This is my stop on the blog tour with The Write Reads, for Trudie Skies first novel in the Cruel Gods series, The Thirteenth Hour. And what a start to the series it is. I’m going to say I actually groaned with despair when I finished this novel, (not because it was horrid or anything of the sort) but because I’m going to have to wait for the next one and I’m not sure I can take not knowing the fate of Quen, Kayl and the others. I have to say Trudie that was mean ending this book on such a crucial cliffhanger. (Although I secretly like that it’s ended where it has, as it means that I’m now invested in the series. Yes, I’m a fan)
So what am I going on about? Well, Trudie Skies has created an intricate world. It may appear complex but the way Trudie has introduced the world to the reader is wonderful and fits seamlessly into the novel. Where you can follow the story alongside the world building and not be bogged down with endless pages of description. It all makes sense and having a map and glossary to assist helped. By the way I love a good map. But that’s not the best bit. In essence it is breathtaking and original.
There are 12 domains and at the centre of these domains is Chime, mortals can cross into Chime from their domains through the Gate. The Gate rotates to a different domain every hour. Each domain has the gate set to their domain twice during a 24 hour period. The domains are ruled by individual gods, who created mortals that live within their domains. The mortals are as individual as the gods themselves.
Chime however, is a central point where mortals can gather, live and work without the gods entering. (With me so far?) The mortals from each domain have characteristics and powers unique to that domain. We have mortals that shine brighter than light itself, ones who can manipulate shadow, others that can summon flame, others who can wipe memories and ones that can even manipulate time. Everything in Chime is kept in order by the Wardens who are a collection of mortals from each of the domains. Now, all mortals are subject to their own Gods whims and there are rules and covenants that all mortals, Gods and Wardens need to keep and abide. This summary is only the tip of what Trudie has created.
I loved the originality of this world and its many different aspects that built the foundations for what is a gripping story.
Kayl is a Vesper, that belongs to the domain Eventide, but is living and working in Chime with a band of other mortals calling themselves the Godless. Together they want to put an end to being subjected to their Gods whims and currently run an operation that harbour refugees in the Undercity of Chime. During one particular mission Kayl gets caught up in a refugee crossing that goes wrong, but that starts her on a journey that questions her own existence and mortality. Along the way she encounters Quen, who is a Warden that is perplexed by what Kayl is and together they aim to find out. However, with Wardens hunting Kayl, and unidentified creatures stealing souls, can Kayl and Quen figure out what is going on in Chime?
The writing and pace of this novel flows neatly depicting the events of the story timely, with the voices of Kayl and Quen. This novel explores some dark themes with some explicit language, meaning it is not something for younger readers to engage in. It is an adult fantasy novel. I’d recommend it to anyone that finds themselves wanting to read fantasy with edge. Trudie Skies I’m now awaiting book 2.