Review: The Hod King (The Books of Babel #3) by Josiah Bancroft

5/5 Stars

Thanks to the publisher and author for an advanced reading copy of The Hod King in exchange for an honest review. Receiving this ARC in no way influenced my thoughts or opinions, though the incentive of having my bathtub scrubbed clean by Josiah was pretty hard to pass up.

Have you ever been reading a novel, or a series, that you wished would never end? You become so completely engrossed with the world and its peculiarities, its characters and their machinations, the… Beer-Me-Go-Rounds? Well, The Books of Babel has been that for me. It is, simply put, a masterpiece. The only negative things I have to say are thus: that I can’t believe this story will soon end, and that I can never read it for the first time EVER AGAIN.

Sigh… where to begin.

The Hod King drops us right where we left of in Arm of the Sphinx. Now, our fascinating gaggle of characters find their way to the ringdom of Pelphia, all on separate missions handed down by the Sphinx.
Senlin must investigate an arena where hods fight for the ringdom’s entertainment, but instead finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation and thrust into the Duke’s spotlight.
Voleta and Iren are charged with posing as a noble lady and her handmaid in order to infiltrate the ringdom’s elite and reach Marya. What they didn’t plan on was Voleta garnering the pursuit of a prince whose reputation, though a little soiled, brings with it many obstacles that stand to ruin their plans.
Now captain of the Sphinx’s ship, Edith, with the help of a fellow wakeman, attempts to locate a confidant who has gone missing. Her search takes her into the bowels of the tower where word of The Hod King is whispered in the walls.

But just who is The Hod King, and what does he want?

Soooo, I went into The Hod King thinking it was the last book in the series.

NOPE. Big FAT nope.

And I couldn’t be happier.

If you LOVED Senlin Ascends, and you THOUGHT it couldn’t get any better than Arm of the Sphinx, you are in for the surprise of a lifetime. The Hod King is, in the coveted words of Chris Traeger, LITERALLY, the best book I have read since I began reviewing. It has everything you want in a piece of fantasy fiction, wrapped up with the bow of originality, and signed with an engraved ink pen that states JUST FREAKING READ THIS SERIES.

There really are no words to describe how much I enjoyed this novel. Bancroft continues to outdo himself with rich storytelling, imaginative world-building with vivid detail, and enough wit to last a lifetime. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. You may ask the bartender for a warm glass of water just for the confused look you’ll receive in return. But one thing you won’t do is regret picking up this book.

Along with RJ Barker’s ‘The Wounded Kingdom’ trilogy, The Books of Babel is the best series, to date, that I have ever read. I will continue to push these books on family, friends, hods, those people that still take ticket stubs at movie theaters even though everything you need is now on your phone, Uber drivers, gas station attendants (do they still have those?)… you get my point. If you were already planning on reading it, pre-order it. If you haven’t given the series a shot, why not?

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