Title: The Traitor God
Author(s): Cameron Johnston
Publisher: Angry Robot
Release Date: June 5th 2018
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆
Sometimes what you need is just an opportunity to decompress, to unsheathe your blades and to rid your foes of their guts with an unrestrained series of stabbing and slashing. As if he read my mind, Cameron Johnston invites readers to tag along the magician Edrin Walker in his quest for vengeance after 10 years on the run and there’s absolutely nothing pretty about what is about to go down.
Edrin Walker has been hiding from daemons and debts for as long as he could remember. Having very little memory of what occurred, he still recalls pieces of the deal he once made with a powerful being in order to protect his friends, as long as he left his city quietly. However, there’s nothing more devastating than finding out that one of those friends that was supposed to be safe from harm’s way ends up meeting death in the ugliest way possible. Surged with a thirst for revenge, Edrin Walker returns to his past life in hopes of finding the mysterious figure who stole a piece of his life and to met out justice with a little bit of rage.
The Traitor God is easily a grim dark fantasy story that promises dark humour, bloody action sequences and disgusting creatures that will indubitably leave a nasty first impression on you. The story kicks things off on a linear foot by giving the protagonist a goal that he will continuously pursue, even with obstacles crawling out of the darkest corners to put an end to him. The mystery behind who he’s chasing is what drives this story forward, and around halfway through the adventure, it starts to rain blood and limbs as if there was no tomorrow. The immersive touch to this story was welcomed with open arms as you are quickly tossed into a whirlpool of twists that ceaselessly expand on the magic system.
Edrin Walker’s character proves to be a very determined hero who does everything to get the things he sets his mind on completed, no matter the cost. His internal conflict with his soul-bound blade makes for some fun interactions as well as an additional coat of insight into his personality. His banter with the other reccurent characters also adds for some hilarious moments that will hold your attention feverishly. Told in first-person, the story also finds a nice balance between characterization and world-building, as it explores the perception of the world of every one of those who are Gifted and those who are not. With the Arcanum trying to maintain a control on those who are considered maguses, you quickly come to notice that the tension is very present between certain individuals. Once you understand the powers of Edrin Walker, you sort of also understand how dangerous things can get, and how much fun awaits you later on.
The Traitor God is a wonderful fantasy story that knows how to keep you hooked till the end. Its grasp on grimdark elements is stellar and makes this a truly fun book to pick up when you feel like you need a nice quick swim through an ocean of blood. Don’t we all just love those? Oh, and did I mention that the gore is omnipresent? Oh, yes. Yes, it is.
Thank you Angry Robot for sending me a copy for review!