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The Godless (Children Trilogy #1)

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  198 ratings  ·  55 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
ebook, 416 pages
Published August 19th 2014 by Thomas Dunne Books (first published January 1st 2014)
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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
Ben Peek
Jul 13, 2015 Ben Peek rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition

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
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
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
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
Lindsay Taylor
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
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.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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
Mark Webb
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
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
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
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
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
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
Simon Ellberger
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Symon Mazereeuw
Full Disclosure: I received this book from Ben Peek

I think that the book had a lot of promise and I would recommend reading it, and keeping an eye out for the sequel based on that alone. The idea behind the book is that the pantheon of gods in the world has fought a war, and they are all in the act of dying. In the aftermath of this death there are those who have become immortal and have gained godlike powers, but they aren't entirely sure what exactly they are, demigods, cursed or even gods the
Wendy Clark
Nov 16, 2014 Wendy Clark rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people who like Wheel of Time
2014 is going to be known as my year of disappointment with dust jackets. Either they leave out crucial trigger-warnings (Passion Play) or because they completely lie about what direction the story is going (A Darkling Sea) or in the case of The Godless, THEY TELL THE WHOLE DAMN PLOT! No, literally, the dust jacket says, "Split between three points of view, this masterful narrative reaches it's conclusion during (view spoiler) ...more
An interesting new world from Ben Peek. The mythos of Godless is really the most interesting aspect, building a world around the slowly deteriorating corpses of dead gods, lost thousands of years ago in a cataclysmic War of the Gods. Their power is not dying quietly but instead seeping out into the world causing unnatural phenomenon, including the rise of god touched humans. The gods' powers express themselves through horrific curses and unbelievable power and immortality and sometimes a mix of ...more
Don Priest
The story suffers mightily from a lack of focus. There are three central characters, who take turns with the spotlight (with others of importance who occasionally get some primary attention). That spotlight often shifts after just a couple of pages; few chapters, until the end, are more than three or four pages in length. The rapid turning to a different perspective gives the reader very little chance to really grasp where a character is before moving on. This makes it difficult to see how the s ...more
Stretch's Books
Somewhere in between the covers of "The Godless" is an awesome story trying to come out. Equipped with a very interesting plot, some potentially fascinating characters and a unique world for everything to come together in, but missing the mark in a couple key places. And the places where the mark is missed all stems from the same problem. The chapters.
The chapters in "The Godless" are very short, and this causes two distinct problems. Problem number one is pacing. The story cannot flow fluidly
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Ben Peek is the controversial and critically acclaimed Sydney based author of Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth, Black Sheep, and Above/Below (with Stephanie Campisi). In 2014, two books of his will be released. The first of these will be a collection of short fiction, Dead Americans, published by ChiZine Publications in March. Later, in August, the Godless, the first novel in the series Children, will be ...more
More about Ben Peek...

Other Books in the Series

Children Trilogy (2 books)
  • Leviathan's Blood (Children Trilogy #2)
Dead Americans and Other Stories Twenty-Six Lies/One Truth Black Sheep Octavia E. Butler Leviathan's Blood (Children Trilogy #2)

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