The Traitor God (Age of Tyranny #1) by Cameron Johnston

Rating: ★★★★☆

Synopsis

After ten years on the run, dodging daemons and debt, reviled magus Edrin Walker returns home to avenge the brutal murder of his friend. Lynas had uncovered a terrible secret, something that threatened to devour the entire city. He tried to warn the Arcanum, the mageocracy who rule the city. He failed.

Lynas was skinned alive and Walker felt every cut. Now nothing will stop him from finding the murderer. Magi, mortals, daemons, and even the gods – Walker will burn them all if he has to.

After all, it wouldn’t be the first time he’s killed a god…

Review

“Heroism could get a man killed.”

4.5 stars. With these words we are introduced to Edrin Walker. A Rogue Magus with a penchant for trouble making and a desire for his friends to be safe that knows no bounds or moral codes. Edrin was the sole perspective of this novel and was a great character to follow. The premise of him killing a God, but not remembering any specifics about the event was what hooked me in the first place. Getting to know him, his motives, his passions, his personality, was what continued to keep getting me more and more invested.

The world depicted in The Traitor God is very bleak. Setharis, the city that most of the story takes place in, is ruled by a Council of Mages that are prosperous, but do not have hardly any interest in taking care of the common folk around them. Combine that with the dark, foreboding, and decrepit landscape of the city itself and the protagonist’s oftentimes pessimistic views on life and the dark tone is set for the entirety of the book.

The plot throughout about half of this book revolves mostly around detective work. Edrin Walker is trying to find the killer of his best friend Lynas and he will stop at nothing to do so. This did slow down the pace quite a bit from about the 25% to 60% mark. However, I want to make sure I clarify in saying that does not mean I wasn’t engaged in the story. On the contrary, there was so much to discover about this world, its magic system, the mysteries of the gods, and the lore behind it all that there was always something to interest me or think about even if not too much was happening with the plot.

I really enjoyed all of the magical creatures that Cameron Johnston introduced in this book. The Traitor God has a multitude of daemons, monsters, and spirits that had me almost thinking this was a horror fantasy novel at times. One in particular was absolutely disgusting, frightening, horrible to imagine, and overall done brilliantly. However, I can’t say more without spoilers.

I really enjoyed this book. Edrin Walker was a fascinating and very flawed character in the best of ways. The plot, though slower at times, was still intriguing, interesting, and at the beginning and end, heart pounding fast. I would definitely recommend this to anyone who loves a good, grimdark tale. I will definitely be finishing this duology.

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