New Treasures: Leviathan’s Blood by Ben Peek

New Treasures: Leviathan’s Blood by Ben Peek

Leviathan's Blood-small

Over at his blog, The Urban Sprawl Project, Ben Peek celebrates the release of Leviathan’s Blood, the sequel to 2014’s The Godless.

You should buy it. You should review it. You should tell your friends about it. Perhaps even your enemies.

I’m pretty happy with it, myself. It’s the middle of the trilogy, the Empire of the Children Trilogy, and there are things in this book that I am absurdly pleased with. There is a set of scenes here that I worked towards from the moment I settled on the narrative structure of the book. (It is, for those of you who have not heard me say it before, a structure that echoes the 12/13 episode structure that TV shows have adopted in the last decade. One of my favourite shows of this was Deadwood, and I remember, way back when I began work on The Godless, how interesting it would be for a fantasy book to echo that.) It’s strange to have a moment laid out in a book beyond the first while you’re writing it, but frankly, the whole series is laid out in that fashion, which will hopefully make for an interesting rereading for people. But anyhow, I am absurdly pleased with this.

Any novel with a structure inspired by Deadwood is okay in my book.

In her Black Gate review of The Godless, Sarah Avery summarized it thusly:

The gods are dead — their bodies litter the earth — but their powers leak into the lives of mortal men and women. And sometimes, tragically, children. Deific power is messy. One sprouts extra limbs, trails plagues in one’s wake, or combusts and takes out whole buildings. It’s a curse, isn’t it, to bear such power?

Ayae, a young apprentice cartographer, took refuge in a city built on a dead god’s bones when her homeland fell. Now an army of fanatics marches on her new home and those fanatics seem to want to wake the dead gods. What will Ayae do now that she’s cursed with the local god’s power over fire? She could be a doomsday weapon or a loose cannon that destroys the people she cares about. Her best hope for help in mastering her powers is a man so old he remembers the world as it was before the gods died, fifteen-thousand years ago. He’s been wise. He’s been mad. He has done terrible things with the power that curses him. Ayae wants to trust Zaifyr, but he doesn’t always trust himself. The dead — human and divine — talk to him, and the dead have their own agenda.

Leviathan’s Blood was published in the UK by Macmillan on April 7 2016. It is 689 pages, priced at £18.99 in hardcover, and £9.49 for the digital edition. The cover was designed by Neil Lang. It will be published in the US by Tor Books on May 31.

See all of our recent New Treasures here.

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Sarah Avery

Got my review copy in the mail. It’s got a book or two ahead of it in the queue, but I’m hopeful that the awesome things about volume one will be yet more awesome in volume two.

Sounds really cool to me – now I’ll have to check out #1.

Well I don’t have your patience, Sarah – book 1 does not sound appealing sadly. Too much to read.

Sarah Avery

Book 1 was such a weird specimen — its best qualities were so very good, and its problems were so very basic. I’m giving the series another shot to see which won out this time. It may be that all Book 1 needed was a competent copyeditor. If Book 2 got that, then yay. If Book 2 didn’t, that would be a bummer, but it will make for an interesting review. Watch this space.

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