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A Painted Goddess

(A Fire Beneath the Skin #3)

4.09  ·  Rating details ·  2,296 ratings  ·  151 reviews

When the gods go to war, who will stand against their divine fury?

In the thrilling conclusion to the A Fire Beneath the Skin trilogy, the enchanted kingdom of Helva faces a nightmarish future of endless bloodshed, and Rina Veraiin—a young warrior-duchess armed with mysterious, magical tattoos—must use her fantastic powers to save her home from eternal war.

As her far-flun

Kindle Edition, 400 pages
Published January 19th 2016 by 47North
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4.09  · 
Rating details
 ·  2,296 ratings  ·  151 reviews

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Jan 14, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Rina Veraiin's friends are scattered searching for more ink magic tattoos to protect Helva. The threats Helva is facing are more dire than initially believed and ink magic may be Helva's only chance at survival.

A Painted Goddess was a strong story. The entire A Fire Beneath the Skin trilogy caught me by surprise. The story picks up directly after the cliffhangers in The Tattooed Duchess. The author Victor Gischler spent a lot of time setting the enormity of the events the protagonists faced. I h
Jan 18, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really am not sure what to say about this one. I'm still reeling from the ending, which was not at all as I expected. The ending was...too clean? It was sudden, for sure. I'm going to have to come back to this later, perhaps when my head is no longer buzzing....

Update 1/23/17: After letting this sit with me for about a week, I feel only slightly more confident about what I could possibly say about it. This one was a bit more fast paced in places, and a little sluggish in others, but overall th
I received an advance e-book copy from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Painted Goddess is the final book in the trilogy.

I preferred this book compared to all the others. There was a lot happening, with the various characters in different places for various reasons, but most of all, to help Rina and save everyone. I actually hated Maurizan since book 1 and really couldn't stand her. Also, the ending was okay but I think it is possible for there to be a fourth book.
Apr 21, 2016 rated it did not like it
Spoiler free, I just want to say that I totally devoured this series, loved every second of it... until this book. I hated this book. It was so hard to read. I know every reader has their own path planned for the characters, things they hope will and will not happen, and I must say, Mr. Gischler managed to pinpoint nearly every single one of my hopes and do the EXACT OPPOSITE. Honestly, the only ending I enjoyed was Brasley's.

I try to keep my personal hopes for the characters and conclusions ou
Disappointing final entry in the "A Fire Beneath the Skin" trilogy. I'm a big fan of Gischler and this seemed like a very slap-dash novel intended to wrap up the story. The ending was flat and lifeless and the final treatment of Rina was cliched and abrupt.
Benjamin Ireland
Mar 18, 2016 rated it did not like it
Really bad ending to the series, so much was left hanging and serious characters were just sort of left by the wayside
Jason M Waltz
Apr 16, 2016 rated it it was ok
well. some very exciting action in several areas, great battles, great magics, even at times, in doses, great characters. very abrupt ending that fell far too neatly into place in far too short a span with some dubious transitions and character actions and then simply ending with a huge event that was long heralded but with little fanfare and really quite ugly in delivery. as if Gischler suddenly grew bored, realized he had no more ideas and the trilogy was already long enough, and simply decide ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing

Excellent series. Excellent finale. Loved and hated the ending. I should have seen it coming, but I didn't, not until it was happening. I hated seeing it come to an end. I'd become totally invested. Upon reflection, it's apparent how everything fits at the end. Everything. Superbly done.
Jan 25, 2016 rated it really liked it

Publisher: Amazon/47 North

Publishing Date: January 2016

ISBN: 9781503954762

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: 3.6/5

Publishers Description: When the gods go to war, who will stand against their divine fury? In the thrilling conclusion to the A Fire Beneath the Skin trilogy, the enchanted kingdom of Helva faces a nightmarish future of endless bloodshed, and Rina Veraiin—a young warrior-duchess armed with mysterious, magical tattoos—must use her fantastic powers to save he
Montzalee Wittmann
Feb 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
A Painted Goddess by Victor Gischler is the third book in the Fire Beneath the Skin series but it can be read without reading the others first -but you will want to! Rina and her friends are now clashing with more than magic, gods are now in the game. Rina has more magic tattoos. There are more surprises, fights, action, excitement, twists, turns, and magic then ever, this book is fast paced and never boring! This is a wonderful series! It has wonderful characters that have stayed true throughou ...more
Ryan Wilson
Lackluster. That's how I saw this conclusion.

Many of the conclusions to character arcs were intensely disappointing and a few were baffling.

Maurizan is an infuriating character, Alem like the lead in a harem anime and just as seemingly unremarkable.

Some of the set piece action sequences were utterly lacking. Two characters have an entire veranda of abilities supposedly at their fingertips and we see scant few of them over the entire series. I am unimpressed by how little of Encar's repertoire is
May 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
It took me almost a year to finish this book I would listen to it and would not be able to continue it at times. My need to finish books I start whether I like them or not won out and I finally finished it. The ending was disappointing and quick.... overall I’m bummed about this series I really wanted to like it as I liked how it started out. I have absolutely no idea why Rina and Maurizan want Alem so much as he is not a strong character at all. Maurizan I didn’t care for at all through the boo ...more
Apr 27, 2018 rated it liked it
It was good. I go into more detail in my reviews of the other two books. But the ending of this one was incredibly dissatisfying. (if that's even a word)... It felt as if the author had to suddenly wrap it up. There was no sense of completion, and we only find out what happened to three of the side characters. Their relationship also confused me. As far as I'd known, Bradley and Maurizio barely knew each ithet, and I don't think they even spoke to each other in the last two books. Yet they acted ...more
A fitting conclusion, however I can't help but feel disappointed in it too, tbh I feel a little broken. Again the book went in numerous directions leading up to the big showdown. Thankfully the epilogue cleared up a few things and left an opening for book 4. All in all it was an action packed trilogy where the reader gets a chance to be part of the story (if their imagination allows it).

I was given the book by Netgalley in return for an honest review.
Feb 27, 2019 rated it really liked it
When I picked up book 1 of this series, I was looking for a quick, mindless read to pass the time on my commute. I very soon realized there was much more depth to this series than I had previously thought, and I was hooked pretty quickly. It was clever and creative and I found myself caring about who I was reading about, and I especially loved the idea of the ink magic via tattoo system. By book 3, which I started reading as if it was the next chapter in b
Darren Hagan
Jul 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
**3.5 stars**

I'm gonna actually write a little review for a change, but it's gonna be a review for the series as a whole :)

Very brief synopsis: when her hometown of Klaar is attacked by invading Perranese forces and her parents (the duke and duchess of Klaar) are killed, Rina escapes and is taken to a wizard and given tattoos that give her different kinds of powers. With these new powers, she vows to take back her town of Klaar from the invaders.

That's just a summary of the first book in the tri
Jul 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-as-ebook
At first I didn’t really want to read the last part of this trilogy… I did not like the ending of the second part or where the story might develop to. So I waited.. And waited and finally startet reading it.
Duchess Rina is more or less imprisoned with evil ink mages.
Talbun and Brasley are on a library hunt, where another evil ink mage Ankar (the one who already tried to kill Rina ) searches for answers.
Tosh and some of the former whores went to another land for… I don’t remember why.
Alem and
Sarah Kenchington
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book was very fast paced, and I absolutely flew through it. I loved how much Brasley changed throughout this novel; I always loved his character, but it was so refreshing to see a male character redeemed through a female (Fregga) as opposed to the other way round.
The fast pace did leave me confused over what was going on at times (Ankar's 180 at the beginning I am STILL confused about), and the ending had me utterly gobsmacked. Was Rina alive?! Was that HER?!
My biggest complaint about this
Mar 21, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: red-ash
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Oct 02, 2017 rated it liked it
This was a pretty entertaining series. I enjoyed the plot, but I thought there could have been a bit more development in some areas. I would have liked to know more about the Gods and what was going on with them. I feel it was a bit of a cop-out to just say "we can't understand" but then a bunch of stuff happened that didn't have much back story or development. I was also a bit bothered by the liberal use of the F word. I'm not against profanity, it's more that it kind of jarred me out of the mo ...more
May 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Gischler is a talented writer with a vivid imagination. I liked how he interweaves the different characters into the story so the reader could see how their motivations fueled their choices. Also, the book was funny. The wit and sarcasm was dead on. I both read and listened to all three books and the narration was superb. Fiona Hardingham has an envious voice. I could command men to give me the world with a voice like that! I loved her accents for the characters and each one was distinct and ful ...more
n p dobson
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
With out A Doubt

Where should I start, well what a Fantastic trilogy this has been books one and two was the appetizer for the last in the trilogy which I think is by far the best you had four story lines running at the same time and not wanting to leave any of them which was s!lightly frustrating but gripping and the end of the book I think and hope might give the chance of another trilogy to come from it. I would recommend this trilogy to anyone as its an easy read with a gripping story line
Patty Hartel
Mar 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I absolutely loved this series! I have no idea when the last time was I enjoyed any book so much. The story line was complex with so many different avenues, yet easy to follow without the outcome being glaringly obvious. All of the little pieces of the story came together in the end while still having some mystery. Each character was relatable and almost all were incredibly likeable in their own way. I look forward to discovering more gems like this and hope the author is willing to supply them! ...more
Sep 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it really liked it
Fantastic Story, Dissatisfying Ending

I randomly found this trilogy via related books on Amazon, and figured I'd give it a try. All in all, I loved the story. It was really well written, and the dialog all felt very natural. With all that considered, I give it 4 stars out of 5 because the ending just felt like a cop out. It had the potential to be so much better than it actually is. Despite that, I'd still recommend this book to any fantasy fan.
Éric Kasprak
Oct 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was a very strong series. The writing is clean and almost kinetic, the story is interesting and easy-to-follow. I read the first two books a long time ago and returning to the final book was surprisingly easy, but still a little bit confusing because the author does not recap the story at all, he just keeps moving the story along. I was still able to get into the final quite easily which only serve to reflect just how strong the characters created by the author are and how well the story is ...more
Tony Dawn
Jun 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Too short!

This series grew on me untill I read this last book in one sitting. The sort of deep trance reading that only let's you go when you finish the last page and realise you are starving and in need of a pee and really really really uncomfortable. My only wish would have been a happier ending for the two girls. Such is life. I would recommend to all lovers of fantasy in need of a good read. Another free kindle gem.
Antuan Vance
Dec 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing

So much happened. After falling in love with all the characters, it's hard to see the story end, but what a journey!

Rina's come so far from being a scared girl running for her life to an ink mage warrior to a duchess, and finally, a nearly unmatched force. I love her growth and struggle, as well as that of all the other characters.

Excellent read!
Jul 13, 2018 rated it liked it

Not really a happy ending type of novel. What really stuck onto my mind was how unloyal Alem was to Rina. Yes he has insecurities about being a stable boy, but there really wasn’t enough trust or honor. Glad I read this series, the world building was done greatly. But I won’t be rereading or buying this series. Just wasn’t really my cup of tea.
Hans-Peter Drexel
Jan 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A fire beneath the skin

This three book series is an incredible journey that will make you want to be there.Absolutely perfect description of characters, emotions and actions are flowing through the great story which is mesmerising. It is a wonderful work of author Victor Gischler and I can recommend this series to anyone who loves adventure, action and immersive storylines.

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Victor Gischler is an American author of humorous crime fiction.
Gischler's debut novel Gun Monkeys was nominated for the Edgar Award, and his novel Shotgun Opera was an Anthony Award finalist. His work has been translated into Italian, French, Spanish and Japanese. He earned a Ph.D. in English at the University of Southern Mississippi. His fifth novel Go-Go Girls of the Apocalypse was published in

Other books in the series

A Fire Beneath the Skin (3 books)
  • Ink Mage (A Fire Beneath the Skin, #1)
  • The Tattooed Duchess (A Fire Beneath the Skin, #2)
“between the ink mage and the wizard, his mouth falling open at the sight. The hulk had nearly let her go after Talbun’s shock attack, but he recovered quickly and took her head in his meaty hands. Don’t. With appalling ease, the ink mage twisted. The snap was so loud, it made Brasley flinch even from across the chamber. His mouth fell open to scream. “No!” The brute’s mouth twisted into a contemptuous grin as he let the limp body fall from his hands. Brasley watched it happen in slow motion, almost like she was floating, eyes closed, face peaceful, hair floating up around her. It was as if life had been some tremendous weight, and now that it was gone, her shell drifted down to the floor like a dry leaf. Talbun’s body hit with a dull thud that brought Brasley back to reality.” 0 likes
“A shiver ran through him. “That actually might have been the best kiss of my life.” Maurizan fixed him with a hard glare. “That does not mean you have permission to die.” 0 likes
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