Reviews for Godkiller

Library Journal
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DEBUT Years after King Arren waged war on the gods and forbade their worship, godkiller Kissen hunts down lingering divinities sustained by their remaining faithful. She's unprepared for a request for help from Inara, a noble girl somehow bound to Skedi, a god of lies. Elogast was a knight until Arren's uncompromising hostility toward the gods disenchanted him. But when his king asks him for help that only a god can grant, Elogast picks up his sword and journeys to the ruined, god-infested city of Blenraden to find a miracle. The story's protagonists meet en route to Blenraden, and their clashing goals stir up immediate tension. As they are forced to rely on each other during their journey, they develop a found-family dynamic that will please many readers, though others may find the shift rushed. Inara and Skedi's connection is an interesting variant among many stories tackling gods powered by their believers, with more to uncover in later installments. VERDICT In this debut trilogy launch, already a best seller in the UK, Kaner provides a satisfying payoff, along with twists setting up a sequel with much higher stakes.—Erin Niederberger

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

In a kingdom that slaughtered the gods and criminalized their worship, two god-slayers—a mercenary and a knight—join forces on a pilgrimage to save two other lives. Years ago, Kissen lost her leg after the people of her village shifted their allegiance to a fire god and burned her family home to the ground. Only a desperate bargain with the sea god her father served saved her life. Now she works as a veiga: a state-sanctioned killer of gods. Under young King Arren's rule, all forms of worship have become illegal, as it is humans' faith that gives birth to the gods and powers them. A series of violent events leaves Kissen as sole protector to Inara, a young girl orphaned by fire and treachery and bound to a small, shrineless god called Skedi. Together, the three must journey to Blenraden, the city where the gods died, to sever Inara and Skedi's connection. Unbeknownst to Kissen and her charges, another godkiller walks in their midst. Knight-turned-baker Elo witnessed the carnage in Blenraden firsthand. It cost him everything. His mothers left the kingdom in the war's aftermath, unwilling to give up their faith. Then the king waltzes back into his orbit, afflicted with a deadly curse. Elo must join the next pilgrimage he can find—Kissen's pilgrimage—if he wants to save his old friend. No sooner has the group set out for the dead city than a god-summoned monster attacks their caravan, forcing Kissen and Elo to reveal their capabilities—and their godkilling weapons as well. In addition to being exquisitely paced and character-driven, Kaner's novel features a widely diverse cast. Queerness does not draw ridicule in Kaner's invented world, and Kissen is bisexual. Many secondary and tertiary characters are queer. Both heroes and two secondary characters have disabilities; he's living with PTSD, while she's an amputee and ambulatory wheelchair user with a handcrafted metal leg. One secondary character also uses a wheelchair, and another is deaf. Elo is coded as Black. Inara and several tertiary characters are coded as nonwhite. Kissen is white, and Skedi is a fantasy creature resembling a jackalope. An un-put-down-able start to an engrossing low-fantasy trilogy bordering on grimdark. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Book list
From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

In the land of Middren, gods have been outlawed by King Arren and are hunted down by godkillers. This is the story of Kissen the godkiller, who wants revenge against the fire god who killed her family; Inara, a noble girl with a mysterious power, who is bound to Skediceth, a god of white lies; and Elogast, the king’s former knight commander turned baker, who retired when Arren turned against the gods who supported them during the war. The four find themselves unlikely companions on the road to a ruined city, shadowed by demons. What they discover when they arrive could change the course of Middren’s history if they manage to survive. This debut, a cross between The Witcher and Samantha Shannon’s Roots of Chaos series, will attract many speculative readers, especially those compelled by folklore and found family. Though brief by fantasy standards, the setting of Godkiller feels epic and lived in, suggesting much more story to be revealed in future installments of the planned trilogy.

Publishers Weekly
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Kaner thrusts readers into a grisly world of treacherous gods in her enthralling debut and fantasy trilogy launch. After Kissen witnesses a fire god murder her family, her hatred for all deities and thirst for revenge lead to a career as a veiga, or god killer. She has a reputation for being callous, but when Inara Craier, a young, recently orphaned noble girl, seeks Kissen’s help in finding a way to nonfatally sever the mystical bond between her and Skediceth, a “squirrel-sized” god of white lies who, unusually for this world, doesn’t have a shrine, Kissen reluctantly agrees to help, escorting the duo to Blenraden, the city of shrines. Meanwhile, the king is secretly dying, and his best friend, retired knight Elogast, vows to travel to Blenraden to find a god who will save him. Along the way, he meets Kissen, Inara, and Skediceth, and all warily agree to travel together. The road to Blenraden is perilous, and the unpredictable gods who live there are worse, but the unlikely allies have little choice but to seek the deities’ aid. Kaner’s bewitching world forms an ideal backdrop to the adventures of her dynamic and appealing cast. This marks Kaner as a writer to watch. Agent: Ginger Clark, Ginger Clark Literary. (Sept.)