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Seventh Decimate

(The Great God's War #1)

3.32  ·  Rating details ·  1,255 ratings  ·  294 reviews
The acclaimed author of the Thomas Covenant Chronicles launches a powerful new trilogy about a prince's desperate quest for a sorcerous library to save his people.

Fire. Wind. Pestilence. Earthquake. Drought. Lightning. These are the six Decimates, wielded by sorcerers for both good and evil.

But a seventh Decimate exists--the most devastating one of all...

For centuries, t
Hardcover, 307 pages
Published November 2017
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Average rating 3.32  · 
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 ·  1,255 ratings  ·  294 reviews

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Start your review of Seventh Decimate (The Great God's War #1)
Sean Barrs
Bland, boring and generic

Indeed, Seventh Decimate is not a book with compelling characters or buzzing personalities; it is not a book that allowed me to invest in the struggles of its protagonist, Prince Bifalt, with any particular ease. Though it is a book about war and the desperate extremes a nation will go to ensure absolute victory against its greatest foe.

The people of Amika have found the ultimate weapon; it's called the seventh decimate and it has the power to render enemy sorcerers comp
Sep 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

My rating is 2.5 stars.

Seventh Decimate by Stephen R. Donaldson is the opening installment of his new series, The Great God’s War. Featuring a somewhat jaded hero on an epic quest of discovery, the narrative is a fast paced affair with more than a few twists and turns, which nicely sets up the story going forward. Unfortunately, though, it failed to live up to my lofty expectations. More on that a bit later.

For generations, the kingdoms of Belleger and Amika ha
Oct 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Full review now posted!

Rating: 2.5/5 stars

I would like to thank Berkley for providing me with a lovely review copy of this book.

This is Stephen Donaldson’s 25th novel. It’s a slim book with a stunning cover. Seriously, the cover art is gorgeous! Prince Bifalt of Belleger is on a mission. His nation has been at war with Amika for countless generations; so long, in fact, that both sides have forgotten what they’re fighting over in the first place. But warring for so long is taking a heavy toll on
Sep 05, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-epic
The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, Unbeliever (first and second) were a pivotal moment in my early fantasy reading. They were grown-up fantasy, full of moral quandaries and difficult emotions, but they were also stunning works of imagination, populated by brilliant characters. Even when he was writing gothic romance and portal fantasy with Mordant's Need, or sweeping science fiction with The Gap Cycle, Stephen R. Donaldson's work was always marked by those elements - stunning imagination and bri ...more
Rusty's Ghost Engine (also known as.......... Jinky Spring)
Review also

A lot of the time while I was reading this I laughed. Not because the book was funny but because everything about it was utterly unbelievable and poorly realised. The plot itself was literally all over the place because a lot of the time I didn’t know what the hell was going on and why we’d jumped from one topic to another without any warning. I mean seriously the characters were so two-dimensional and all of them seemed to have split personalit
Dec 28, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: comic-con-2017
A spoiled, prejudiced brat is sent by his father to the library where the dude pouts some more.

There, I just saved you like three hundred pages.
Dannii Elle
Actual rating 2.5/5 stars.

Full disclosure but I only ever picked this book up as it was part of a deal with two other books I was actually interested in purchasing. As I scanned the shelves looking for which third book to add to my shopping cart I took one glance at this cover, was certain this was something I was going to enjoy, and took it straight home with me.

When I read the synopsis I was convinced that my initial assessments were correct (sorcery, mythical libraries, and political intrigue
Seventh Decimate is a well-constructed, thought-provoking storytelling of two civilizations that are dealing with decades of the effects of warring against each other.

The telling surrounds Prince Bifalt’s pursuit to find the ultimate knowledge that will end the war. It is a tale of his personal discovery and preconceived prejudices toward his enemy. You, as the reader, get to see his travels first hand through his eyes and perspective. Unfortunately, I don’t think there is a bigger, unmovable, b
Feb 01, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, read-in-2018
Wow, what a disappointment after the great ending to the Thomas Covenant series.

I really didn't like Prince Bifalt, who started out with a whiney, bad attitude that got progressively worse. I'm not entirely sure if he knew what he was doing or where he was going at any point in book. Not much of a leader, even if he was son of the king.

I'll keep reading this series, because it is Stephen Donaldson, but I'm not sure if it can be salvaged. Potentially, it could be good as a grimdark fantasy. We'll
Nick Borrelli
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was ok
Click here for full review:

Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.

Stephen R. Donaldson returns with a new trilogy that fails to break new grounds, but remains a typical and captivating adventure that will decide the fate of countless people. Seventh Decimate merely sets the table to a potentially exciting sequel as we follow Prince Bifalt and his arrogant self into treacherous grounds.

The author of one of the most hated anti-heros in fantasy, Thomas Covenant, from his famous trilogy, The Chronicles of Thomas C
Nov 11, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: netgalley-arc
Full spoiler-free review now on my blog

When I saw this book available for request on Netgalley, I fell in love with the cover design! And after reading the premise, I was totally intrigued and was even lucky enough to get an eARC. But sadly, my expectations weren't met at all.

In Seventh Decimate, we follow the story of two countries, Amika and Belleger, who are at war for ages and there is only a legend that tells why this war started in the first place. Both sides have mages with magical powers
Stewart Tame
Sep 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
I won a free ARC of this book in a Goodreads giveaway. The book itself isn't due to be released for another couple of months yet. Of course that means that I have to wait even longer than the general public for Book 2 of The Great God's War ...

I liked this more than I expected to. A long time ago--in high school, early 80's--I read Donaldson's Thomas Covenant books. I generally liked them, but was greatly annoyed by Covenant himself. He seemed to spend most of the books whining and complaining a
Quintin Zimmermann
Oct 07, 2017 rated it it was ok
The Seventh Decimate may seem like your typical traditional fantasy quest where a band of heroes travel the dangerous unknown in pursuit of an all-powerful item (in this case a book) that will ultimately save the day.

However, Stephen R. Donaldson has intentionally subverted these traditional elements of the genre to create a dark world infested with both physical and spiritual desolation. Similarly, our main protagonist, the so-called "hero" of the story, is Prince Bifalt, a rancorous man blind
Nov 13, 2017 rated it liked it
I won this book in a goodreads drawing.

In a war between magical lands, one side has just unleashed The Seventh Decimate, for which the other side has no defense. Therefore, the other side sends a young prince to find the library of an ancient sorceress, to find a defense. Of course, other are also searching for the library.

Not a bad YA fantasy.
Jan 09, 2018 rated it liked it
Mr Donaldson is back with the start of a new trilogy. It begins with 2 cultures at war, with magic system involving Decimates. One group loses its magical ability as they begin to a realise a seventh decimate is discovered which has been used against them.

The Prince begins a journey to The Library to obtain knowlege etc. So we begin with his POV for the entire story, which I felt had ups and downs. He wasnt thr most likeable character and wasnt the most logical person. The writing was great as u
Aug 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love books and I am trying to write a book of my own and the genre is following along the same as those I review.
Mr. Stephen R, Donaldson has fallen into one of my deepest pits know as "O.M.G." and he shall never leave it. I will be reading every one of his books that I can get my hands on.
Does the prince become successful?
Will the enemy be his traveling companion in the strictest terms that could ever be expected?
Will the 2 kings be pacified with the terms of the agreement that their sons c
Mark Harrison
There was a great story hiding here somewhere as a Prince seeks a book that may end the Six Decimates a rival land has - plague etc- by opening the Seventh all powerful one. It never really gets going, sketches over the interesting world building that could be developed and ends in a bit of a flop. Nicely laid the ground for future installments and so, ultimately, the book will need to be judged on that.
The Tattooed Book Geek (Drew).
As always this review can also be found on my blog The Tattooed Book Geek: https://thetattooedbookgeek.wordpress...

Seventh Decimate is the first book in a brand new trilogy from Stephen Donaldson.

War has been a raging between the Bellegerins and the Amikans and their respective kingdoms of Belleger and Amika for longer than anyone can remember.

The book opens with a prologue set a couple of years before the actual story starts. The Bellegerins and Amikans are once again at war (this never-ending
Nov 22, 2017 rated it it was ok
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book left me with mixed feelings. It has a very interesting premise, and I was really excited to read it. The first half of the story dragged a bit, but later the pace picked up. The writing style was very to the point and pretty non-descriptive for a fantasy novel, which was a something I had to get used to, but I also appreciated.
The world the author created was interestin
Benjamin Thomas
Thanks to Goodreads and the publisher, Berkley Publishing Group, for a free ARC in return for an honest review.

Stephen R. Donaldson long ago cemented his reputation in the fantasy genre. He was one of the first to break the mold of The Lord of the Rings style fantasy. I’ve enjoyed some of his stuff immensely (The Mirror of Her Dreams and A Man Rides Through) while struggling with others (Thomas Covenant series). This first book in his new trilogy, unfortunately was a bit of a struggle for me as
*Thea 'Wookiee'sMama' Wilson*
Before I picked up a copy of Seventh Decimate I hadn't read a Stephen Donaldson book since I was a teenager and had no idea what I was going to be stepping into with him 20 years later but what I got was a stark reminder of what a genuinely phenomenal author Donaldson is.

I have read some rather mixed reviews of Seventh Decimate but I must say that thoroughly enjoyed the read. I found the world building and magical system to be well thought out and developed, the characters were interesting (yes,
N.W. Moors
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Prince Bifalt of Belleger has long fought in the war his country has waged for many years against their neighbor Amika. Magisters use sorcery, waging fire, wind, pestilence, earthquake, drought, and lightning, the Six Decimates, from safe perches while men on either side die below them. The people are suffering from the long war, crops ruined and homes destroyed. Belleger's only advantage is the use of rifles which Amika doesn't have (though they need magic to forge the iron), but otherwise, the ...more
Feb 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed, audiobook
4 Stars for Narration by Scott Brick, 3.5 Stars for Story

Mostly Audiobook, Partially Read in Print:

Long ago, the kingdoms of Belleger and Amika were one. Twin Princes inherited the realm and divided it so that each could rule. Thus Fastule became the ruler of the north and named it Amika. Brigin claimed the southern half and named it Belleger. The kings were in harmony in all but one. They both fell in love with the same woman and she claimed Brigin as her choice. Fastule attacked the couple at
Nov 15, 2019 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Donaldson fans
Shelves: sf-fantasy
I almost gave up on The Seventh Decimate. The opening chapters read like a first draft of a new author – clunky, awkward and full of exposition.

Under the paling stars before dawn, Prince Bifalt and the squad in which he served gathered on an escarpment overlooking the valley where the battle would take place. There they settled themselves to wait for their captain’s final instructions. A few years ago, they had been uncomfortable around the Prince; but he was a veteran now, one of them. Resting
Aug 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a copy of this book from a contest on Goodreads, it in no way swayed my opinion.  Seventh Decimate is set to release on 11/14/17.

I am having a hard time coming up with the words to describe how I feel about reading this book. I know I enjoyed reading it, it is a good tale and the whole story is an excellent tribute to character development. When I first started to read Seventh Decimate I had a really hard time coming to terms with the main character Prince Bifalt. He is an extremely u
Stephen Robert Collins
This came out in November 17 I got from my local library off the shelf no waiting list.But do hope it's sequal is not huge longer time in coming out.I rember few years ago reading a volume one & by time vol.2 came out I forgot the first.Hahaha ...more
Jun 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
It’s probably been fifteen years since I last read any Stephen Donaldson. It started with LORD FOUL’S BANE then the two sequels in that trilogy (which ultimately became 10 books) and, honestly, they weren’t my favorite. The main character was more anti-hero than I’d encountered before, and any reader could see that Tolkien had an influence on Donaldson’s worldbuilding. But Donaldson has a following, so I thought I’d try again with his most recent offering, SEVENTH DECIMATE, which as far as I cou ...more
Dec 29, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I would like to thank the publisher for providing me with an ARC copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book left me with mixed feelings. It has a very interesting premise, and I was really excited to read it. The first half of the story dragged a bit, but later the pace picked up. The writing style was very to the point and pretty non-descriptive for a fantasy novel, which was a something I had to get used to, but I also appreciated.
The world the author created was interestin
Bob Lee
Dec 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy
I found this terrific for the first 2/3, then not so much.

The first 200 pages of this novel had me so enthralled I could hardly put it down. It starts with an awesome medieval-style battle of the southern lands against the north, but with the addition of sorcerers on each side who can hurl destruction (6 types: fire, earthquakes, lightning, etc). The only thing that saves "normal" fighters is that the sorcers get exhausted quickly. But Prince Bifalt, the leader of the southern lands who have bee
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Stephen Reeder Donaldson is an American fantasy, science fiction, and mystery novelist; in the United Kingdom he is usually called "Stephen Donaldson" (without the "R"). He has also written non-fiction under the pen name Reed Stephens.


Stephen R. Donaldson was born May 13, 1947 in Cleveland, Ohio. His father, James, was a medical missionary and his mother, Ruth, a prostheti

Other books in the series

The Great God's War (3 books)
  • The War Within (The Great God's War #2)
  • The Last Repository: The Great God's War Book Three

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