Thank you to HarperVoyager for sending me a copy of Godkiller in exchange for an honest review.

After zealots sacrificed her family to a fire god, Kissen became a godkiller. She makes a living slaying deities, seeking vengeance for her family’s murder. One day, however, she encounters a god she can’t kill: Skedi, a god of white lies, is inexplicably bound to the life of a young noble girl, Inara. Unable to kill the god without killing the girl, Kissen reluctantly agrees to help them sever their connection. 

Fleeing assassins and joining forces with a disillusioned knight, they head to Blenraden where the last of the wild gods dwell. Each seeks a divine favor, but demonic pursuit and a looming civil war hinder their quest at every turn. There’s a malevolent force festering at the core of their world, and they might be the only ones who can defeat it.

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With Godkiller, author Hannah Kaner proves you can create a fully realized, unique fantasy world without a huge word count. The world-building is dark and fascinating, with the story set in a kingdom barely recovered from a bloody war with the gods.

I absolutely love a story where the gods walk among mortals and explores the implications that has on society. In Godkiller, we meet gods of all kinds. Some are tiny and new and relatively harmless, while others are ancient, wild and unknowable. The different responses characters have tell you so much about their identities and past experiences. Having narrowly escaped sacrifice as a child, Kissen is understandably bitter towards the gods. Inara’s unique connection with Skedi, however, leaves her in a more complicated position.

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Kissen herself is like a Witcher for gods instead of monsters. The kingdom fears godkillers but sees their works as necessary, paying them to eliminate lingering gods before they grow too powerful. Kissen is also just right as a morally gray character. She’s angry, flawed and bitter, but immensely loyal to those she cares about. Kissen is the true star of the “grumpy killer forced to take care of a kid” narrative we’ve all come to love.

She’s also disabled, having lost her leg as a child. In spite of the fantasy setting, however, her disability isn’t magically fixed. Her prosthetic leg needs repairs after a battle, and sometimes she uses a cane or even a wheelchair. Godkiller’s disability representation in general is strong. There is a deaf character that uses sign language with those around her, and many characters with realistic PTSD symptoms. As with Kissen, there aren’t any magical cures, but their loved ones adapt society to fit their needs.

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Godkiller is a story of found family and gods, monsters and kings. It’s an epic fantasy tightly woven into a small package, perfect for fans of the genre along with readers who have found it too intimidating in the past. With a massive cliffhanger at the end, I can’t wait for the next book in the series.

Godkiller comes out on September 12 and is available for preorder from your local independent bookstore or Bookshop.org.

TW: body horror, child death, death, death of a parent fire/fire injury, gore, grief, murder, panic attacks/ disorders, religious bigotry, suicide/suicidal thoughts, trafficking, violence, war

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