There are so many wonderful books publishing at the start of this year, I can barely wrap my head around them all – but I’m doing my best to get reviews written!
Today I’m reviewing the second book in Gareth Hanrahan’s Black Iron Legacy series, I adored The Gutter Prayer and I was so excited to get an early copy of The Shadow Saint – if you haven’t started this series yet I highly recommend you get on it ASAP.
Thieves, dangerous magic, and a weapon built with the power to destroy a god clash in this second novel of Gareth Hanrahan’s acclaimed epic fantasy series, The Black Iron Legacy.
Enter a city of spires and shadows . . .
The Gutter Miracle changed the landscape of Guerdon forever. Six months after it was conjured into being, the labyrinthine New City has become a haven for criminals and refugees.
Rumors have spread of a devastating new weapon buried beneath the streets – a weapon with the power to destroy a god. As Guerdon strives to remain neutral, two of the most powerful factions in the godswar send agents into the city to find it.
As tensions escalate and armies gather at the borders, how long will Guerdon be able to keep its enemies at bay?
The Shadow Saint continues the gripping tale of dark gods and dangerous magic that began with Hanrahan’s acclaimed debut The Gutter Prayer.
I definitely recommend reading The Gutter Prayer before you embark on reading this book, there’s a little bit of explanation as to what is happening but you are certainly thrown in the fire (as it were). I definitely think you’ll have a better reading experience if you have a working knowledge of the events of book one.
That being said, this book – while it takes place just after the end of book one – does not have the feel of a direct sequel. Where The Gutter Prayer followed the story of Cari, Rat and Spar, this book focusses on three different characters. One of these characters will be familiar to readers of book one, Eladora is now working for one of the candidates for government and much of the book follows her life. In addition to that, we get a noble and a spy. I thought that this made for a nice mix of continuity and fresh content, along with more familiar faces that pop up throughout the book. While this doesn’t feel like a sequel, it gives you a broadening perspective of this world, which is what I think a sequel ought to do.
One of the things I adored about the first book in this series was the worldbuilding. I was captivated by the gruesome idea of the Tallowmen and the ghouls living under the city. I did feel as though this book didn’t quite hit as hard as the first book did, there is a lot more politics (unsurprisingly) and everything felt a tad more human and less fantastical. That’s not to say that the politics and intrigue aren’t interesting and powerful – I just missed some of the things that got me hooked initially.
The plot of this book is quite sprawling (at least in my opinion) and you definitely need to keep focused if you’re going to remember who is who and what everyone is trying to do. I enjoyed the fact that events varied from huge apocalyptic moments to tiny personal disagreements. A lot of books that tackle war with Gods things feel huge all the time, I liked that this book explored some of the smaller problems, the idea of people trying to get on with things despite everything exploding (metaphorically and literally) all around them.
Overall, I think this is a series worth reading, I’m hugely excited about the next book(s) in this series where hopefully more of those spooky elements will feature alongside the politics and intrigue!
My rating: 4/5 stars
I received a free copy of this book from the publisher. All opinions are my own.
The Shadow Saint Publishes January 9th!
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What say you? Will this be on your new year TBR? Let me know in the comments below!