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The Empire of the Dead

(The Godsblood Trilogy #1)

3.93  ·  Rating details ·  311 ratings  ·  41 reviews
Acharsis has always loved long shots. But even with a perfect scheme and a handpicked squad of godsblooded grifters and fighters, breaking into the undead lord's Akkodaisis' ziggurat is suicidally impossible. Good thing Archarsis is a fallen demigod with more than one trick up his sleeve...

Unpredictable, fast paced, and packed with memorable characters, The Empire of the D
Kindle Edition, 166 pages
Published January 22nd 2017
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Average rating 3.93  · 
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 ·  311 ratings  ·  41 reviews

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Montzalee Wittmann
The Empire of the Dead
By: Phil Tucker
Narrated by: Paul Guyet
This book surprised me! It started strong and stayed there. The constant rush of new material, excitement, adventure, fantasy was just awesome! The author would let you barely catch your breath and then the craziness would begin again! The book was about traveling demigods on a mission, I guess their life is never dull! The town they entered was filled with undead, and an occasional demon!
The narrator was super awesome, part demigod him
J.P. Ashman
Jun 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
(Listened to this on Audible)

The coming together of previously powerful heroes in an empire where walking corpses are the norm.

Necromancers, demi-gods, zombies, skeletal warriors and more. The main characters come together and build a camaraderie that sees them through seemingly impossible trials and tribulations reminiscent of all those fun D&D campaigns fans love.
Oct 29, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Short Pitch:

Demigods, sons and daughters of the old gods are being hunted down and sacrificed, anyone with a touch of ‘godsblood’ is in danger and needs to stay hidden. A son of one of the characters is taken hostage during a raid, and two demigods who have been deprived of their powers since the deaths of their gods go on a suicidal rescue mission.



Archarsis is a demigod, a son of the god Ekillos who is the god of male fertility and knowledge, he’s a
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audiobooks
(You can see a bigger, prettier version of this review here, on my blog)

I picked this one up on its release day, being a pretty big fan of Tucker’s Chronicles of the Black Gate series. This one intrigued me because it was described to me as “necro-Sumerian Ocean’s Eleven fantasy” which, let’s all just be honest here, sounds badass AF. Who could resist? Certainly not me.

Our story starts out with Acharsis returning after a sixteen-year-long leave to apologize to Annara, the woman he left behind al
Ryan Mueller
Jan 29, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, five-star
There's only one word I can think of to describe this book: fun.

This is a different kind of story from Phil Tucker, who has written the excellent Chronicles of the Black Gate series (three books out, with two more to go, I believe). That series is epic fantasy with a capital E. This one is less epic, more tightly focused. It's basically a heist story, though the object being stolen is a person rather than some treasure. But it also becomes much more than that.

It's a story of a world where most o
Oct 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, novel
As a (very big) fan of Phil's excellent & recently completed "Chronicles of the Black Gate" saga, I was looking forward to exploring a new series of his in a different setting. After finishing the first entry of the Godsblood trilogy late last night, it's safe to say that Phil has impressed me once again. His considerable talents in storytelling, creating compelling characters, building worlds under heavy religious influence, and skillful pacing are all on display in this exciting new trilog ...more
Rosemary Standeven
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful start to a new fantasy series – gods, demi-gods, demons, resurrected dead, priest and priestesses, heroes, heroines and villains, a damsel in distress – this book has it all. And apart from the non-stop adventure and great story-telling, there is also a lot of humour – not the laugh-out-loud type, but the type that puts a grin on your face as you read. I was reminded a lot of David Eddings “Belgariad” books, though the humour here is subtler.
Most of the gods in this world ar
Alex Schwartz
May 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
This was fun!

I picked up The Empire of the Dead completely on a whim. I had just finished a book and was anxiously waiting another's release a few days later and had no idea what to squeeze into that short time-frame. Phil Tucker's other series, the Chronicles of the Black Gate, had been on my TBR pile for a while but I wasn't quite ready to jump into a 600+ page fantasy at the moment. So, after seeing Phil talk about The Empire of the Dead on r/fantasy and realizing it is a relatively short re
Apr 08, 2018 rated it really liked it
Quite a fast read, and not just because it is under 300 pages. 3 stars for the first half, 4 stars for the second half, particularly liked the last third. Overall score rounded up to 4 stars. Reads almost like a video game, constantly leveling up.
Jul 14, 2019 rated it liked it
Actual rating: 3.50
A gratifying spectacle that wasn't without its flaws. I'll definitely pick up book two to see where this story goes, however, this book did commit a major storytelling sin that I just couldn't look past; villains who needlessly explain their plans and motives aren't something I can swallow down easily. I truly thought that this book will land in the 4-star quarter, yet that aforementioned scene was orchestrated poorly and let me down with a sigh.

I would still recommend this b
Apr 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Solid start to the series. I like how while it is still fantasy, it is very different to Chronicles of the Black Gate with Ancient Egyptian/Sumerian flavours to it.

Will definitely read Book 2 this year and going by Tucker's track record as a writing machine, I am hoping Book 3 will be out in 2018 too.
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Acharsis has many regrets in his long life. On his way to apologize for some of his actions, he's swept up in a chain of events that could bring about the end of the world as he knows it.

A fast paced, fun adventure. Acharsis and brother Jarek make quite the team, with Annara, Ishi, Sisu and Kish being solid side characters. I really enjoyed the plotting and execution of the heist like aspects of the story, as well as the few battles that took place.

A nice start to a new series.
Kells Next Read
Jan 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Bloody good start to this series. At this point I can safely say I’ll read anything Phil Tucker writes. Book Two Please!!! 🙌🏾
Rob Towell
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: have-read
I grabbed this book because of how much I enjoyed Chronicles of the Black Gate. The books were great and above what I expected from a new author.
This book did not let me down. From start to finish Mr. Tucker maintains a good pace and keeps the characters distinct in their personality.
In a world where your god has been killed how can you move on? This is a question the characters struggle with as with the loss of their physical connection they also lost a spiritual connection that is hard to dea
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Too funny and fun to miss out on

An advance copy of this book was provided to me in exchange for an objective review.

After spending nearly two decades in a guilt-induced exile, Acharsis returns seeking forgiveness from Annara, the woman he abandoned, and, Jarek, the friend he betrayed. Before he can make what amends might be possible, however, Annara’s village is raided and her son, Elu, kidnapped by followers of the Irella. Acharsis pulls together a team of humans, demigods and godsbloods, the
vincent melinn
Jan 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Great read

This guy can write
If you want a rollicking fast adventure read this
Pure escapism
The characters in all of his books are so alive but suspend your logical mind and become a child again reading a great marvel comic
Just superb will soon be recognized for his writing skill as good as early gemmill
JoJo Gozy
Jan 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing

Seriously, wow. I couldn't put it down. Highly entertaining. Two demi gods who've lost their powers when their god father's died. Really great story, can't wait for book two.
Angry Wombat
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy

OK - lets get this out of the way. GET A COPY OF THIS AND READ IT!

Ahem... Anyway. I had never heard of Phil Tucker when I was thinking about the "Reading Resident Author's" square on the r/Fantasy bingo... but just on the day I was looking for a book a random post appears where the author himself is giving away copies of the first book in his new series because it is going to be the RRAWR book of the month.... So I snapped it up thinking "eh, why not..."

That Phil guy - sneaky bugger! Rememb
Jan 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
A fast paced entertaining story, and my second indie fantasy read which I gobbled up in two days. It has a simple plot, and a lot of traditional elements which is done with a daring simplicity. In the hands of less experienced writers, it might have been a mediocre attempt, but Tucker manages to pull the rabbit out of the socks.

The characters are likeable, and mature ones. The mythology almost seems familiar, as I have read the same in many of the other fantasy novels. Gods, Demigods, undead min
Apr 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: audio, fantasy
This book works on a few levels.

At its most basic, it's a heist novel with a classic pulp twist. Instead of stealing, they're off to rescue an innocent from sacrifice by blood-soaked priests. It has all the best bits - reluctant calls to action, acquiring the specialized team, conflicting egos and motivations, plans and unexpected twists. In fact, I heard that the early title for the book was Archarsis' Six (not really.)

The main characters are a study in contrasts. Both are carrying a heavy burd
May 13, 2018 rated it liked it
The setting deserves better.

Telling a story in a bronze age civilization is a good idea, I just wish it was handled better.
The writing is distinctly TV, the world never became more than a background to me. At no point did I come to a point where it felt like a living world. Add to that characters that are too flat – the strong guy – or too vague – what does the protagonist do exactly? – and you get the distinct impression that this might have required a bit more development.
The setting itself se
Bonnie Dale Keck
Mar 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
kindle unlimited, used to his chronicles of the black gate ones but got the second of this series free somewhere and wanted to read first one first so here I am, liked it, just not as much as the chronicle ones

A sword & sorcery Ocean's 11... Acharsis has always loved long shots. But even with a perfect scheme and a handpicked squad of godsblooded grifters and fighters, breaking into the undead lord's Akkodaisis' ziggurat is suicidally impossible. Good thing Archarsis is a fallen demigod with
I thought the book was okay. It wasn't as good as the Black Gate series but it was good writing. It was hard for me to get into the story. I haven't looked to see if this is truly the first in the series (there may be a prequel) and I probably should've checked that. I felt lost because I was dropped into this world in what appears to be at the final boss (if I may use gamer analogies). It will be unlikely I continue the series for that reason. I was craving some background on the world, the cha ...more
Adam Woods
Dec 18, 2017 rated it liked it
A solid tale with an interesting bronze age setting. Enjoyed having Demi God protagonists. This was actually more of a 3.5 - I feel my enjoyment suffered slightly from my expectations. I thought it was going to be a heist story but was a but disappointed when it turned out to be (a well written) quest style storyline. I'm looking forward to starting another of Phil Tucker's series with The Path of Flames
May 02, 2018 rated it really liked it
Such a damn interesting book. There was just so much happening, I wish I could have just binge read it in a sitting.

The fact it was set in Ancient times was fun and I really enjoyed how it was focused on godsbloods. I need more mythology and ancient things in my fiction.

Acharsis was a great character, as was Jarek. I feel like the others were a bit lacking in depth, which I'm hoping can be increased over time.

And I've already bought book 2, so off I go!
Sep 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
In a kingdom ruled by the goddess of the netherworld, a group of concerned adults attempt to rescue a youth who has been kidnapped to be a sacrifice at an important ritual. The characters are believable and likeable. The setting is unusual and the action moves along satisfyingly.
Mar 04, 2018 rated it really liked it
Very cool magic and world building. It felt like a fun D&D campaign adventure with fleshed out characters . Took a good few chapters for me to get fully invested but once the plot got moving I loved it.
Jeff Cadoff
Mar 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The story and characters are realistic. The characters are wonderfully flawed people. Their relationships develop naturally in the story. I was thinking this might be arduous initially, but became entranced, and entrapped. A wonderful captivity.
Dec 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Gilgamesh Meets Oceans 11 Meets The Walking Dead

See the full review on Fantasy Faction:
Jan 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
Couldn't put it down

The story line is compelling , I couldn't put it down . Page after page , it held my attention
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/r/Fantasy Discus...: April 2018: The Empire of the Dead 1 4 Sep 08, 2018 11:39PM  

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Thanks for visiting my page! I'm Phil Tucker, a Brazilian/Brit who currently resides in Asheville, NC, where I resist the siren call of the forests and mountains to sit inside and hammer away on my laptop. I'm about to publish EUPHORIA ONLINE, a LitRPG trilogy that features high octane action, devilish mysteries and all manner of classic D&D foes. Busy times, my friends. Here's a l

Other books in the series

The Godsblood Trilogy (3 books)
  • Trial of Kings (The Godsblood Trilogy #2)
  • The Valley of the Gods (Godsblood Book 3)