The Horns of Ruin
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The Horns of Ruin

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  432 ratings  ·  69 reviews
Eva Forge is the last paladin of a dead God. Morgan, God of battle and champion of the Fraterdom, was assassinated by his jealous brother, Amon. Over time, the Cult of Morgan has been surpassed by other gods, his blessings ignored in favor of brighter technologies and more mechanical miracles. Eva was the last child dedicated to the Cult of Morgan, forsaken by her parents...more
Paperback, 268 pages
Published November 30th 2010 by Pyr (first published January 1st 2010)
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The star of this book is the setting, more specifically the world. I can't even begin to tell you the volumes upon volumes of text that I would read if they were set in the world where the city of Ash resides. I don't want to go into too much detail, because part of the fun is discovering all of it yourself, but if you like weird, slightly pulpy but generally awesome world-building, you'll probably like this.

The writing itself is serviceable, and does manage to avoid a number of the idiotic tur...more
Cheryl Gatling
Once upon a time, in a world that wasn't ours, because it also included a race of small gnome-like creatures called the Feyr, and reptilian creatures called the Rethari, there were three brothers, Amon the Scholar (who might better be called Amon the Engineer, because he built complex machines), Morgan the Warrior, and Alexander the Healer. They started out as men, but became gods. Each had his own cult of followers who practiced their leader's special arts. Then the god Amon killed his brother...more
The Horns of Ruin could have been a fantastic tale of revenge and theological theory in a steampunk world--instead it's a paltry, careless foray into a partial steampunk, magic tinged world that mostly leaves the reader with the question, "Who decided Eva Forge was qualified to be a savior at all?"

I think what I'm most disappointed with in this book is the careless feeling of it--Eva Forge feels like a concoction of a all-powerful female brute and teenage attempts at bad-assery. She doesn't feel...more
This had all I want in a fantasy book. Good characters, some intrigue, a plot that isn't entirely predictable, a unique setting, and a set up for future happening all add up to a superb story. The best part is the narrative voice. It's told in third person, and the protagonist's voice is consistent and distinctive. Reading this as an adult is like reading David Eddings as a child--it's the same sense of immersion and fun in a new world. I think this book would appeal to those who like Martin, Ro...more
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he Horns of Ruin is a steampunk second world fantasy that is worth checking out. The novel is set in a massive city of Ash, the seat of the Fraterdom.

The Fraterdom was established a few hundred years ago by three human brothers who became gods: Alexander, Morgan, and Amon. This is a world where technology, magic, and religion are really indistinguishable, but it definitely has a steampunk feel.

The pro...more
Ms. Library
I liked the idea, but a Hundred Thousand Kingdoms did it better.
Jeff Young
Excellent book with fantastic world building. Not exactly steampunk but with elements thereof. It was a romp and I rolled through it quickly. At two hundred and seventy some odd pages, it doesn't require an excessive commitment of time. The only reason my review is not a five is that for all of the world building done, and it is definitely not our world, some very modern and typical things come out of the main character's mouth at times that do not lend themselves to the action or scene. It was...more
There was something about this book that made it a little hard for me to get through. I've honestly no idea what it was, but I felt a tiny bit like it was kind of a slog.

At the same time though? The world built was SO FUCKING INTERESTING that I couldn't drop it.

Wonderful idea there with regard to the whole noetic armor/weapons and the invocations.

Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful world that was built.

The whole invocation thing? Makes the battles that Forge goes through seem so much more epic w...more
Nearly perfect. Mix together Max Gladstone's Three Parts Dead, Babylon Steel, and echoes of something else, and you get this.

Decently paced, varied scenes and tones to those scenes, interesting mythology (Triad of Brothers, note their archetypal roles), and largely decent/clear characterization. Only notable flaws are a bit too much information spew towards the end - not entirely uncommon, but it's usually toward the start - and some weirdness when a couple of characters' voices start to blend...more
Courtney Lake
I found this to be a very intriguing read. A fast paced story that never really slows down, lots of fighting guts and gore, and it’s refreshing to have a main character in a "mystery" book be so action oriented. While I think Eva may be a little super-charged, she's supposed to be that way- The last Supreme Warrior of a dead god of war. She barrels through the storyline bashing heads and slaying bad guys until she figures out what’s happening to her fellow cult members and puts a stop to it. All...more

Now this book is the something different I've been looking for lately. It's a difficult read though, and I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. I might even have to revisit this review at some point. It's a little like someone took religion (small r, generic), steampunk, aliens, the age of chivalry, urban fantasy and a modern world, and stuck it all in a blender. The only thing missing here is gobs of sex, to which I say thank goodness, it's actually nice to read a book now and then where t

Cécile C.
Well, this is a completely non-literary four, because we're all allowed our guilty pleasures from time to time. No, this book is unlikely to blow your mind with it's wonderful style and deep explorations of human nature and societies. No, you probably won't find much to say about the character once you scratch the surface. But it still was tons of fun.

One thing I often regret about steampunk is that, while I love the idea of it, and I usually enjoy steampunk worlds, there are few books so far th...more
Elizabeth Fitzgerald
Ostensibly, this book is steampunk but the technology and the feel didn’t quite match up. It follows the story of Eva Forge, last Paladin of the slain god Morgan, as she battles against the extinction of her religion at the hands of an unknown enemy.

There was quite a bit to like about this book. I found the setting quite vivid and it was easy to picture the individual locations as well as the city of Ash as a whole. The action scenes were also well written. I found they were clear and held suita...more
Pretty fun, a very fast read. It almost has the feel of a videogame from the 80's; the story is there, the fun is there, but I have no idea what is going on when I come in because no one reads manuals. There's even mention of 'buffing' and such, so the language makes that connection pretty easily. Descriptions are a bit minimal, and sometimes I had trouble getting the right picture in my head of what was going on. Lots of action, with a blurring over of most location descriptions. The magic syst...more
At first, I wasn't really taken by the book. The first part of it is very wordy, with complicated turn of phrases. Since it's a completely new universe, it's already difficult enough to take in all the new informations, without needing to parse through the metaphors used.

On the other side, there are some very, very nice sentences. Also, the way the religion and magic are created is brilliant. I love (view spoiler)...more
Shadowhawk reviews his first ever steampunk-fantasy read and comes away with an interest in reading more.

“Relatively fast paced with some really vivid world-building, this is a novel with a compelling complexity to it that just makes you want to go on reading and not stop.” ~The Founding Fields

The Horns of Ruin is the second novel published by Pyr Books that I’ve read this year and another one that I quite enjoyed reading. When I requested review copies from them, I mostly went by the cover art...more
Emily Leathers
Eva is the last Paladin of Morgan, and quite a hand with a full sword. But that's where the connections to typical fantasy end. Eva's world is full of monotrains and guns, and a very enlightened understanding of arcane power.

The book starts off slowly, and with long, long, long descriptions of battle. But it starts and ends in the right places - on the day that changed Eva's life, and right as she resolves that challenge. On a whole I enjoyed the writing style, and the world building was unique...more
Felix Zilich
Пересказать Муркока языком Джима Батчера – это нужно иметь определенную наглость. У Тима Акерса её навалом. Он, как и Гарри Дрезден, парень из Чикаго, любит собак, боевую магию и прочую лабуду, поэтому даже из стимпанкового романа сделал не викторианское чаепитие, а богоборческую одиссею с револьвером за поясом.

Несколько столетий назад три брата – Амон Созидатель, Морган Воитель и Александр Целитель – возглавили человечество, сокрушили древнюю империю фейри и построили на её руинах грандиозный м...more
Dusty Bibliophile
Tim Akers creates the world of a dead city seething with life in The Horns of Ruin. The story begins as Eva Forge, the last paladin of the dead god Morgan, escorts the leader of her cult to an appointment which marks the beginning of a quest to fulfill her oath to defend her Order against those who would destroy the last remnants of the dead warrior god's servants. Her quest leads her through the world of Ash, a world of magic and engineering that fuses steampunk and fantasy. And through this re...more
Sherie Davis
I really enjoyed the world building in this book. I think most authors would have tried to make this a series and really this book could have been more flushed out and the author could have gone all standard trilogy with it. But he didn't and it was awesome. There were a few things that were difficult like, and this might just be my problem, it took me a while to really get a good feel for what the city Ash looked like. I found myself picturing something in my head only to have it described in a...more
Very disappointing; I had so high hopes for this one after the wonderful Veridon novel and the Horns of Ruin was so linear, unsubtle, lacking nuance, predictable and with a heroine that is "wonder woman on steroids", untouchable and unbeatable with the often repeated "magical" invocations that became so annoying that I would shudder and skip when i encountered them...

Basically Horns of Ruin is a comic strip disguised as a novel and set in a steampunk/fantasy world and the inventiveness of the...more
an unexpectedly good read from a new author. The beginning read like the script for a Hollywood action movie...maybe Underworld or something with a mythological theme - all slashing swords and leaps and kicks and multiple fighters.....but Akers managed to hook me, so much so that I found myself skimming over the fight descriptions to know what happened to a key character.

It took me some time to warm to Eva, the main character who is a Paladin of a dead god named Morgan. I found her a bit too stu...more
I had my hopes up for this one. At first, I was expecting a fresh feel. Something light and fast paced.
Unfortunately though, I found the main character more than annoying. Almost every action, every word and thought got me to shake my head. Why did I have the feeling that some cliché redneck was portrayed here?
As for me, I have to get some kind of connection to the characters. Otherwise, I simply can't enjoy a book.
Despite that, the book had potential. The setting itself with a couple of histori...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caroline Berg
Quite frankly, this wasn't an amazing book – that is to say, it was highly predictable and didn't have the best writing, but it is packed with action. So if you want a quick read with say, lots and lots and lots of random violence, this is the book for you. The main female character doesn't stop kicking ass. Mind you, she is a member of a religious order for the local god of war, so fighting is what she does. She punches first, asks questions later the entire book, which can get tiresome when yo...more
I receieved this book as a thank you gift for being a panelist at the Canadian National Steampunk Exhibition, and to be honest, I expected more. The story was a rather standard pulp fantasy; enjoyable as such, but nothing special. However, I can barely manage to give it the label "steampunk". There was a slight technofantasy aesthetic influence, but beyond that it was all swords, sorcery and monk robes. The writing also irked me: pairing high fantasy language with modern slang and having four de...more
This is an excellent book, much more to my liking than the Veridon series.

It reminded me of Zelazny in having human/superhuman characters, and yet letting us relate to them. It is also a well rounded tale, leaving matters open but answering all the important questions.

The only nitpick, almost unimportant but more noticeable due to the excellent writing are the names. The naming convention seems random, with no concern to their origin or meaning. That annoys me excessively.

The worldbuilding is im...more
Ok if you like weird fiction in the vein of sword and sorcery and epic fiction this is the book for you. Tim Akers world mixes a setting the reminds me of the noir world of the movie Dark City and the action of the videogame God of War. Eva Forge the viewpoint character is the last paladin of the dead betrayed god of war and often she has quite a chip on her shoulder. Tim has her changing the actions of her gods glorious past reminding me of epic poems like the illiad and at the same time refer...more
More like 3.5 stars. This started out awesome, got less awesome and then went back to awesome. I really liked the magic and the setup of the world. The plot was pretty thick but not incomprehensible. Really the biggest problem I had was with the characters. None of them really stuck out. The main character was an aggressive, short-tempered warrior but she never really grew on me.

I also thought that the 1st person POV was wrong for this type of story. I usually expect more introspection from a 1...more
I almost gave this book 3 stars instead of 4, but honestly there's something sort of pure and powerful about the story despite the simplicity and occasional awkwardness of the writing. I had to give it more.

It's a full-bore hard-boiled action story set against a backdrop of a world where men became gods and gods were betrayed by their own blood, with steampunk and divine swordplay clashing violently, the story of a dead god's last champion as she struggles to save the remnants of the brotherhood...more
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Tim Akers was born in deeply rural North Carolina, the only son of a theologian. He moved to Chicago for college, where he lives with his wife of thirteen years and their German shepherd. He splits his time between databases and fountain pens.
- PyrSF
More about Tim Akers...
Heart of Veridon (The Burn Cycle, #1) Dead of Veridon (The Burn Cycle #2) Postmodern Magick (Unknown Armies) Dark Kingdom of Jade Adventures (Wraith - the Oblivion) Memories of Copper and Blood

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