Book Review: The Thirteenth Hour (The Cruel Gods) by Trudie Skies (ARC)
"When the saints fail, the sinners step up.
Cruel gods rule the steam-powered city of Chime, demanding worship and tribute from their mortal subjects. Kayl lost her faith in them long ago, and now seeks to protect vulnerable and downtrodden mortals from their gods’ whims. But when Kayl discovers powers that she didn’t know she had—and destroys a mortal’s soul by accident—she becomes Chime’s most wanted.
Quen’s job was to pursue sinners, until the visions started. Haunted by foreboding images of his beloved city’s destruction, Quen hunts soul-sucking creatures made of aether who prey on its citizens—and Kayl is his number one target.
To ensure Chime’s future, Kayl and Quen must discover the truth of Kayl’s divine abilities before the gods take matters into their own hands.
For a city that bows to cruel gods, it’ll take godless heathens to save it."
I received The Thirteenth Hour by Trudie Skies for free in exchange for an honest review. Thank you so much TheWriteReads for having me on the tour!
I was immediately drawn in by this STUNNING cover! Plus when I saw the synopsis I knew it was a book I had to read!
We follow our protagonists Kayl and Quen - one part of the rebels known as the Godless and one who is trying to uphold the God’s law as they have to partner up to discover what is taking the souls from the mortals of Chime.
I really enjoyed the worldbuilding! I loved how much thought went into each God’s domain and how the mortals had different abilities depending on what domain they were from! I saw that the author has a collection of short stories about the different domains and I’m definitely going to have to to get it because I would love to learn even more about the world they have created. It is so clever and detailed and I also loved the LGBTQIA+ representation in the story!
I also really liked our characters plus the found family that they found in each other! It is one of my favourite tropes and it worked perfectly. Plus I really liked that we get to see the flaws of our characters. They’re not perfect, they’re just trying to do what they can to survive in a world that subjects them to whatever cruel whim their God has. I also thought that the commentary of the dangers and the slippery slope of theocratic rule throughout the book were really clever and poignant too! The story explores inequality, injustice, exploitation and the philosophy of sin.
Please make sure to heed the trigger warnings because there are some dark elements to this book! It does add to the grittiness of the story and really helps highlight the cruelty of the world that our characters are fighting against. The story is full of action and it is lucky that I am not a betting person because I definitely couldn’t guess what was going to happen next!
The Thirteenth Hour is a really enjoyable and interesting steampunk fantasy and I’m looking forward to seeing where it goes next! Make sure to check out all of the fantastic bloggers also on the tour!
Trudie Skies has been living inside fantasy worlds ever since she discovered that reality doesn’t quite live up to the hype. Through the magic of books, she wishes to share these worlds of hope and heroes with other weary souls. Living in North East England, Trudie spends most of her free time daydreaming about clouds, devouring whatever fantasy books or video games she can get her hands on, and chasing after her troublesome dogs, who would like to reassure you they are very good boys.
Her debut YA fantasy series, Sand Dancer, was published through Uproar Books. Trudie is now writing adult gaslamp fantasy with her new series, The Cruel Gods.
Author’s Website and Social Media Links
James T. Egan of Bookfly Design https://www.bookflydesign.com/
Domain map designed by Soraya Cocoran https://sorayacorcoran.com/
Character Art (under bonus art folder) by Seraphim