The protector of the land is dead.
A blood plague infests the soil and sea, eldritch angels vie for dominion over hearts and souls, and holy war boils between four gunpowder empires.
The line between truth and falsehood, the righteous and the wicked, hope and annihilation is buried deep beneath blood-soaked sand.
“Our holy fire will chase all rats out of their roosts. We must armor our hearts with faith as we do our bodies with iron.”
Holy Zelthuriya… (if you read books in the series, you know 😉 )
I usually start with a description, but since we’re already three books into the series, I’ll skip that. Instead, I wanted to share a bit about my reading experience and how I felt as I soaked up every word.
I already knew what I was in for – gore, horror, devastation… but also hope, excitement, and that satisfaction you get after finishing a phenomenal book. I took my time finishing Elder Epoch because I really wanted to read it. I wanted to enjoy every word, every beautiful description, and every breathtaking dialog. And boy did I!
Zamil has a way with words that I haven’t seen anywhere else. He’s also incredible at worldbuilding. Have you read Malazan? This series is similar in the sense that he shows you what you need to know as the story progresses. Not long descriptions, but snippets that are cleverly woven into the story. Yes, there are moments of confusion, but if you just go with it, it’s so rewarding. Unlike Malazan, though, the Gunmetal Gods saga is much easier to follow.
If you’ve read Gunmetal Gods and Conqueror’s Blood, you’ll find similar approaches to the plot in Elder Epoch. Such as “Are the characters really that bad?” which was very prevalent in Conqueror’s Blood: at the beginning, you just loathe them (in a “I want to read more about them” way, not in a “I hate the book” way) but by the end, once you have the whole picture, you feel for them. Brilliant how Zamil is able to do that. What’s different, though, is that he takes it up a notch with the horror and gore elements. That entire section was so vivid. All the details he included were just oozing (literally) with despair.
I’m starting to ramble… Even a few weeks after I finished the book, I’m still at a loss for words to adequately describe this entry in the series. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to, so let’s leave it at that: It’s mind-blowing, eye-opening, satisfying, deep, beautiful, … a once-in-a-lifetime reading experience. I just hope someone will pick up the movie rights to this story and make it into a TV show.
“No one will remember what happened in this world. Not our names, nor the glories of our nations. Not our virtues and sins. We will simply become a drop within a far greater creation. One that will also, one day, be forgotten. And on and on it goes – forever meaningless.”
I’ll add the usual note about trigger warnings: Check them, there are lots! If you’ve read books 1 and 2 already, you are aware. But better believe that you have seen nothing yet…
Note: The author sent me an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) of book 3. Honestly, I would have bought and reviewed the book anyway, since I loved books 1 and 2 so much (and I bought these myself). But I appreciate that he sent me an ARC upfront. Thanks, Zamil. You are amazing!