A Sherlockian Duo in a Pirate Adventure: The Fall of the Gods Trilogy by Ryan Van Loan

A Sherlockian Duo in a Pirate Adventure: The Fall of the Gods Trilogy by Ryan Van Loan

Far Out (Night Shade, July 2021). Cover by Julie Dillon

When The Sin in the Steel, the opening novel in Ryan Van Loan’s Fall of the Gods trilogy, arrived last year, I was immediately intrigued. Well, I was once I read Aidan Moher’s review at Tor.com, anyway. Especially this part:

The Sin in the Steel is a rip-roaring epic fantasy that mixes a genuinely unique world with an equally standout magic system. It’s full of characters you’ll root for and despise, who’ll make your skin crawl, and who you’ll cheer on from the sidelines. Packed full of action, tempered by genuinely thoughtful themes about mental health and trust. The Sin in the Steel tells a good self-contained narrative… If Scott Lynch wrote Pirates of the Caribbean, it’d be a lot like The Sin in the Steel.

Yeah, it was that last sentence that got me. At least I’m predictable.

The second installment, The Justice in Revenge, was published right on time in July of this year. Paul Weimer did the honors at Tor.com this time, focusing on the Sherlockian aspects of our two protagonists. Here’s an excerpt from his fine review.

The Justice in Revenge takes place a significant interval after the events of the first novel. The Sherlockian duo of Buc and Eld have returned from The Shattered Isles and their piratical adventures to the Venetian like city of Severenza, and things have not gone as well as planned… a reader, if they really wanted to, [could] start the series here and skip the first book entirely….

The major change between the two novels is Sin. Sin, a fragment of a Goddess, became lodged in Buc’s mind in The Sin in the Steel. The consequences of this spool out for the reader, both the good and the bad… Buc’s plan to oppose the nobility and the Gods runs into a buzzsaw of politics, both within the Kanados Trading Company and in the governmental sphere, as the Doga of the island nation coerces Buc into a very Holmesian task: Find out who is trying to assassinate her, even though it becomes clear that the Doga knows much more than she is letting on about the assassination attempts….

After a pirate adventure, and a study of memory, forgetfulness, magic and politics in this second book, I am very curious as to where Van Loan proceeds with the series.

The third volume in the trilogy, The Memory in the Blood, is scheduled to be published by Tor Books on July 12, 2022.

Here’s the complete details on the entire trilogy.

The Sin in the Steel (432 pages, $27.99 in hardcover/$12.99 digital, July 21, 2020) — cover by Getty images
The Justice in Revenge (481 pages, $28.99 in hardcover/$12.99 digital, July 13, 2021) — cover by Getty images
The Memory in the Blood (480 pages, $28.99 in hardcover/$14.99 digital, July 12, 2022)

Al three volumes are published by Tor.

See all our recent coverage of the best new fantasy series here.

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