… brilliant grimdark fantasy …
Exciting and well written, Godblind proves that debut novelist Anna Stephens can handle a multiple narrative epic with flare and skill. Roughly in the same field as George RR Martin‘s Game of Thrones series, there’s much intrigue, fighting and moral ambiguity with some charismatic personalities including Dom, the reluctant seer; Rillirin, the escaped slave, and Captain Crys Tailorson. Anna is a fantastic story teller and the novel packs enough twists amongst the battles and assassinations to keep the pages turning fast.
Having 10 characters’ view points was a challenge for me. I would recommend choosing a moment when you can read a substantial amount in one sitting to establish as many of the characters’ story lines as possible. In her blog, Anna reveals that her editor asked her to take four more strands out. Thank you, Natasha the Editor.
As this is grim dark, there are some gruesome scenes including one particularly nasty sacrifice to the Red Gods … so not for younger readers.
Anna Stephens works in corporate communications for an international law firm. She has a BA (Hons) in Literature and a Diploma in Creative Writing, both from the Open University. She has a chatty and entertaining website here where she reveals inflatable guitar playing at her wedding.
This is my thirteenth review in the British Books Challenge 2017. Come and join us at over at Chelley Toy’s site.
Cover design moment: As this is an ARC, it’s a riff on the final cover and there are no credits for the designer yet. If I do find more details, I’ll update the review. In short, I like it! It sets the tone for the book: bold, epic and intriguing. With red and black tones and messy background, it clearly positions the book as grimdark. Whilst searching for the creative, I happened on this lovely “Cover Reveal” interview over at Fantasy Faction.
Anna has been in touch. The cover design is by Dominic Forbes, the Managing Designer at Harper Collins UK. This means he commissions and art directs others as well as finding the time to design. A small selection of his own work can be found here.
Godblind by Anna Stephens will be published by Harper Voyager, an imprint of Harper Collins, on 15th June 2017 in the UK. Sequels are due for publication in 2018 and 2019.
It was lent to me by Emily who runs Emily’s Bookshop in Chipping Campden. Thanks, Em!