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Follow the Author
Ruthless Gods: A Novel: 2 (Something Dark and Holy, 2) Audio CD – Unabridged, 7 April 2020
About the Author
- Publisher : Macmillan Young Listeners; Unabridged edition (7 April 2020)
- Language : English
- ISBN-10 : 1250262666
- ISBN-13 : 978-1250262660
- Reading age : 13 - 18 years
- Item Weight : 360 g
- Dimensions : 2.54 x 2.54 x 2.54 cm
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
Top reviews from other countries
Don’t start here all the storylines are a direct continuation of book one hard to describe any of the plot without spoiling
Dark moody and atmospheric, ruthless gods combines Russian and Polish folk lore with a good dollop of lovecraft the world building is excellent and the characters on there own are well drawn it’s their interactions mainly between Mal and Nadye that can sometimes come off as a bit forced and clunky like seriously how often can two characters betray each other? Mal is a fascinating character and a interesting villain and Nadye is much improved from the first book not quite as naive and a bit harder which suits someone whose patron is the goddess of Death and Magic but, but they are still stuck in the tropes of a by the numbers YA romance which in a story with great characters and interesting world building is a more then a bit disappointing especially due to the constant betrayal, lying and Mal in particular tendencies towards mass murder as well as picking really inopurtune times to make out this is a particularly toxic example of a YA romance and the weakest part of the novel it’s hard to sell two characters one as a Evil Mastermind and the other as her countries last great hope when they both keep making such a spectacular bad decisions based on a very bad case of YA instalove, at least in this book Nadye is a more active character and is at least aware of who and what Mal is so while still Ill advised it at least comes off a little less creepy then it was at times in Wicked Saints.
Serefin the other main character is suffering the consequences from the events of the last book and all three main characters in different ways finds there destinies entangled in the mystery of who and what the gods are , a solid and Improved sequel to wicked saints I just wished they had dialled down the romance a notch or at least made it a bit healthier maybe? and concentrated a bit more on the world building and mystery. The addition of other POV characters was very welcome as was the authors decision to avoid the dreaded love triangle route.
Still will definitely buy book three still a way better then average series ms Duncan can certainly write the world building is top notch as is the writing this is definitely a series I would recommend to anyone that likes a bit of a gothic vibe to there fantasy.
The setting for Ruthless Gods (both Tranavia and Kalyazin) is beautiful and bleak, menacing in its darkness and I really enjoyed how each place seemed to reflect what was going on with the characters. There was a lot of internal struggle, fighting and despair going on, and the settings (especially that of the forest) became part of that fight. I’m torn between wanting to visit them, but also wanting to run as far away as possible from the very idea of them. The struggle that Nadya, Serefin, Malachiasz had because of their settings never really changed over the duration of Ruthless Gods. Everything had a sense of displacement. Everyone was uncomfortable, no matter where they were. Their longing to be in another place, or further along their journey made them seem unsettled. Even when they were in their ‘homeland’, everything was still against them, and added to the tension of the book.
I really enjoyed Nadya so much more in this book. She’s become stronger and more determined. She still followed the path others set out for her, but she grew in strength, started questioning things, became her own person and a character I really care about! Nadya is fierce and brave even though she’s scared. I love her relationship with Malachiasz, which really built upon the foundations laid in Wicked Saints. They are so bad for each other, and yet their magic is tied together, and they can’t escape the draw that they hold to each other. I loved their banter, their journey and their romance. Malachiasz is probably my favourite character. He’s morally grey, morally questionable, a monster and also just a boy who is really out of his depth. He’s got so much going on, physically and mentally and I honestly just want him to be OK. I loved seeing more sides of him, and he is my favourite chaos monster. Finally, we have Serefin to round off our unholy trio. He has a really tough time in this book. After dying in the last book, I really didn’t think things could get much worse for him, but that was only the tip of the iceberg. Not that the other characters didn’t suffer too, but I really felt for Serefin. Please, someone just let him have some alcohol in peace! I honestly love so many things about all the characters in the books, their interactions, their journeys and most of all, some really stupid decisions they make. The new characters we met along the way were also a lot of fun, as well as getting to see more of Kacper, Ostyia, Rashid and Parijahan, who we learnt more about, and who I also love (especially Kacper). I can’t wait to find out what awaits them next.
For me, one of the best parts of Ruthless Gods was that questions of morality and mortality are looked at in a way which makes everything so confusing. Everyone thinks that what they believe in is right, even when they’re questioning the outcomes. There are so many questions about the divine and the self. Every character has a crisis of faith and self after the events of Wicked Saints, and yet they all keep holding onto their beliefs despite that. Their faith is constantly shaken and confronted by something new, making them have to call into question every aspect of their lives. The unquestioning belief in their country/religion vs the truth of what they have seen and learnt keeps shifting their desires, and makes everyone seem so much more human.
One thing I really wanted more of in Wicked Saints was getting to know more of the history of the pantheon, more about the gods themselves and what divinity really means in this universe. We started to slowly get answers here which made everything feel like it’s slowly coming together. The monstrous and divine are so enmeshed in this series in a way I haven’t seen before. The conflicted imagery is so perfect, and it’s one of my favourite things about this series. Definitions of divinity from the different perspectives are also fascinating here, and I have so many questions.
I really can’t wait for book three. Ruthless Gods was a chaotic masterpiece of a book, and the only downside for me was that there were a couple of things I would have loved to see more of, or have further explanation on, but I’m hoping I will get those in the next book.
While I did enjoy this book I must admit that I did prefer the first one. Ruthless Gods suffers a bit from middle book syndrome in that it is there to be a journey to get to the third book and the final confrontation. This book did mainly consist of the characters travelling to a location they all believe can help them and give them answers. While this meant that there was less action sequences it did allow the reader to see more of the characters and what makes them tick. This included the secondary characters form the previous book. We were also introduced to a new important character. My biggest issue with this book is that this time the three main characters all have their separate agendas and reasons for wanting to go on this journey. In Wicked Saints they were more working towards a common goal, which I much preferred even if they did have their differences. I understand that they have different motivations and are on different sides on the war, and therefore are going to want different things. I just missed the dynamic that was there previously. We were given some answers and hints about the gods and magic of this world, and I am looking forward to the next book and am intrigued what will happen and how it all draws together.
Can't wait for book 3...