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The Godless (Children Trilogy #1)

3.60  ·  Rating Details  ·  253 Ratings  ·  62 Reviews
The first in a crackling, unputdownable new epic fantasy series, introducing a fascinating, original new world and an incredible heroine.

The Gods are dying. Fifteen thousand years after the end of their war, their bodies can still be found across the world. They kneel in forests, lie beneath mountains, and rest at the bottom of the world's ocean. For thousands of years, me
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published August 19th 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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Ben Peek Hey there. From my memory, no, not in the first book (if there are, they will be minor characters, I'm afraid). In the second and third book there…moreHey there. From my memory, no, not in the first book (if there are, they will be minor characters, I'm afraid). In the second and third book there are, and the new PoV character in the third book is.(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,584)
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Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The Godless caught me off guard a bit, as it ended up not being the kind of book I was expecting at all. Mainly, it doesn’t read like it was meant to have a traditional story plot, and I don’t doubt that could be the reason for the many reviews I’ve seen describing it as confusing or difficult to summarize. Books like these are generally not my cup of tea, but The Godless did manage to hold me rapt with its epic world and
This is very much a case of I don't know how to rate this book so I'll just give it three stars. There are some really great things about it, yet some not-so great things about it as well. Personally I would say this sits at about a 3.5 rating simply because I liked it more than a 3 star read but not sure it deserves a 4.

The Good Stuff

The world is remarkable. Seriously.

I am one of those fantasy readers that has read more than most but not enough to be a true professor of the genre. I am slowl
Ben Peek
Jul 13, 2015 Ben Peek rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)

I mean, clearly I am to be trusted...

Actually, I'm mostly just dropping a link to's site, which has the first five chapters up for those who would like a sample to try. In the book, there is a prologue before this, but here you are introduced to the main three characters of the book.

Read here.

There is also, for those of you interested, a soundtrack.

As always, thank you for your time and your interest, regardless of your opinion of the book or series.


Just a quick update to list so
Mar 21, 2015 Nathan rated it really liked it
Fantasy Review Barn

A siege of a single city thousands of years in the making. Three distinct eras of history in one book each with distinct characteristics and all important to events of the day. Gods with real power, a real sine of wonder, and thought processes that are alien to those on a lesser plain. More importantly these gods have a since of awesome in the truly biblical meaning of the word. The Godless is unique in style, deep in history, and just a little bit wonderful.

The story starts w
Jan 07, 2015 Matthew rated it really liked it
I must admit that I passed up on purchasing The Godless when it was first released. Something about the blurb deterred me at the time. In hindsight that was a very stupid decision on my part, and I'm glad that I changed my mind and raced to the store to pick a copy to read over the holidays.

The Godless tells the story of many fallen gods whose bodies lay strewn across the world after their cataclysmic war. Their power has not fully diminished however, and it inhabits certain individuals from ti
Rjurik Davidson
Jan 05, 2015 Rjurik Davidson rated it it was amazing
Ben's a friend of mine, but regardless, he's produced a very fine book. Truth be told, I'm not a huge fantasy fan: it's a genre plagued by cliché and loaded with genre conventions. Or perhaps I should rephrase this: fantasy too often doesn't live up to its potential. I'm a fan of fantasy as it could be, rather than as it is. The think I like about The Godless is that it breaks so many of those tedious conventions, most obviously in terms of race, but also in terms of narrative. His book is rich ...more
Jul 06, 2015 Lindsay rated it liked it
The book follows three main characters through a holy war on a trade city and the siege of the city in a world where the gods have died and their remains are slowly fading. The magic system is interesting with people "cursed" with the liberated abilities of the gods, some good, most not so good.

The focus of the book is on the deaths of the gods and the immortals that have inherited their abilities. There's also a fair amount of time spent on the political situation, but it's all a bit muddled d
Aug 13, 2014 Mieneke rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, 2014
Ben Peek’s The Godless is one of this summer’s big titles. And from the moment I learned about this title when Tor UK asked for feedback on the cover design I knew I wanted to read this book and find out more about its protagonist Ayae. Meanwhile I’ve been reading numerous interviews and guest posts with and by the author and his views on diversity only made me more excited to read the book.

Peek certainly delivered on his promise of diversity with all of his protagonists being people of colour.
May 27, 2015 Christopher rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 08, 2014 Lorena rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, first-reads
I was excited when I won an ARC of this book through the Goodreads First Reads contest, because I had heard a lot of good early reviews and was looking forward to reading for myself. Unfortunately, it failed to live up to expectations. Had I not felt some obligation to read it to the end for the sake of this review, I would have left it unfinished at the halfway point, and I almost NEVER leave a book unfinished. As it was, I had to put it down and read something else in the middle just to get ba ...more
Kruizzer Alvarez
Nov 19, 2015 Kruizzer Alvarez rated it really liked it
Need to re-read this soon.
Mark Webb
Oct 18, 2014 Mark Webb rated it it was amazing
The Godlessby Ben Peek is the first in the "Children"trilogy. Peek made big news last year with the sale of this trilogy to Tor UK, a major sale for an Australian author.

I've enjoyed Peek's shorter work in the past. Long time readers of the blog might recall my review of Above/Below- a small press publicationby Peek and Stephanie Campisi. Given the high profile sale, my interest in Australian speculative fiction generally and my enjoyment of Peek's previous work, I've kept an eye out for the pub
Aug 09, 2015 Mishele rated it really liked it
If I could give this book 3.5 stars out of 5 I would, but since I can't I'll round up to the nearest whole star (lucky).

I'll start with what I liked about this book, the gender inclusive. I've never read a fantasy book quite like this in terms of gender equality and for that I really enjoyed this book. By this I just mean, rather than just say men, Ben constantly said men or women when he was speaking about a generalized group of people. For me this is a great step forward for this type of fant
Fantasy Literature
Dec 29, 2014 Fantasy Literature rated it really liked it
Shelves: joao
The Godless is not Ben Peek’s first published work but, as his fantasy debut, it is a new step in the Australian author’s career. The Godless is set in a fantasy world where a calamitous war between the gods has left them for dead, or dying. In the aftermath of that world-changing event, the gods’ bodies have begun leaking remnants of their powers into the world, creating new Immortals — humans with powers, feared by many.

It is on the literal back of one of these gods that the city of Mireaa, a
Denzel Cavestany
Nov 10, 2014 Denzel Cavestany rated it it was amazing
Ben Peek's masterful 'The Godless" is a Fantasy tour de force: it is at once a literary masterpiece, a fully realized fantasy, and a highly readable yet nuanced page-turner. Throughout history there have been works of literature that come to encapsulate the very essence of our souls, the instigator of a literary evolution that will imprint on every individual on this planet. To speak plainly, its a good book.

From the first lines of “Your eyes,” Illaan said to her, before the sun rose. “Your eye
Megan Leigh
Nov 06, 2015 Megan Leigh rated it liked it
This review originally appeared on Pop Verse.

I should know better than to judge a book by its cover but I am apparently a slow learner. The first cover I saw for Ben Peek’s The Godless had me expecting a rather straightforward YA fantasy novel. That was partly my fault, making a snap judgment, but also goes to show just how important cover design is. Whoever made the call on that particular cover needs a good thrashing – it misrepresents the novel. Then there is also the name of the series The G
Apr 29, 2015 Attentive rated it really liked it
This is a rather finely drawn debut fantasy novel, from a guy whose earlier work is notable for formal experimentation that at first glance is not so evident here.

The book has many strong points, but its strongest are its protagonists—Ayae, Bueralan, and Zaifyr, the ancient "charm-laced man" who provides the Godless with its title—all of whom have sufficient depth to draw the reader into the sort of sympathies without which books like this read very hollow.

There is also considerable invention
Lynn Williams
Aug 18, 2014 Lynn Williams rated it really liked it
Shelves: epic-fantasy
Just finished reading The Godless which I have to say I enjoyed. This book is described as epic and I can see why. The scope here certainly justifies that description.

Set in a world where the Gods are dying following war with each other, their bodies now lie beneath the oceans, in the forests and under mountain ranges. One of these Gods, Ger, lies dying beneath a mountain range that the city of Mireea is nestled up against. The inhabitants of the city of M
originally posted at:

Last year in April Tor UK came with a press release stating the acquisition of the Children series of Australian author Ben Peek, the first book, then titled Immolation but later changed to The Godless, would be published in May of 2014. When I read the synopsis of the book I knew this was just the book I was looking for. Using Gods in fantasy isn't a new concept but it is a concept that allows for a great story. The synopsis also mad
Kristian Thoroughgood
A thought provoking and profound novel that serves as an excellent jumping off point for the trilogy. The fictional history is rich, the fantastical elements are creative, and the characters are complex.

This was a delicious, unhurried, languid read. I wasn’t burning through the pages in an unputdownable frenzy (although I do like those kind of books also), rather I slowly devoured each tension-laden sentence slowly and carefully to make sure I didn’t miss anything, and stopping occasionally to r
Stephen Ormsby
Jan 28, 2016 Stephen Ormsby rated it really liked it
Ben Peek’s debut fantasy novel is a wonderfully woven book, full of surprises and set in an incredibly realistic world. It is not hard to start wanting the protagonists to win and the antagonists to suffer - badly.

The characters inhibit this beautiful world in a way that is not seen much in fantasies anymore; they live and breathe, and you feel for them. The world building is huge, as is the scope of this novel. This is a book to dwell over and be absorbed by.

I am looking forward to the rest of
João Eira
Sep 23, 2015 João Eira rated it really liked it

The Godless is not Ben Peek’s first published work but, as his fantasy debut, it is a new step in the Australian author’s career. The Godless is set in a fantasy world where a calamitous war between the gods has left them for dead, or dying. In the aftermath of that world-changing event, the gods’ bodies have begun leaking remnants of their powers into the world, creating new Immortals — humans with powers, feared by many.

It is on the literal back o
Simon Ellberger
May 23, 2015 Simon Ellberger rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is an absolutely brilliant book. It's complex and inventive. The author uses lots of verbal tricks that I really liked. His primary trick is the use of sudden temporal shifts. This gave me a feeling of being outside of time and inside it at the same time, which is analogous to the way Peek describes how time interacts with the gods in his story. This was adroit and clever. He is in effect making the reader a god who views things atemporally like the gods in the novel, which is most ingeniou ...more
Keith Stevenson
Sep 28, 2014 Keith Stevenson rated it it was amazing
This review originally appeared at

The best epic fantasy is a seamless blend of intricately wrought elements that creates a fully-realised world with a comprehensive and weighty history that continues to affect the lives of the equally real characters that inhabit it. On the (now not so) small screen, shows like A Game of Thrones have replaced the soap opera phenomenon of the 1980s, with audiences glued to the reversals and treacheries of the Lannisters, Starks and
Sean the Bookonaut
Aug 13, 2014 Sean the Bookonaut rated it it was amazing
It’s a big step moving from writing condensed, powerful and original short fiction to a multiple book, epic fantasy. As different as say running a 5km run and a marathon. In each case you use the same skill but the end objective, your tactics, how you cross the finish line or complete the work is different, enough to challenge the best runners or writers when they are used to one kind of event, one format.

So how did Peek fare? He’s a very good short story writer (see Dead Americans) and The Godl
Chris Kasten
Oct 15, 2014 Chris Kasten rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this one. Great story, interesting plot and developments and and intriguing assortment of characters. Right up until the last 10% when I [finally] realized that it was actually the first in a series and wasn't going to all get wrapped up by the end of the book.

Doh. Mr. Peek, I certainly hope the next one is coming soon.

My only beef with the book is the character and place naming. Too many names with A's and E's too close together. A small complaint though and it didn't detract e
Oct 01, 2014 Erika rated it it was amazing
Ben Peek has written a terrific novel. The Godless was fabulous. It reminded me of Jaqueline Carey's and David Eddings' novels. I was compelled by the creative character development and intriguing premise to read the entire novel in one day. It is now on the "to read again soon" shelf and may actually become one of the go-to novels when I want to lose myself in a rich story.
Joel Sievert
Jan 22, 2015 Joel Sievert rated it really liked it
The first 150 pages fluctuated between being a touch slow to develop and being quite compelling. The rest of the book, however, was compelling and then some. I definitely look forward to reading the rest of this trilogy.
Gwyn Harley
Jun 29, 2014 Gwyn Harley rated it liked it
I'm confused about The Godless. Confused about how much I liked it, confused about some of what happened and confused about whether I want to read the next book of Children. I finished the book which is a good start, I didn't feel it was a chore to read but neither was it a "I can't put it down" read. It kept me just interested enough to finish it, but is that enough to make me want to read more? I don't know.

Katie Burton
Apr 30, 2015 Katie Burton rated it it was ok
After the hype that came prior to The Godless, the first in a new epic fantasy series being released, I was quite keen to give this a read. Sadly I found the experience to be somewhat underwhelming.

The worst feeling I can have towards a book is ambivalence, and The Godless left me feeling just that way. It was not annoying to read, nor did it lift me up like I want my epic fantasy to do, or take me on a roller coaster ride of emotion and action where I love and loathe the characters.

The charact
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Ben Peek is the critically acclaimed Sydney based author of the Godless, Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth, Black Sheep, and the collection Dead Americans and Other Stories.

In 2016, his novel Leviathan's Blood, the second book in the Children Trilogy, will be released by TOR in the UK, Thomas Dunne in the US, and Piper in Germany.

He holds a doctorate in literature and splits his time between teaching an
More about Ben Peek...

Other Books in the Series

Children Trilogy (2 books)
  • Leviathan's Blood (Children Trilogy #2)

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