When the saints fail, the sinners step up.
Cruel gods rule the steam-powered city of Chime, demanding worship and tribute from their mortal subjects. Kayl lost her faith in them long ago, and now seeks to protect vulnerable and downtrodden mortals from their gods’ whims. But when Kayl discovers powers that she didn’t know she had—and destroys a mortal’s soul by accident—she becomes Chime’s most wanted.
Quen’s job was to pursue sinners, until the visions started. Haunted by foreboding images of his beloved city’s destruction, Quen hunts soul-sucking creatures made of aether who prey on its citizens—and Kayl is his number one target.
To ensure Chime’s future, Kayl and Quen must discover the truth of Kayl’s divine abilities before the gods take matters into their own hands.
For a city that bows to cruel gods, it’ll take godless heathens to save it.
The Thirteenth Hour is the first book in The Cruel Gods series—a gaslamp fantasy featuring magical portals, gothic cosmic deities, quaint Britishisms, and steampunk vibes. This is an adult book containing strong language and mature themes that some readers may find disturbing. For a full list of content warnings, visit Trudie Skies’s website.
Trudie Skies has been living inside fantasy worlds ever since she discovered that reality doesn’t quite live up to the hype. Through the magic of books, she wishes to share these worlds of hope and heroes with other weary souls. Living in North East England, Trudie spends most of her free time daydreaming about clouds, devouring whatever fantasy books or video games she can get her hands on, and chasing after her troublesome dogs, who would like to reassure you they are very good boys.
Her debut YA fantasy series, Sand Dancer, was published through Uproar Books. Trudie is now writing adult gaslamp fantasy with her new series, The Cruel Gods.
My thoughts: this was an interesting new fantasy, I liked the way all the different races had unique abilities and Kayl’s gift of being able to become each one. It got a bit convoluted as there were lots of parts to the plot and the evil schemes Quen and Kayl uncovered. I wanted to know more about the Godless and their histories, and less about Quen’s deeply weird relationship with Eli.
The premise of the different gods’ domains and the magical clock face that allows entry was really clever and I think it was utilised well when things started to fall apart and Chime began to give into chaos. There were echoes of various world myths, for example the gods rising up against their Titan parents (Ancient Greece) and the way the gods meddle directly in mortal lives, which was interesting.
*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.