Published on June 5th, 2018, by Angry Robot Books, Cameron Johnston's debut "The Traitor God" will leave fantasy lovers out there dying for more.
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In this gripping, dark fantasy full of magic, action, and mysteries, things have gotten out of control for our main character Edrin Walker, who finds himself going back to the place he once called home, Setharis. After being on the run for years, hiding from powerful daemons and magicians alike, he’s now looking not only for answers, but also revenge after his best friend Lynas is murdered. Risking being recognized, this won’t stop Erin Walker from investigating the gruesome death of his best friend, but what he ends up discovering is that the murders that have been happening across the city—including Lynas’—are nothing but the tip of the iceberg of something far darker and sinister that threatens to swallow them all.
The Traitor God the world of Edrin Walker, a place where the gods have suddenly gone missing, and the magicians from the Arcanum, and street gangs like the Smilers basically control the order of things on the high and low ends of the city. As Edrin makes his way back looking for answers, he also realizes that everything he once knew either hasn’t changed, is crumbling down, or is different from what he remembers.Johnston brings to life in his debut
At first, it all sounds like an interesting story full of action and mysteries that will have you on the edge of your seat—and it is—, but once you get into it, you realize that it’s much more complicated than that. After all, everything can be deceiving, and now that things have gotten so out of hand, there’s a strong tension spreading across Setharis regarding their old enemy, the Skallgrim.
"More than swords and magic, words held real power." - The Traitor God
One of my favorite things about this book was the magic system. I loved how we’re able to see not only how a magician’s gift works from first and secondhand experience as Edrin interacts with other characters, but also how utterly terrifying they can be. I found very interesting how these gifts can also turn into deadly curses if mages don’t learn to control them because of the famous “worm” that’s constantly whispering in the back of their minds to let go and let their magic take over, something that's known to make them lose their minds. Another thing I loved were the monsters, especially those that are busy tracking or trying to kill our main character and whoever else tries to get on their way: the Shadow Cats. They were terrifying creatures that could easily tear you apart, but I loved how Edrin tried to deal with them and make them less scary by giving them names and pretending they’re old acquaintances.
Talking about Edrin Walker, having him as our narrator was very interesting. He’s a morally grey character who will have you wondering if you should trust him or not, and if you’re going to enjoy his story at all. He comes off as a dislikeable character at first: he doesn’t think twice before sending someone off to their death, he’s a coward, and he's cocky and selfish. But as the story goes on and you get to know him better, you might end up liking him and rooting for him. Something I loved about this complex character was his relationship with his best friend Lynas. They were literally connected by magic thanks to Edrin’s mind controlling gift and I loved seeing how after Lynas’ death he was struggling with not only his self-control against the “worm” but also his conscience. After all, Lynas was basically Edrin’s anchor. And finally, I also loved seeing how even when struggling with himself he was still caring, loyal, and willing to do anything for his old friends and Lynas’ family.
In the end, The Traitor God is one fantasy book full of magic, monsters, action and character development perfect for fantasy lovers out there. The mystery that lies beyond the murders, the gods and the worldbuilding of Setharis are intriguing enough to leave you dying to know more. This book could work as a standalone, but thankfully, there’s a sequel on its way called God of Broken Things, which is set to release on June 11th of this year!
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