Disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge for review purposes only. Receipt of a book does not guarantee a review or endorsement.

Sunbringer is the second book in the Fallen Gods trilogy and therefore this review may contain spoilers for the previous book, Godkiller.

sunbringerWhen godkiller Kissen faced death for a second time, she was saved by a god. Again. As she crosses the lands of Talicia, she sees the aftermath of the Talician’s worship of fire god, Hseth. But she killed him didn’t she? She is forced to seek out another god, who gives her a warning of what will become of Middren if she does not act. Meanwhile Elo seeks out those who will stand up against the king who would be a god and Inara hungers for answers about her strange power.

Gods lived on people’s prayers. The only people who loved him at all were two people he had betrayed.

While Godkiller set out presenting the gods as bad, worship being stamped out at all costs, Sunbringer shows a much murkier world view. Not all gods are created equal, and some just want to be left to be remembered in peace. Arren, who staunchly advocated the banishment of gods, now bears the marks of a god in plain sight.

Of course, we all fell in love with Skediceth in the first book, proving that gods aren’t inherently evil. Often selfish, for sure. The god of white lies does his best to help, and we learn a little of his history as Inara sneaks into the archives of Lesscia for answers. I enjoyed finding out more about other small gods, those that still linger in places where they have done no harm.

Kissen has to save the world while dealing with a broken prosthetic and ongoing phantom limb syndrome. But she still powers through the pain to be a hero.

“People like me don’t change the world,” said Kissen. “We just survive it.”

One of the things I liked most about Godkiller was the found family aspect, so I was a little disappointed that the characters were split up for most of the book. Elo and Inara think Kissen is dead and Elo is trying to protect Inara by distancing her from his mission to bring down Arren. Even Skediceth becomes a tad more distanced from Inara. However Inara is taken in by Kissen’s family, who have much more of a role to play.

Essentially, while the world they live in is harsh, the characters themselves are good and compassionate people at heart. They may have bad days, and make bad decisions, but this is far from grimdark. It feels like when they’re together, things can be made right.

What Kissen is told to do by Aan will make things interesting. It’s definitely not a straight forward good versus evil story and I’ll be intrigued to see what happens at the end!

“I’m batted between gods these days like a plaything. I hope it is for something better than boredom.”

Sunbringer is published by HarperVoyager and will be available in hardback, ebook and audiobook formats from 15th February 2024. Thanks go to the publisher for providing a copy for review via NetGalley.

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