On her twenty-first birthday, Julianna frees an ancient god of vengeance, from his thousand-year prison. In his “gratitude,” the god names her his high priest and commands her to lead his people to greatness once again. However, it is now a capital crime for any of Julianna’s people to worship one of the five ancient gods – the punishment is the destruction of the offender’s soul.
And so begins TEARS OF RAGE, a dark, epic fantasy saga about the power of faith and belief, where even though the gods can inspire these qualities in mortals, it is those same mortals that truly control the religions that form from any god’s divine inspiration. It is also a swashbuckling tale of political intrigue where men scheme against each other and the gods, and how friendship, loyalty, and faith can help people persevere through the darkest times.
I wasn’t really sure what to expect from this book when I first agreed to review it, but happily, I was hooked from the very first chapter. First Chosen was a fast-paced and interesting read with plenty of action and political intrigue that kept me guessing what was going to happen next from the very beginning. This was one of those books that I was glad I started reading early in the morning because I don’t think I stopped reading it for more than 10 minutes at a time.
I was actually a bit surprised by how much I enjoyed reading this book. I found it to be quite dark and I usually prefer a slightly lighter tone when it comes to the fantasy books that I read these days. I think the setting of the book played a large role in why I liked it as much as I did. I’ve always enjoyed reading books where gods and religion play a large part in the story and you can tell that M. Todd Gallowglas put a lot of thought and work into the gods and religion of First Chosen. The way the gods and humans are forced to interact and deal with each other is probably what I enjoyed most about this book.
My one complaint would be that while I enjoyed reading about Julianna I didn’t really feel all that much for the rest of the mortal characters. No one else really stood out as all that memorable and I struggle to even remember the names of any of them. I found all the gods in the book to be fascinating and I loved reading about them, but I thought I thought the majority of the mortals to be a bit too bland. Though towards the end of the book, I thought things started to improve a bit in that regard and it’s my hope that the next book in the series is even better.
Issues with the characters aside, I really did enjoy this book and I will gladly recommend it to anyone looking for something new to read. M. Todd Gallowglas is a great author so far and I’ll definitely read whatever he releases next.
I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.