Blood of the Four by Christopher Golden and Tim Lebbon
In many ways, Blood of the Four is an amazing story. There are Four gods buried below the city. The priesthood protects and grows powerful from their magic. The monarchy is descended from the Four and the blood of the gods flows in their veins. A mad queen wants all of the magic for herself. Priests, nobles, soldiers, sailors, commoners, and slaves — are all part of the story. The author uses language in a very sophisticated manner so that the imagery and details are a delight. The story has a grand vision that comes together at the end. What’s not to like?
The story is told through the eyes of several different characters and switches point of view between them. In the early part of this book this felt jarring and I was not certain who was who or what was going on. The reader has to hold it together until these perspectives begin to converge later in the story. The book is very long, 16 and a half hours on the audio version, so you are holding it together for a while.
Thankfully, the narrator was also amazing and did a great job. She “told’ the story, rather than just “read” it. If I had been “reading” the book then I may have given up a quarter of the way through, but sticking with the story was not a hardship due to the great narrator. I commented about the length of the book, but I very much appreciated having the story in one go. That is preferable than the tendency to stretch a single story into three.
Sticking with the story had its rewards. I enjoyed the ending. It was exciting and the details were unexpected. The Blood of the Four is an adult book, with graphic sex and lots of violence. People who appreciate great world building and fantasy will enjoy Blood of the Four.