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Against All Gods by Miles Cameron: John C Adams Reviews

Book name: Against All Gods

Author: Miles Cameron

Publisher: Gollancz

Format: Print, ebook, audiobook

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date: 2022

Star Rating: 5/5

Miles Cameron is an intriguing writer in that his college education has been combined with a career in the navy.

Against All Gods is a fantasy novel set in an ancient economy based upon barter.

The fictional world of Against All Gods is people by gods of two pantheons: old and new, such as Shemeg (the old sun god) and Anzu (the new god of rage and insanity).

The most powerful god of all is Enkul-Anu, the lord of the hosts of heaven. He is unpleasant and aggressive, and his anger and frustration consistently boil over into swearing and other vulgarity.

The central human characters are the Rebels, initially strangers to each other.

Gamash sells his soul to Tyka, the Blue Deity, in order to avenge himself against the gods for the death of his daughter Irene and her unborn child.

Era, a devotee of the Virgin Huntress Temis, is a dancer with magic powers. She hides with pigs when Jekers (cannibals) sack the city she is visiting.

Era’s lover is killed and her donkey cruelly slaughtered. Era rescues a young orphan boy, Daos, who has magic powers.

Daos’s mother and father have just been murdered in the sacking of the city, but his mother was a fellow devotee of Temis.

Together Daos and Era flee the city.

Gamash is sent strange dreams by Tyka containing instructions for him to follow. He journeys deep into the desert to find black stones containing star metal.

Somehow returning alive, Gamash must find a blacksmith willing to work the metal. This is difficult, but the one who agrees to do so tells of strange dreams describing how his destiny is linked to Gamash and the star metal.

Pollon is a scribe in the palace of the god-king of Hekka. He discovers that someone is stealing clay tablets and forging seals on them to give fake orders in the name of the king.

The Kyrans (inhabitants of the city of Kyra, whose god-king Mykos is brother to the god-king of Hekka) are also marching on the city Pollon calls home, as the corrupt gods amuse themselves with war between brothers on the planet below.

When Pollon is blamed for the forgery, he is tortured and death seems certain. However, he is rescued by ‘slow miracle’ that knits his body back together.

As the gods amuse themselves with the warfare taking place, Pollon, Gamash, Era and others must work out how their pledges to the deities will combine to take revenge upon the corrupt gods.

Against All Gods was truly epic fantasy. The ancient barter-economy and society were vividly portrayed. The many central characters were sympathetic but tough and resilient in what was an incredibly cruel and indifferent environment.

There was hope of a better world crafted by the weakening of the corrupt gods, though with genuine concern on my part about what would replace them and whether those deities would prove more worthy of the power they wielded.

The story was well written and the warfare and intervention of gods and deities meant that there was a constant supply of action and narrative tension. This was excellent reading, and I enjoyed it very much.

Thank you for reading my review.

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John C Adams Reviews Against All Gods

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