Godkiller by Hannah Kaner – ARC Review!

Kissen kills gods for a living, and she enjoys it. That is until she finds a god she cannot kill: Skediceth, god of white lies, who is connected to a little noble girl on the run.

Elogast fought in the god war, and helped purge the city of a thousand shrines before laying down his sword. A mysterious request from the King sends him racing back to the city he destroyed.

On the way he meets a godkiller, a little girl and a littler god, who cannot find out about his quest.

Kissen is a Godkiller, a job she loves. So when she finds herself harbouring a young girl and the God that follows her, she isn’t sure what to do. Elogast was a knight, now a baker on a mission to save his childhood friend who just happens to be the King. They meet on the road and, though the unlikeliest of travelling companions, end up journeying together. There is no trust, everyone is keeping secrets, but they will need to come together for their tasks are more entwined than they thought, and the fate of the entire Kingdom could be in the balance.

I loved this book so much! It’s one of those stories that just drags you in and you find yourself flying through the pages unable and unwilling to put it down. Godkiller is told from 4 POV’s. Kissen, the Godkiller who finally finds herself facing a God she cannot kill. She has a hard outer shell, but on the inside she is just someone reeling from a traumatic past event that wants to live their life in relative peace. Elogast, once Knight now Baker. He hung his sword up after the last battle with the Gods, and had no intentions of picking it up again, but he can’t resist a request from his king, even if it’s one rife with danger. Inara is a noble girl who has lead an incredibly sheltered life, that is until she meets Kissen. And finally, Skediceth, the God of white lies who found himself inextricably tied to a young girl.

The author does a fantastic job of building every single one of our characters up on an individual basis, whilst also showing their growth together as a group. They are an unlikely gang of people, a Godkiller, a Kinght turned baker, a young noble girl and a God, but they have more in common than they know. Alongside our four MC’s we do get introduced to a few side characters, the main ones being Arren, the King of Middren who sends Elogast on his journey & Yatho and Telle, Yessen’s only family. Kaner keeps our character’s to a tight knit group, something I enjoyed because it meant we got to spend more time with, and get a deeper dive into each and every one.

Kaner’s world building is truly outstanding. Middren was a country over-run by Gods, their shrines everywhere with people openly worshipping & making them stronger. That is until the war, when King Arren decreed all worship of God’s illegal and tried to destroy them all. Now the country is split into those who despise the God’s and those who still risk worship, and she shows us both sides through the story, Kissen who would quite happily kill any God in her path, to others, pilgrims who travel miles, risking the wrath of the King, to the only shrines left standing hoping for one of the smaller, leftover Gods to grant their wish. She shows the Gods, not only as something to fear, but how dangerous the belief in them can be and both Kissen and Elogast’s pasts, which I won’t mention for spoilers, show just how dangerous blind belief and worship can be. She also builds on the lands outside of Middren, though we never travel there, we learn of their own beliefs and practices through the characters we meet in the story.

One thing I adored about this book was the rep. Not only were there openly queer characters, but the disability rep in this story was outstanding. Kissen has only one leg, Telle is deaf and Elogast has some series PTSD issues that he is just not dealing with, but what really stood out was, in a world filled with magic and Gods, Kaner chose to allow her characters to accept their disabilities instead of trying to fix them. She even goes to far as to have Kissen be offered the chance at a ‘fixed’ body, and turn it down because she accepts who she is. I thought this was so incredibly well done, our characters were’t seen as any less because of their disabilities, instead it was shown as a strength, something that makes them unique.

I adored the writing style, there were plenty of descriptive parts, but Kaner manages to make the story move at a breakneck pace, meaning there were never any good parts to stop reading. There are a few plot twists dotted throughout the story, but the real propulsion came from our characters. A lot of this book is spent on the road, travelling from place to place, but through flashbacks, as well as a few brilliantly placed fight scenes, Kaner manages to ensure there are no lulls in the story, and every single thing you learn, character you meet has some important part to play in the story. For those that like romance in their fantasy, there is one in here that I loved. It was extremely slow and steady. There were no big declarations or acts of love, instead it was two people coming to trust each other through shared trauma. That being said, there were still some big blow up moments between the two, as well as some snarky and humorous scenes. But I enjoyed that it played such a small part in the story, and instead Kaner focused on the found family style bond that was building between them all.

Safe to say I adored this one. In fact, I loved it that much I read it in one sitting, while I was at work! Kaner has created a world and set of characters that I am desperate to return too, especially after that ending. And I can’t wait to see where she will take the story with the next book.

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