Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Leopard (Marakand, #1)” as Want to Read:
The Leopard (Marakand, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Leopard

(Gods of the Caravan Road #2)

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  235 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Part one of a two-book epic fantasy, set in a world as richly drawn as J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle Earth, but with Mideastern and Eastern flavors

In the days of the first kings in the North, there were seven devils…

Ahjvar, the assassin known as the Leopard, wants only to die, to end the curse that binds him to a life of horror. Although he has no reason to trust the goddess Cat
Paperback, 432 pages
Published June 10th 2014 by Pyr (first published January 1st 2014)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Leopard, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Leopard

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.50  · 
Rating details
 ·  235 ratings  ·  46 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Leopard (Marakand, #1)
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum

The Leopard was a really tough book to rate and as I sit down to write this review, I find myself waffling back and forth on my thoughts. For one thing, I did not expect the unconventional structure, effectively dividing the novel into two separate parts. Because The Leopard is also the first installment of a duology, with the bulk of the story still left untold in book two, it’s also hard to decide how I really feel based
Blodeuedd Finland
Jun 13, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
It started off nicely. A woman is searching for an assassin because her goddess told her to. And I will start with that. I liked this world, there are Gods and Goddesses everywhere, every spring, lake and river. A very old sort of religion. There are also wizards in this worlds, and a few devils that has come into the world. Nasty beings. There is also talk of demons as we meet a half demon.A lot to work with. A world of clans, fights and citystates

Ok so that is the world so far. Deyandara is th
Tom Lloyd
Mar 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
The quote on the front suggested that this would be good for readers of Robert Jordan, which I can see might be correct in terms of there being such sheer numbers of Jordan fans some might like this too, but tells you nothing of use about the book really.

Given this is more of a silk road fantasy, heavy on the sense of age, dust, intensity, gods and demons, it's got a lot more in common with Steven Erikson. It's a slower story though and lacking the enormous scale of Erikson.

Despite being the f
originally posted at:

When Pyr showed their spring-summer titles of 2014, one book leapt out of the catalog, The Leopard. What I always say when I get a Pyr book is: look at that amazing cover. They really have some of artistic covers, though they always say, don't judge a book by it's cover, I would have bought this solely to showcase the front! The Leopard is the first book in a duology termed Marakand with The Lady out this fall, The Leopard isn't the f
Jun 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Finally putting up a review of this (way late, unfortunately).

Before getting into this book, not only would I recommend reading Johansen's other novel "Blackdog", but I'd also tell you to consider that this is pretty much part one of a two part continuous narrative. ("The Leopard is the "Dust of Dreams" to "The Lady"'s "The Crippled God" if you can get that Erikson reference.) The end kind of jolts, but if I know what the author has in store for me, I won't dock a great book for it.

"The Leopard
Elspeth Cooper
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I adore this world. I adore KV Johansen's evocative prose, her rich characterisation; this story rewards the reader who is patient and mindful of its nuances, and rewards them in spades. But if you come into it expecting breakneck pace and gobs of action or the kind of cinematic set-piece battles so often associated with epic fantasy, it will frustrate you to no end. It's simply not that kind of book.

Although this is the first volume of a duology within a larger series, The Leopard feels very mu
Justin Greer
May 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is one of the finest works of fantasy I’ve read. I was absolutely entranced by the use of language and poetry and metaphor in the narrative. The book evoked a wide range of emotions in me, inspired me, and completely transported me to a different world—one stark and plagued with demons and bound gods and troubled by usurper-devils. I really can’t praise this book enough. Fantastic novel.
Alice @gothambatsandbooks
DNF'd at 37%

Received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

Unfortunately, I just couldn't get into the story after 163 pages. The premise sounded interesting but its filled with info-dumps which impacted the flow of the story. I just wasn't interested in the world or the plot and won't be reading the rest of the series. If I had continued reading I think I would've rated this 2 stars.
Jan 04, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I ended up not caring about the characters by the end of the book. I won't be reading the rest of the series.
Jun 27, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First things first, I got this book from the publisher, so thank you Pyr for this opportunity.
Well, you have to merit innovative and imaginative world-building, of which this book has plenty. The richly imagined world was very fun to explore and the author can also write good characters. I quickly found myself fascinated by some of the characters and despite having not much action, found myself thoroughly devouring the pages; and then came the second part. As a two part book, the second part som
May 29, 2015 marked it as to-read
The other readers have written that you have to read another book to understand the second half of this one. But luckly I won`t have to go there.

And indeed this one looks like an extremely slow-paced book. Usually I`m a fast reader and I had real difficulties to watch the story and understand the things in it.

I said stop after fifty pages.

Dec 26, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A word of warning to anyone deciding whether to read this: the synopsis is misleading, but it's still a good read.

Ahjvar and Ghu are touted as the main characters, and it starts off following them, but focus quickly shifts to other characters, and they move to the background. I originally picked up this book because I wanted to read more about Ahjvar and Ghu, so this was a bit of a let down.

Even so, this book had me captivated from beginning to end, even through some rocky patches. I gave it a
Sep 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Review for both 'The Leopard' and 'The Lady'.

‘The Leopard’ and ‘The Lady’ are a two-book fantasy series set in the same world as ‚Blackdog’. The two books can be read without having read ‚Blackdog’, but I’d recommend reading that book first. I hadn’t read it when I started The Leopard and though it is a whole different story set in the same world, there are characters and reference to the story in ‚Blackdog’ that will be lost on anyone who hasn’t read that
Jan 02, 2019 rated it liked it
Deyandara travels far from her homeland in search of the assassin called the Leopard. She shares her visions with him and a way to lift the curse placed upon him. Death for a final death. The Leopard is the first book in the Marakand duology set in the God of the Caravan Road series.

I loved the cover artwork and was intrigued after reading the summary. I was a little put off when I realized this wasn't the first book in the series despite it's labeling.

I enjoyed the first half of the book a lot.
DNF @56 pages in (You know it's not working when you're not further along after almost two weeks), but I plan to continue of one day when I'm in the mood. I really like the premise, but just really couldn't get into the writing style right at the moment.
Maybe it's just me, but pro-tip: If you want people to pay attention to your story, maybe don't bog it down with an info dump full of names, titles, cities and countries every few sentences. The 8 (!!!) pages of Dramatis Personae should have rea
May 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Entrancing! Despite it being a long while since I read Blackdog, I still remembered enough to pick up on all of the references scattered in this book. This world has such a great interrelationship between humans, their gods, and the devils that roam the earth - but this book would feel more jarring if you didn't know that this is in essence part 1 of a 2-part series.

The characters are all great, and the return of Holla-Sayan! I absolutely need to see where this story ends up.
Rhiannon Graye
Oct 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
This was a lucky, used-bookstore find, and I'm very glad I purchased it. It is a very rich, complex story, filled with gods, goddesses, demons, and humans somewhere in between. Yes, there is some confusion about everything going on in the beginning, but that is par for the course, and in my opinion, better than knowing exactly what's going to happen from beginning to end. This was a delightful and refreshing read. I purchased the three related books in anticipation of wanting to read them all!
Tristen Kozinski
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A little confusing at times with the prose due to the author's style, but that style also leads to some beautiful, lyrical paragraphs of magic, demons and gods born of earth, water, ice and ash and other visceral, elemental forces. I disliked some of the plot choices, which resulted in some archs manifesting too swiftly, but loved the book as a whole for the author's refreshingly distinct voice (which encompasses the entirety of the book instead of just choice elements.)
Tomas M
Jul 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Well written, compelling characters with an interesting world. Really enjoyed this book, and did not read [Blackdog], which is somewhat of a prequel? (Maybe like The Hobbit is a prequel for LOTR) Even so, the main character's ideas and situation was well explained through events, instead of the author directly telling, which I enjoy.
Mari Skyrin-Sarker
Dec 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
The story started off interesting, and then when it veered away from Ahjvar and Ghu, I found myself not caring about the story and only reading just to get another glimpse of those two characters.
Dec 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very rich and detailed world. Somewhat confusing, but due to the quality of the story and the writing, I am giving 4 stars, assuming that other books in the series will clear things up for me.
Feb 15, 2020 rated it liked it
didn't realize i read the second book before the first dfujkflbglfk
THE LEOPARD left me conflicted. I tell my fellow NaNoWriMo writers to "start in the middle," because it throws the reader into the plot, theoretically in an interesting place. This book certainly did that, though the caveat to the aforementioned writing advice is that you have to inform your readers later in the book so they know what was going on beforehand. I don't feel like THE LEOPARD ever really explained very much, which affected my enjoyment of the book. It seemed like it could be part of ...more
Leigh Anne
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
As flies to wanton boys are we to the gods.

There's a long dramatis personae at the beginning of this novel, and if you want to understand what's going on, you'd better read it over a few times, because it's complicated. At the macro-level, there are seven devils causing all kinds of trouble for gods and humans. Seeking power, they found seven wizards goofy enough to enter into a pact with them. The wizards get stronger, the devils get a body. Three guesses how those deals turn out, and the first
Jul 07, 2014 rated it it was ok
I usually don't write too many reviews but I felt the need on this one. I really wanted to like this book; I wish I could give different ratings for different aspects. The world building in The Leopard was vast and I got the sense that the world and cultures were diverse, unique and developed. However, that wasn't conveyed very well at all to me, the reader. It jumped from place to place, never really explaining, only skimming. Or the author threw words, characters, places, times, events at me a ...more
Jan 28, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: series, favorites
I have to say, from reading some reviews about the book when I was first checking it out, I really expected something so much worse than what I finally found when I started reading.

I mean, I suppose in a way, it is fair to say that the story the book starts with is not quite the same it ends with. Ahjvar stops being a point of view character at about the half mark of the story, and then Ghu disappears some time after, and I can see how that would annoy some people. I can see how, in a sense, cal
May 28, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Review written for and published by Portland Book Review on September 5th:

The assassin Ahjvar, also known as the Leopard, has been cursed with an inability to die. Cranky and hiding out in a remote costal village with the enigmatic runaway slave Ghu, Ahjvar is called into the service of Catairanach, the very god that cursed him so long ago. The Lady of Marakand, a bustling trade city to the south, has launched a war for unknown reasons resulting in the slaughter of Catairanach’s people. With the
Timot Marks
Jun 14, 2014 rated it liked it
tl;dr Read Blackdog first. A good novel but too many PoVs towards the end.

For anybody looking to read this book; get Blackdog first.
I didn't and it left a mark on my reading experience.

I have mixed feelings about this book. The eastern setting is wonderful, I liked it's "god in every stone" kind of religion.
Just when I got to like the characters of Ahjvar and Ghu the storyline shifts and we get to watch several random people getting through the events unfolding and since they just showed up I co
The book starts off running, with cultures and concepts coming at a fast pace. There are 3 PoVs, all enjoyable. I especially enjoyed the dynamics between Ahjvar and Ghu, with their implied history and enticingly ambiguous relationship.

But toward the end of the book it switches gears to introduce many new characters and goes away from the previous 3 PoVs. While the new characters were all intriguing there were so many so fast it made everything hard to follow. There were a lot of concepts that I
Jul 11, 2014 rated it it was amazing
The best successor to Glen Cook's "Black Company" novels that I've come across. Johansen's world is similarly bleak and darkly mythical, dominated (at least in the city of Marakand) by a fearsome Lady and her army of nigh-invincible magic soldiers. Scenes involving magic are enthrallingly metaphysical. The world has rich history and culture, which is gradually revealed to us in snippets.

One complaint - though this is "Marakand - Volume 1", which may suggest it's book one of a series, "The Leopa
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Waters of Eternity (The Chronicles of Sword and Sand, #1.5)
  • The Bones of the Old Ones (The Chronicles of Sword and Sand #2)
  • Rule of Law, Misrule of Men
  • The Desert of Souls (The Chronicles of Sword and Sand #1)
  • The Bitter Twins (The Winnowing Flame Trilogy #2)
  • Ehrengard
  • Natural Causes (Inspector McLean, #1)
  • The Black Song (Raven's Blade, #2)
  • The Marrow Thieves
  • Blood of Tyrants (Temeraire, #8)
  • Revenant Gun (The Machineries of Empire, #3)
  • Bleach, Volume 02
  • Bleach, Volume 04
  • Bleach, Volume 03
  • The Book of Souls (Inspector McLean, #2)
  • Dead Men's Bones (Inspector McLean, #4)
  • Tracing the Shadow (Alchymist's Legacy, #1)
  • Silver Flame
See similar books…
Mostly, I write fantasy (epic fantasy ... character-driven epic fantasy ... with shapeshifters, demons, gods, and ... Moth, around whom even the gods get a bit nervous). These days, I largely write for adults, though I've written many children's and YA fantasy novels and some children's science fiction, as well as picture books, plus I've been known to perpetrate literary criticism.

Gods of the Na

Other books in the series

Gods of the Caravan Road (5 books)
  • Blackdog
  • The Lady (Marakand, #2)
  • Gods of Nabban (Marakand #3)
  • The Last Road

News & Interviews

Need another excuse to treat yourself to a new book this week? We’ve got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our...
1 likes · 0 comments