It’s time for part two of my reviews of The Hollow Gods series by Rebecca Levene. In yesterday’s blog post I talked about how much I enjoyed the first book in the series, but how does book two compare?
Born in tragedy and raised in poverty, Krishanjit never aspired to be anything greater than what he was: a humble goatherd, tending his flock on the slopes of his isolated mountain home. But Krish has learned that he’s the son of the king of Ashanesland – and the moon god reborn. Now, with the aid of his allies, Krish is determined to fight his murderous father and seize control of Ashanesland. But Dae Hyo, Eric and Olufemi, are dangerously unreliable and hiding secrets of their own. To take Ashanesland, Krish must travel to the forbidden Mirror Town and unlock the secrets of its powerful magic. But the price of his victory may be much greater than the consequences of his defeat…For, deep in the distant Moon Forest lives a girl called Cwen – a disciple of the god known only as the Hunter. She believes that Krish represents all that is evil in the world. And she has made it her life’s mission to seek Krish and destroy all who fight by his side.
When I started reading this, I thought I was going to continue hearing only about the five main characters from the first book. It was a pleasant surprise, therefore, to have the addition of new characters, especially Cwen, who is a badass female warrior I would love to befriend.
This book has a lot of similarities to Smiler’s Fair which I won’t dwell on, the violence is still there, so I would still say avoid it if you’re sensitive to that kind of thing. And of course we are still in the amazingly detailed and wide world that Levene has created that I loved in book one.
If anything, Levene only expands this world, I thought we’d reached the peak of world building, but there are further places to explore, further people to encounter and civilisations to learn about. But despite this, these books don’t feel overly confusing or like they’re overloading your brain, rather you learn as the characters do- one of the side effects of really good fantasy writing, making you learn without simply giving the reader a lecture.
I have decided to give this book 1 or 1/2 of a star less than the first one, largely because I felt like by bringing more of the characters together I lost a sense of the wider repurcussions of the actions of characters who were great distances apart. The other reason is that sometimes the passage of time wasn’t clear so I would suddenly realise a lot of time had passed but I wasn’t really clear why or what had happened to each of the characters during that time. I can understand not wanting to just write swathes of description of preparations for travelling and then walking across the desert (for example) but I would have liked the elapsed time to have been made a little bit clearer.
Sequels are almost always harder to write after the success of a first novel. I do think that The Hunter’s Kind was a really good book and a great continuation from Smiler’s Fair. I’ll be interested to see where the story goes in book three which is meant to be released later this year.
My rating: 4(4.5)/5 stars
Did you enjoy this two part review? Is this something I should do more often? (Though I won’t deny it, 900 pages in 2 days was a little bit of a stretch even for me!) Let me know in the comments or on my twitter @judithcmoore