Servant of a Dark God (Dark Gods #1)
The stunning epic fantasy debut!
Young Talen lives in a world where the days of a person's life can be harvested, bought, and stolen. Only the great Divines, who rule every land, and the human soul-eaters, dark ones who steal days from man and beast, know the secrets of this power.
Now a being of awesome power, whose Mothers once ranched human subjects like cattle, feeding
What did it do right? First off, there's an interesting magic system. Essentially, the consumption of life-force as a kind of magical power source. Not a brand...more
The novel’s events take place in a world where the use of magic is strictly controlled by powerful magic wielders know as Divines. A rebel group, the Order, is secretly growing their organization in the hope they will one day overthrow the Divines. When one of the rebels is exposed, Talen, a young farm boy, finds himself caught in the middle of the ensuing conflict.
The novel does not have a single protagonist, nor does it have a single point of view. The ma...more
The plot and pacing of Servant is uneven then agonizingly slow in turns. It takes 150 pages to solve the mildly interesting hook of Chapter One: where did the protagonist's pants go? It's a classic case of suffering the first 1/3 of the book watching the main character go round and round, acting...more
I purposely left three books, Servant of a Dark God, Warbreaker, and The Undaunted, until the end of my reading for the Whitney Awards, and not because I wanted to reward myself with good books at the end. These were all big, huge books, and two of them, Servant of a Dark God and Warbreaker, are science fiction (and not just science fiction, but the Tolkien-esque "secondary creation" kind of science fiction that I avoid with all costs). So as I write this review, keep in mind that I was stepping...more
John Brown's Servant of a Dark God is a debut fantasy novel that spoils some of its very good elements with some frankly clumsy mistakes and misccues.
The fantasy world Brown posits a hierarchy of magical beings of which mankind sits at the bottom (although there are Gnostic hints this was once not the case) Magical power and talent is tightly and strictly controlled, and those who dare to use such magic are accused of...more
The world of Servant of a Dark on...more
Terrifying magic is affecting people who had appeared to be normal, and rumors are flying. Talen himself is accused, though he is as ordinary and suspicious of the dark arts as any teenage f...more
That's all I can say after reading John Brown's debut novel, Servant of a Dark God. This is a work that defies the standard tropes of the genre. The novels focuses on the lives of a group of people who are on the side of "evil," the Sleth, as labelled by the men and women who wield the "good" powers, the Divines. One of those is the young boy Talen, who grows from hating and fearing the "Sleth" power of this evil group, to embracing it. I'm not a big fan of spoilers, so I won't get into the...more
Well, I wondered at times about the strange names and references to odd things completely foreign to reality. However, I carried on and by the time I finished it, I was thinking...more
It had a slow beginning. In fact, I felt that the story really didn't begin until Chapter 3. That's where I got sucked in! Plus, while Talen, Nettle and some of the other characters appear well defined and developed, I fel...more
The story itself was fairly decent and rather enjoyable, so I did manage to finish it despite the gross number of errors, which will often keep me from finishing a work. The plot was different than most of what I have read, but I wo...more
John Brown, which I’m fairly sure is his real name, does a masterful job of grabbing your brain and shoving it directly into the heads of each of his characters.
Add to that the fact that he has crafted a masterful story around a beautifully imagined world with great depth of culture and history and religion and it’s almost like it was written just for me.
He even gives us an evil minion point of view that didn’t annoy me (I’m almost always happier not having anything...more
The only gripe I have with the writing is that I had a hard time following the story at f...more
I gave the book four stars instead of five for three reasons:
Unique: The nature of the world is quite different from standard epic fantasy with a very dark history. Discovering a new and unique world is part of the fun of this genre.
Secondary Good Guys: Many of these characters are well defined and interesting -- it always helps a novel when the secondary cast improves the color of the world and aren't just placeholders
Another Superman Farmer: Can't the sav...more
I had a lot of trouble following the story after I would put the book down because it was just too complex. I didn't understand the magic or what was going on.
Sometimes the writing did seem a bit choppy and short but other then those two problems it was a good first book.
But I did enjoy some of the characters...more
Imagine my complete shock and delight to realize that THIS IS A STANDALONE NOVEL! Not part of a series! AND, AND, AND, at page 100 I literally said out loud, "Holy frak, I don't think they're going to go on a quest! They're actually going to stay home and solve their problems!"
I can very honestly say that I am more than glad that I read this book. It had a good start and set up the characters very well. We got to see most of the main characters in their natural daily life and find out who they were before all of the action started.
I will say that the action was one thing that struck me...more
That it changes as we read the book is detr...more
First thing first, I got into it pretty easily. As a moody reader, my interest has to be grabbed pretty much right away. And I had a hard time putting it down at the end, so thumbs up to Mr. Brown for that. There are also some creative and unique elements to the story.
I thought this was a brilliantly written book. There is much that I am still unsure on, such as whether I like Talen or exactly how the magic works, but I didn't reall...more