The first in a trilogy, Godblind is easily described as a descent into darkness. The core tale is what happens when you underestimate the barbarians at the gate, both in a literal and metaphorical sense.
Author Anna Stephens uses multiple points of view characters to carefully build a world. The cast of characters is pretty large, and Stephens has been careful to give us a very specific view of the world. Often, we’ll see events through the eyes of one person, only to see the action continue with another character in the next chapter and then realise exactly how specific certain biases are. This layered approach is engaging and accessible; every person in this book is something we want to know more about.
Anna Stephens is easily one of the most exciting début fantasy authors of 2017. Sometimes you get a book that simply nails a particular genre to the wall and gets everything right. Godblind is a triumph of grimdark fantasy, getting the setting, tone and characterisation spot on. Make no mistake though, this is a bloody and violent story. It is a world with heroes, but no one is perfect and the challenges and horrors that face each character are tough and detailed. Stephens dips various pages in gore throughout; this is not a gentle ride into darkness but rather a full on roller-coaster plunge into screaming horror.
Godblind is a triumph of its genre and an addictive, page-turning read. It’s not a smooth book; the pacing is very fast and the tone is strong and loud with a powerful story. It’s also the first of a series and we keenly anticipate the sequel.
GODBLIND / AUTHOR: ANNA STEPHENS / PUBLISHER: HARPER VOYAGER / RELEASE DATE: JUNE 15TH