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Hall of Smoke

(Hall of Smoke #1)

3.90  ·  Rating details ·  455 ratings  ·  208 reviews
An epic fantasy featuring warrior priestesses and fickle gods at war

Hessa is an Eangi: a warrior priestess of the Goddess of War, with the power to turn an enemy's bones to dust with a scream. Banished for disobeying her goddess's command to murder a traveller, she prays for forgiveness alone on a mountainside.

While she is gone, raiders raze her village and obliterate the
Paperback, 403 pages
Published January 19th 2021 by Titan Books
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H.M. Long Hall of Smoke is a standalone. You don't have to read anything else to understand it! Though there will be another standalone set in the same world co…moreHall of Smoke is a standalone. You don't have to read anything else to understand it! Though there will be another standalone set in the same world coming in early 2022.

Hall of Smoke is not affiliated with Unhewn Throne in any way, just that if you liked Unhewn Throne, you'll likely enjoy HOS as well!(less)

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Average rating 3.90  · 
Rating details
 ·  455 ratings  ·  208 reviews

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Dec 08, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2020, fantasy, arc
I was excited to read this one. It's a Vikings inspired fantasy set in a world where gods rule and directly influence their followers. The book was well written and relies more on religion and gods and less on the usual fantasy tropes which was nice. I also found the world very vivid and easy to picture.

Also, don't miss the glossary and the map at the end of the book! (The map was at the end too but it might be moved later)

This book tells the story of Hessa, an Eangi priestess, banished from her
Abbie | nerdyabbie
This is what storytelling is made of.

I can’t explain to you guys how much I loved this book. The author takes her time telling this story, and let me tell you...With the ending, it’s totally worth it. I could not predict where this story was going to go, and I can guarantee you won’t be able to either. The strength of our main heroine Hessa was so unbelievably inspiring. She is so alone in the world, and yet always comes out on top in the numerous problems she faces.

Svala tugged me closer. “
Brittney ~ Reverie and Ink
Oooh I loved this. What a breath of fresh air!

I don't know where to begin, and I don't want to spoil much, but suffice it to say it wasn't what I was expecting at all. In fact, I went in with almost no expectations, and it still surprised me. What began as a usual viking story (village raid, etc etc) quickly hinted at something else - something bigger at play, and I couldn't help turning the pages to figure out what was REALLY going on.

Hessa is our MC, a devout priestess for her god, known as Ea
H.M. Long
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
(CWs and FYIs below)

If you want more of:
-The Last Kingdom (but the fem side)
-Sky in the Deep (but adult)
-American Gods (but in an original fantasy world)
-Vikings and Netflix's BARBARIANS (but the gods & magic are real)
-Skyrim & God of War (but a... book)
...You will love HALL OF SMOKE.

CW: Violence and gore, self-harm (in the form of blood sacrifice)

1. GLOSSARY: This is an adult epic fantasy, so there are naturally a lot of characters at play. There's a glossary included at the back of the
Genevieve Gornichec
Sep 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Kickass heroine struggling to do her best and questioning everything she's ever known along the way? CHECK

Unique Viking-inspired fantasy world? CHECK

Tons of action and extraordinarily well-written fight scenes? CHECK

If any/all of the above appeal to you, you won't want to miss this one.
Kate P
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As one of the privileged few to be permitted to read this book in advance, I must say I feel special! I am a fan of big fantasy: grand, epic stuff. The problem is usually that the narrative is dull while the world is interesting— that’s not the case with hall of smoke. I love how this book balances a face-paced and compelling narrative with deep and worthwhile world-building. I definitely recommend it!
Breanna Spiegel
Hall of Smoke is a long and wild ride through a Viking fantasy world, filled with harsh gods, magic-wielding priestesses, and a blood-soaked quest for redemption. Hessa, a warrior-priestess of Eang, disobeyed her goddess’s orders to kill a traveler. Now her people have been slaughtered and the war between nations mirrors a war among the gods, and somehow the traveler is at the heart of it. As she fights to win back Eang’s favor, Hessa uncovers impossible truths about the war and their gods that ...more
Ramesh J.
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Epic. Refreshingly different. Nice to see something new— the Viking-inspired thing done in a more interesting way than usual. I got to read this in advance. I’d recommend it, both to the crowd that likes quick and lucid writing and those that love big, epic story background. The mythology appealed to me.
I’m hoping there is another story in this world...? Also who’s making a movie?
Natalie P
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was privileged to be able to read an early copy of the book and I was hooked all the way through! Every chapter had me on the edge of my seat. Especially towards the end, Hessa journeys is one epic battle! You must read this!!
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hall of Smoke is a brilliantly unique, immersive read!

Hessa lives in a Viking-like world, where the gods and goddesses she serves are real. When Hessa angers her goddess, she desires to redeem herself. And she will never be the same after she begins her journey to do so.

The prose is magical. The settings breathtakingly realistic. The characters flawed and captivating.

You won't want to miss this book!
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hall of Smoke is ruthlessly clever and mythologically epic in the best possible way. Exciting and insightful—and just plain fun—Hessa is the brilliantly crafted kick-butt heroine that we all need in our lives. I don’t read a ton of fantasy, but I hope to have the opportunity to travel with Hessa on another grand adventure some day soon.
Oct 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I was lucky to get an advance review copy of this book, and as soon as you can get your own hands on it, you will want to DO THAT.

HALL OF SMOKE is the story of Viking-inspired warrior priestess on a quest to win her goddess's forgiveness after defying a divine order...or at least that's where we start. By the end of this book, I'd fallen in love with a backstabbing, selfish, all-too-human pantheon of gods and goddesses, all conniving for their own benefit, with humans trapped as the pawns in the
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I read an early copy of this book and I am pleased to recommend it to you if you're interested in picking it up. It's greatest qualities are:

-Interesting / complex characters that possess depth
-A rich fantasy element
-A main character driven by more compelling crises than a hot guy
-An egalitarian cultural premise
-The author's immersive writing voice
-Worldbuilding that is both beautiful and unobtrusive

But the best bits are spoilers! May you find the read as refreshing as I did.
Jun 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hall of Smoke was such a captivating story!!

I loved the Viking-inspired world, and it had everything I look for in a fantasy novel - a complicated heroine, rich worldbuilding, and a twisty plot. I was hooked from the opening pages. The language is so evocative; you feel like you're journeying with Hessa.

Cannot wait for the sequel :) !!
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Books about gods are my favourite. As such I jumped at the chance to read this – not only does it feature gods, it features gods that walk among their people – and mythology that depends on the country it is told in. I love these kinds of ruminations on the nature of belief and culture.

The book starts with a bang when recently exiled Hessa is the only warrior priestess of Eang – the Goddess of War – to survive a sudden invasion. She was cast out of her order for failing to kill a visitor she had
Jan 08, 2021 rated it it was amazing
* A big thank you to the author and publisher for providing me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

I had high expectations for this book - I mean, warrior-priestesses?!- and boy did the author deliver!

Rife with lore, betrayal and plot twists, we follow warrior-priestess Hessa as she struggles with her faith in her goddess Eang while also trying to basically save the world and her people.
I loved the writing style, it was vivid and beautifully descriptive. I also appreciate
M.J. Kuhn
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had the privilege of reading an ARC of this book, and I cannot recommend it enough! I connected with the main character, Hessa, from the first sentence of the story. The story world was rich and real, and I have rarely read a fantasy novel that transported me like HALL OF SMOKE did. If you are a fan of myths and legends where gods and goddesses roam the earth and meddle with the poor mortals that serve them, you are in for an absolute treat with this book. If that's not enough of a glowing rev ...more
Jun 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Lucie V.
I received a copy of this book via NetGalley (thank you Titan Books). All thoughts and opinions are my own.

It might be an "it's not you, it's me" case because I saw a lot of 5 stars reviews.

I was excited to read this Viking inspired fantasy full of ruthless gods at war with each other and magic-wielding priestesses. Hessa is an Eangi, a fighter priestess who worships Eang, Goddess of War. The story is about her hard quest for redemption after she ignored the Goddess’s order to kill a man and af
J.S. Dewes
Nov 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I had the immense privilege of reading an ARC of Hall of Smoke, and oh man, it did not disappoint!

I loved every minute I spent following Hessa’s journey. I found myself particularly drawn to the blur between mortal and divine, and how the supernatural and natural elements interact is fascinating. The slow burn through the first half is utterly engrossing, rooting you into the richly complex world. But clear your schedule, because when things take off they TAKE OFF, and you’ll be gripped to the p
The Nerd Daily
Jan 16, 2021 rated it really liked it
Originally published on The Nerd Daily | Review by Tessa Qi

First off, can we take a minute to appreciate how unbelievably gorgeous the book cover is?! Secondly, are you looking for a Vikings inspired epic fantasy world with gods and goddesses, magic and quests, journey and redemption? Well, look no further dear readers because Hall of Smoke is here for you and it is the perfect combination of all of these elements and so much more. This fascinating debut builds up a new world ruled by gods and g
Just about everything and everyone in Hall of Smoke played against my expectations - and I love it. Time and time again I found myself questioning what just happened, fully expecting some deus ex machina to undo all the carnage, but even in a book full of gods and goddesses, H.M. Long refuses to play it safe and, in the process, brings something new to the epic fantasy genre.

For a book with such mythological weight, such world-changing potential, Hessa is a wonderfully bold choice for a protagon
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Beautiful, brutal, and bewitching, Hall of Smoke is one of those stories that draws you in and takes hold of you. One of those worlds you keep thinking about long after you've put down the book. Long's world building is exceptional and does not rely on info dumping or lengthy exposition. Instead, the reader is allowed to discover the world as our hero, Hessa, moves through it, fighting against her enemies and trying to meet her fate. Hessa is a hero who feels real, even though she exists in a wo ...more
❀ Alex ❀ (The Scribe Owl)
See this review and more at my blog, The Scribe Owl!

Thank you to NetGalley and Titan Books for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!

2.5/5 stars

I wanted to like this so much more than I did! Unfortunately, it missed the mark in a couple of places. I love all the ideas behind it, but they just weren't executed right for me.

In Hall of Smoke, we follow Hessa, a warrior-priestess of the goddess of war called an Eangi. Eangi have the power to kill an enemy with nothing more than a scream. Banished
Chesney Infalt
Oct 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was so good! I love stories about Vikings and have been eagerly waiting to get my hands on a copy of this for a while. As with a lot of high fantasy reads, it took a little bit to get the names of people, places, and gods sorted in my mind, but once I did, I thoroughly enjoyed the world the author presented. She kept me guessing and intrigued as the story progressed. I'm looking forward to what else this author publishes. ...more
I have received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Hall of Smoke was such a good book! I will admit though that some things that were happening confused me for a bit. Luckily, for me, it didn't take long for everything to make sense. In it, you will meet Hessa. Now she was a person that you could easily fall in like or dislike with. It kind of depends on where you are at in the story. Don't get me wrong, she is strong and kind of a badass when she needs to be.. but she also
Adah Udechukwu
Jan 23, 2021 rated it it was amazing
Hall of Smoke is a great novel and there is a whole lot about the politics gods play and their quest for dominance.
Book Barbarian  (Tammy Smith)
Thank you Titan for the review copy. All opinions are my own.

A fantastical high fantasy adventure with a magical warrior and the ruling gods that war.

Hessa is an Eangi – A warrior that worships the Goddess of War that gives her powers to kill her enemy with a scream.

While banished for disobeying her goddess' decree to murder a stranger, her village is razed to the ground. Hessa must strive to win back her goddess favor. Through her journey she learns that the gods are dying
Jan 20, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fantasy, mythology
4.5 stars

Absolutely fantastic! I’m a sucker for books about mythology and gods, so I’m definitely biased, but I adore this book. It follows Hessa, a warrior priestess of the Goddess of War, as she fights to gain her goddess’ forgiveness after disobeying an order. But on her path for redemption, she slowly begins to question her own god and discovers that the gods are dying.

The story is action-packed. Hessa encounters a number of characters on her journey— some human, some otherwise — and they al
Dec 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Hall of Smoke is the debut novel of H.M. Long, and what a great debut it is. It’s stand-alone fantasy that starts deceptively small and grows into epic proportions. I received an early review copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The book is set in a pre-industrial, almost tribal world that doesn’t instantly or obviously refer to ours, though the largest warrior culture reminded me of Rome and the smaller ones of both North American native cultures and Asian cultures. It’s a good
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Hannah M Long is a Canadian writer who loves history, hiking, and exploring the world. She has fulfilled her dream of becoming a reclusive forest fae and inhabits a ramshackle cabin in the wilds of Muskoka, Ontario, where she writes books and tames squirrels. However, she can often be spotted snooping about European museums or wandering the Alps with her German husband.

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