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The Gods of Men

(The Gods of Men #1)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  1,034 ratings  ·  187 reviews
Top 10 Finalist in Mark Lawrence's SPFBO 2018

Sable hated the gods. She hated what men did in their name.

Magic is forbidden throughout the Five Provinces; those born with it are hunted and killed. Sable doesn’t know her music holds power over souls—not until, at age nine, she plays her flute before the desert court and accidentally stops her baby sister’s heart, killing h
Kindle Edition, 452 pages
Published June 26th 2018
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Barbara Hi! Good question. No, there’s no explicit sexual content. There ARE a couple of compromising situations and some adult themes.
Barbara I wrote GODS as a complete story. Not all threads are tied, however, since it’s the first in the series, but the story also stands on its own. Hope th…moreI wrote GODS as a complete story. Not all threads are tied, however, since it’s the first in the series, but the story also stands on its own. Hope this helps!(less)

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Review copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review

I’ve been having the most awful reading streak in my favorite genre—adult fantasy—this month, The Gods of Men is a new adult fantasy that might have just saved me from an encroaching fantasy slump.

Thank you, Barbara Kloss, for offering your book to me. If you’ve been following my reading progress for this month of May, you’ll probably notice that I’ve been having one of the worst reading months of my life; only one book I finishe
Nov 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
All it takes is one song to change Sable’s life… and end her younger sister’s. Hiding in the Wilds, surviving on her healing skills, and causing far too much trouble for someone apparently trying to live quietly, Sable feels the burden of her guilt and the loss of her sister every day. Yet even that precarious life is under threat: she’s being hunted. Her old name and hidden magic is no longer the secret it once was. And there’s more than one enemy coming to claim her. Fighting for her life is g ...more
Jan 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: spfbo-2018
* I read this as it's a finalist for #SPFBO 2018 and I am a judge *

This book was one I hoped would be good judging from the attention paid to the cover, the premise which sounded exactly like my kind of read, and the blog that nominated it who I frequently agree with. All of those factors led me to having high hopes for this story, and thankfully I wasn't disappointed in the slightest, in fact I really enjoyed this and I definitely want to read what happens next!

This is a story of two main char
Mark Lawrence
I haven't read this book yet but it came 2nd of 300 entries to the 4th annual Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off competition, so the chances are that it is pretty good!

Check out this year's finalists so far:
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I’m a SPFBO addict. I promised myself to read more traditionally published books this year, but I didn’t keep this promise. I find too much fun navigating through unknown spaces of the indie scene.
Here’s another worthy pick.

Sable’s music holds power over souls. It can enchant, but also kill. Because of a tragic accident, Sable flees her KIngdom into the frigid land of exiles and thieves, known as The Wilds. She lives in hiding, burdened by guilt, and survives as a healer. 

Soon, she finds herse
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
I might be biased...
Oct 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spfbo4
Full review is here on my blog!~

Wow, this book, for starters! I finished up one book and decided that I had a little time left on my lunch break to start this one next and before I knew it I was like 35% into it and it was time to go home. So… I mean thanks for that, but also wooooow keeping my interest so hard has been difficult of late, so bravo to Gods of Men. I slammed this thing in a day and a half.

This is the story of Sable, who is a healer in the brutal snowy Wilds where thieves and other
Dec 14, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An excellent 4 star read, a new classic of a 1st book in a hopefully great series to come. Highly recommended to all fantasy fans.

Can see why it scored high in SOFBO 2018.
Jan 11, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Read and judged as part of SPFBO 4, review originally posted at Thoughts Stained With Ink:

Holy goodness me, fam.

You ever read a book that’s so good, you struggle how to properly find words to write the review, because you’re just in love with the story so much and want more books to appear in the story instead and read those, rather than writing said review?

That’s exactly how I’m feeling with Barbara Kloss’s The Gods of Men.

To illustrate, let me direct qu
David Zampa
Feb 03, 2019 rated it really liked it
I like it. It's a good, enjoyable fantasy tale, and the author is clearly talented. It's not perfect. There are numerous little gaffes and typos which I found to be forgivable, but also very avoidable, with the right editor. It's traditional fantasy with a dark side, really strong prose, excellent, creative world building, and likable characters. I enjoyed that the female MC, Sable, was clever. That sounds horrible to say, but female characters I read are often either trying too hard to be cleve ...more
kartik narayanan
Apr 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
The Gods of Men is an excellent fantasy read. To be honest, I never really expected this book to be so much fun (it did have Young Adult as a genre).

The story is pretty straightforward - princess exiled for magic, old threats coming back, yada yada yada (hence the reference to tropes). But then Barbara Kloss's writing and pacing elevate it beyond the average fantasy fare. This book managed to keep my attention on it throughout since there is something or the other happening all the time. The ma
Apr 09, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tightly written and solidly entertaining

My final SPFBO book, and it ended on a high note. I'm ready for the sequel! Full review to come.
Feb 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: spfbo4, owned-read
In my experience the best books are the ones that draw the reader into the story. While there, the reader gets to know the characters intimately and begins to fall in love with some, despise others, and find reflections of themselves scattered throughout. All the things the characters say and do make sense to the reader, and they help to complement the plot as it takes the reader along a path that leads to a (hopefully) satisfying conclusion. And then, the best books send a little something with ...more
Danielle (Life of a Literary Nerd)
"There are always two sides, Sable," the Wolf said slowly."Don't dismiss mine simply because it complicated yours."
This was a good, quick fantasy read. Nothing too complicated and really easy to jump into. I liked the different types of magic showcased, and necromancy is always a plus, but it was a little hard for me to grasp the worldbuiling in the beginning. I could understand all the pieces individually, but it was kinda hard for me to see how everything related together. This boo
Raven_Blake (dreamy addictions)
Actual Rating: 4.5 Stars!
Same Review Also Posted On My Blog:Dreamy Addictions

Okay, why aren't people raving about this book? It was f**king good. I mean, really really good. I never read anything by Barbara Kloss so I don't know what to expect from this book, but damn it totally blew my mind away. I absolutely devoured it. It was an amazing read and I didn't know it was actually a YA novel because this book has the mature vibe that you usually find in adult high fantasy books. I loved every asp
Dec 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: wheelathon-iii
Read this review and more at Book Geeks Uncompromised!

Another world where magic is seen as evil is a world we don’t want to live in. But when you get a well-written plot and characters like you do here, I think we can make an exception.

100 years ago, some magic users known as Liage from the nation of Sol Vallerren attacked, making an attempt to take over the other kingdoms and nearly destroyed the world in the process. Sol Vallerrens and their leader Azir, being the only people able to use magic
Para (wanderer)
Nov 27, 2018 rated it did not like it
DNF 30%.

I picked up this book on sale after it got declared as a SPFBO finalist. Since the reviews were stellar and the concept "magic is forbidden but the MC is a mage" seemed good I was pretty sure I'll like it.

Ultimately, I couldn't get past the fact that one of the characters is one of the main supporters of genocide of a whole race of people, killing or dragging them off to be interrogated - men, women, children, everyone. The Sol Velorians, or Scabs as they're called, are commonly enslaved
Oct 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Early on, it’s apparent that this is not Kloss’s first rodeo. The story is fast paced, cleanly written, and introduces the world to us only as it becomes relevant to the plot and characters.

And that world is a dark one.

The Five Provinces have forbidden magic use, with gifted people being hunted down and killed. Rather than simply providing a bleak setting for the story to unfold in, this becomes one of the central conflicts.

Jeric—the second son of a king and known as the Wolf for his ruthless ab
The Nerd Book Review
Alright. I’m gonna start this review off by saying that the book is very well written and has an entertaining storyline. It starts incredibly fast and I loved the first 20% or so. The first 2 chapters are as good of a start as any book I’ve read in a long time. I also hope that the author will do an interview with me. I’m hoping to get all 10 SPFBO finalists on the podcast with me this year.
The reason I didn’t love the book had to do with 2 things. 1 was that I just didn’t like one of the MC’s.
T.O. Munro
Jun 08, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book was one of the finalists in the Self-Publishing Fantasy Blog Off #4 and I read and reviewed it for the Fantasy Hive as one of the participating Blogs.

This review was first published on their website on 9th May 2019

At the 8% mark of The Gods of Men, I made a note on my kindle: “a bit of a slow start, might yet boik.” I’m not sure what my past-self meant by boik – some combination of my kindle’s atrocious predictive text algorithm and tired late night fingers conspiring in a twitch of co
Jun 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
WOW! Okay, I'm speechless. 😱 This book is for sure my favorite book of the year.. This book deserves hype. This book deserves to be talked about all over booktube.. this book BLEW MY MIND!! I want the next book in my hands already.
Lets see if I can articulate my many thoughts into a review.

The writing is absolutely GORGEOUS. The descriptions are lyrical and jawdropping. The characters dont just talk; their words fall out of lips in whispers, sorrow spills out, they are barbed and like weeds that
Hana (linh_hermione)
23/09/2020: 4.5 stars. My full, updated review can be found here!

TW: racism; slavery; references to sexual assualt


Barbara Kloss is honestly one of the most underrated authors I've ever read; this book was everything an epic fantasy should be and deserves to be so much more mainstream! I was hooked from start to finish; I devoured all 452 pages in under 24 hours, and now I'm waiting on tenterhooks for the sequel...

This book follows the POVs of two characters: Sable - a nineteen-year-old healer
Angela Boord
Mar 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, indie
An absorbing read that moves at a breakneck pace, with an enjoyable mix of originality and well-loved tropes (well, they put a smile on my face anyway). The mix of fantasy, romance, and action kept me reading and made it hard to put the book down.

It’s a hopeful book, but it’s also dark and unsettling in places. There are some big issues here dealing with prejudice, hate, and evil, mostly surrounding the Sol Velorians, and some of these issues are definitely not neatly packaged.

A read well wort
Janelle Garrett
Apr 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing

This was (almost) everything I wanted it to be. A solid, rip-roaring epic fantasy, with all the beloved elements of the genre. Usually when I pick up such a story, I rate it on four (albeit completely arbitrary and unique to myself) elements: magic, monsters, (wo)+men, and mayhem. All four of these things were *very* nearly there, and made my fantasy-loving heart oh so happy.

First, magic (and the only category with a docked half-point). The magic system was solid, but didn't completely do
Red Beards Book Reviews
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
*** This is's SPFBO review ***

"There are always two sides, Sable". The wolf said lowly. "Don't dismiss mine because it complicates yours."

The Gods of Men is the first instalment in an exciting new series by Barbara Kloss. In this book we're treated to some fantastic world building, exciting characters and plot twists that leave you gob-smacked! I must admit, after reading other reviews, I had pretty high expectations going into this book and I wasn't disappointed. So here's my though
Jun 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I’m not sure where to start with this book, I mean music is magic, necromancers, wraith like creatures, not things you’d find in every fantasy book.

The writing was so amazing, the descriptions of everything was easy to picutre in my mind, the images Sable saw when she played her flute was stunning, I wish I could have been there with Sable as her mind flew over the desert.

The characters aren’t perfect, they all have flaws and I think makes them more real, more relateable, more likeable, more des
Aug 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
I loved this book. The book starts off really well with an introduction to the people and mysteries. Then we meet Sable who is living in a wild area where people are mostly hiding. Sable is a very interesting character who develops a lot as the story progresses. I liked that she learned a lot about herself and her own strength through the course of the book.

The world is fairly detailed and we see parts of the different kingdoms during the story. My favorite part of this book is that the two main
LJ Waguespack
Sep 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this book, Barbara Kloss does an amazing job, in writing with passion, emotion, and conviction. She writes a strong opening book, while skillfully weaving a future storyline of infinite possibilities. She manages to capture and fuel my imagination, while doing it strictly relying upon subtlety, a shrewd wordsmith, I am a fan! She carefully creates a magic system that is not filled with immense destructive powers, yet, I can only hope. While simultaneously, Barbara Kloss writes with an ...more
Brian Mercer
Dec 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
So good. Kloss writes complex stories but they read so effortlessly. With this first book she has set the table for a big world full of possibilities and i'm anxiously waiting for the next book! ...more
InD'tale Magazine

“The Gods of Men” becomes entrancing as one approaches the second half of the book where the real action occurs.

Read full review in the 2018 Oct issue of InD'tale Magazine.

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Barbara Kloss loves adventures, and finds them through reading, writing, trekking through the wilderness, and gaming—though she doesn't consider herself a gamer. She just happens to like video games. RPGs, specifically. She’s also a bit of a fitness enthusiast, a classically-trained pianist, and she believes that maintaining balance in life is a good thing (coffee excluded).

Barbara studied bioche

Other books in the series

The Gods of Men (3 books)
  • Temple of Sand (The Gods of Men, #2)
  • A Symphony of Stars (The Gods of Men, #3)

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