Friday, 2 June 2023

Hammer of Fate by G N Gudgion

“No surrender. No retreat.” With twenty enemy swords at their backs and a broken bridge ahead, the last knights of an outlaw order turn to fight. A young woman with forbidden magic joins their final stand. And as blade meets blade, she starts to sing…

Adelais was raised in the far north, learning stories of the old gods and the skill of weaving runes into magic. Now, she is locked in a convent far from home, forced to kneel to a foreign god.

When inquisitors arrive with plans to torture an innocent man, Adelais cannot stand by. She aids an attack to free the prisoner and joins the raiders as they flee into the night.

Her new companions are 
the last of the Guardians—once a powerful holy order, now ragged fugitives, hunted almost to extinction.

The knights carry a secret treasure, precious and powerful enough to shape kingdoms. Their pursuers, desperate to possess it, will crush any who stand in their way.

Nowhere is safe—in city or chateau, on the road or in the wilds. And even disguised as a boy, Adelais draws attention wherever she goes. Is she 
angel or demon, priestess or witch?

Adelais must summon all her courage and all her memories of the old gods’ magic as the noose tightens around her and a thunderous final reckoning approaches.

I enjoyed Hammer of Fate even though it took a while to start moving at much more than a crawl. I knew I was in safe hands as a) I've read and enjoyed this author before, and, b) it's got Knights, mismatched heroes, dodgy religion, medieval setting  - basically everything I loved in fantasy fiction from a young age.

The story is pretty much one escapade after another once the pace picks up and the lead characters managed to grow as the story progressed, Adelais in particular. She starts the story as a novice nun in a religion that is not her own (she was sent there after an affair with a trainee priest was discovered back home) and preparing to make her escape but in doing so runs into the outlawed Guardian Knights and, as they are on the run as well she goes with them (oh, and they have a relic as well - another of my favourite fantasy tropes from way back when) so by the end of the book she is much more certain of herself and her abilities, quite a force to be reckoned with.

On the downside it is very much a case of good people vs bad people and none of the characters, for me, walked that grey line where they could be either. Having said that, the bad guys really are deliciously nasty at times, they practically revel it - think somewhere between The Spanish Inquisition and Robert Jordan's Whitecloaks from The Wheel Of Time series. Good fun 😉

Good World Building gives us a setting that is very much Middle Age Europe with equivalents of the Norse and Christian people and their faiths and we do see a good bit of the land although I feel (and hope) there will be even more to explore in the next volume - which I am really looking forward to.


Hammer of Fate is available now from Second Sky Books and I do recommend you go grab yourself a copy. Thanks to Bookouture for inviting me to review this book and to Second Sky Books for supplying the review copy (all thoughts and opinions are my own). Please take time if you have it to read the reviews and posts by the other wonderful bloggers on the tour (below).

No comments:

Post a Comment