who would like to reassure you they are very good boys.
Her debut YA fantasy series, Sand Dancer, was published through Uproar Books. Trudie is now writing adult gaslamp fantasy with her new series, The Cruel Gods.
Author’s Website and Social Media Links