Ossus Library Index
Fantasy Index


A novel by Brian Ruckley
(2008, Orbit Books)

The Godless World, book 2

Searching for a way to destroy the approaching Black Road army, Orisian heads to the na’kyrim stronghold, while Taim goes with the Haig bloodheir for a frontal assault.


-- First reading (trade paperback)
January 8th to February 18th, 2020


Now that I know most of the players involved, I found the politics interesting and the motivations of the people true. I felt sorry for the good guys when real-world divisions turn them from their path, and force them to do things the hard way. Because that’s what this world is about -divisions. Very few want to do what’s best for the world and its people. It makes for a betrayal-filled story.

Spoiler review:

I lost my initial review of this book -gone somewhere in cyberspace, so this one is going to be a lot less detailed, having to do it a second time…

It must have taken a lot of effort to unite the clans so long ago, because even the ones that have things in common have trouble working together, and most of them hate each other. There are a lot of petty politics going on, which makes this feel like a very large world.

That world is going downhill, fast. The main demonstration of this is the sleeper agent, the old woman who has been waiting all her life to become active for the Black Road, reminding me of the movie Salt. She kills the Thane of Kilkry, and just like that, the Blood goes into a rage.

But there are two key scenes in this book. The first is the infiltration of Aeglyss into the Dreamer of Highfast. The na'kyrim allow this because they are curious, but it is to their detriment, because he basically destroys them. They don’t understand what he has done to the Shared, the supernatural mental space that they can occupy. He seems to be introducing chaos, as the na'kyrim turn on one another, the Kilkry soldiers, and they let the White Owl Kyrinin into the stronghold. It makes no sense at the time, but makes more sense after we see how the world is going crazy afterwards. It also allows Aeglyss, in his enhanced mental capacity, to take control of the Thane of Thanes’ Chancellor, a man of extreme influence. This will probably be a disaster in the next book.

The second is the battle between the Haig army and the Black Road. Haig has sent their bloodheir to humiliate the Lannis and Kilkyre Bloods, to do what they couldn’t do. But the madness sweeps them, too, as does a freak storm, which scatters the army and prevents it from being an effective unit. The Black Road, who are already, it seems, crazy, are so undisciplined that it makes no difference to them. But the Haig army is torn apart, and of course, they blame the Lannis and Kilkry Bloods that they held in reserve, for betrayal.

I’m not sure what to make of K’rina, the nakyrim who cared for Aeglyss when he was young. She wanders off from her original village, and is captured first by a mysterious Anain creature, then by Orisian. I assume she will be the key to Aeglyss’ undoing, but in this series I can’t take anything for granted. It’s also eerie that this author has used almost exactly the same name as one of the main characters in my own book.

One of my favorite characters was underused, but Anyara struggles to be proactive, with the result that she’s captured and sent south to the Haig stronghold.

Then there’s Kanin and his sister Wain. Kanin goes off the rails and abandons the Black Road when Aeglyss takes control of his sister, and then kills her when he transfers control to the Chancellor.

I wonder how far down the black road the third book will take us.


Back to Top

All reviews and page designs at this site Copyright © 1999 -  by Warren Dunn, all rights reserved.