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In Ethrea, Rhian sits upon a precarious throne. Defiant dukes who won't accept her rule threaten the stability of her kingdom. Dexterity has been banished from her court in disgrace. The blue-haired slave Zandakar, the man she thought was her friend, has been revealed as the son of a woman sworn to destroy her world. And Rhian's husband, King Alasdair, is unsure of her lov In Ethrea, Rhian sits upon a precarious throne. Defiant dukes who won't accept her rule threaten the stability of her kingdom. Dexterity has been banished from her court in disgrace. The blue-haired slave Zandakar, the man she thought was her friend, has been revealed as the son of a woman sworn to destroy her world. And Rhian's husband, King Alasdair, is unsure of her love. The trading nations refuse to believe Mijak is a threat, and promise reprisals if she dares protect her realm. Only Emperor Han of mysterious Tzhung-tzhungchai knows that the danger from Mijak is real. But is he an ally, or an enemy in disguise? As she struggles to learn the truth, and keep her embattled crown, the murderous warhost of Mijak advances ...


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In Ethrea, Rhian sits upon a precarious throne. Defiant dukes who won't accept her rule threaten the stability of her kingdom. Dexterity has been banished from her court in disgrace. The blue-haired slave Zandakar, the man she thought was her friend, has been revealed as the son of a woman sworn to destroy her world. And Rhian's husband, King Alasdair, is unsure of her lov In Ethrea, Rhian sits upon a precarious throne. Defiant dukes who won't accept her rule threaten the stability of her kingdom. Dexterity has been banished from her court in disgrace. The blue-haired slave Zandakar, the man she thought was her friend, has been revealed as the son of a woman sworn to destroy her world. And Rhian's husband, King Alasdair, is unsure of her love. The trading nations refuse to believe Mijak is a threat, and promise reprisals if she dares protect her realm. Only Emperor Han of mysterious Tzhung-tzhungchai knows that the danger from Mijak is real. But is he an ally, or an enemy in disguise? As she struggles to learn the truth, and keep her embattled crown, the murderous warhost of Mijak advances ...

30 review for Hammer of God

  1. 5 out of 5

    Ithlilian

    What a struggle this book was. It can be summed up easily. Rhian talks about war and argues with a bunch of people, then there is a bit of fighting. I've never read another book where court politics irritated me so much. Everyone bickers and Rhian yells at them. I guess it's because most other books have rulers that actually command respect, instead of demand it at the top of their lungs and shake a fist. I understand that not everyone likes Rhian and acknowledges her fully, but I got tired of t What a struggle this book was. It can be summed up easily. Rhian talks about war and argues with a bunch of people, then there is a bit of fighting. I've never read another book where court politics irritated me so much. Everyone bickers and Rhian yells at them. I guess it's because most other books have rulers that actually command respect, instead of demand it at the top of their lungs and shake a fist. I understand that not everyone likes Rhian and acknowledges her fully, but I got tired of the constant bickering that never moved forward. The first 600 pages of the book felt pointless, nothing happened other than some discussion and maybe one semi important event. None of the characters are complex or interesting, not even Zandakar. Rhian's marriage isn't interesting to read either. I stuck in there because I loved empress so much, but I honestly think that Riven Kingdom and Hammer of God were a waste of my time, and Empress would be better stand alone. Why can't evil triumph over good for once? Once again, the safe road was taken, in more ways than one.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Angela

    Imagine, for a moment, if Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin decided to learn Spetsnaz knife fighting to combat terrorism. I inflicted this thought experiment on a few friends. Depending on their political disposition, they thought it was either awesome, or a sign of monomaniacal instability. If the latter... does that make you sexist? Well, in the “Hammer of God” world, it does, because legitimate reservations about our Beautiful Heroine, Beloved Warrior Queen of a Pacifist Paradise, don’t exist. Th Imagine, for a moment, if Hillary Clinton or Sarah Palin decided to learn Spetsnaz knife fighting to combat terrorism. I inflicted this thought experiment on a few friends. Depending on their political disposition, they thought it was either awesome, or a sign of monomaniacal instability. If the latter... does that make you sexist? Well, in the “Hammer of God” world, it does, because legitimate reservations about our Beautiful Heroine, Beloved Warrior Queen of a Pacifist Paradise, don’t exist. The noble, divinely-inspired Europeans are still fighting the evil, demonic Middle-Easterners. I would’ve like a book more about conscience and regret, and less those old, moralistic fantasy workhorses. What was good in “Riven Kingdom” is still good, what was bad is still bad. I’ve become resigned to the fact that Karen Miller loves character dialogue and relationships at the expense of anything else. Alasdair’s complex relationship is rewarding, if frustrating to read about. Hamtastic Pope-villain Marlan is gone, thank God. Hekat and Vortka are tragic and tender together. A new character, Emperor Han, a sorcerer of great power, is a fantastically fun enigma, and arguably the best part of the book. No, what sucks is the terrible pacing and strategic ineptitude. Fantasy authors frequently sacrifice pragmatism for awesomeness, but here, it just turns Rhian into an idiot. Early in the book, she’s reluctant to crush rebellious dukes. She controls Kingseat, the only port in Ethrea, a trading nation. This is a fact Karen Miller doesn’t let us forget, as the cast bickers over the trading charter for the next 500 pages. Will she utilize this to bargain with her inland dukes? An economic option that takes like five seconds of thought? Nah, she'll angst about how violence is her only option. She whines about how nobody thinks she can rule, “because I’m a woman.” You could play a drinking game with that phrase. How strong a ruler are you, woman or not, if you don’t know what a port is for? Tcha! Stupid Rhian! You think your moral indignation makes you queen? I think it does not. That’s not the only instance of rampant stupidity, and she’s not the only one. Vortka, one of my favorite characters, doesn’t get to do anything in a practical sense. (Emotionally, his scenes are wonderful.) He’s the administrative priest-leader of an empire, and he can’t do *anything* substantive to stop Hekat? Bull. Extreme passivity is part of his personality, sure, but it’s still frustrating. I’m not a military expert by far, but there’s a certain level of common sense. The book’s thematically about non-violent solutions, but there aren’t any. I understand the purpose of a character-centered story that’s mostly buildup, and I would have *loved* 600 pages worth of politics, intrigue, and war preparation. Characters whining and getting nothing done? Not so much. If you thought this book was going to be an epic, rousing clash of civilizations, with a host of nations uniting against an evil empire.... you're wrong. The armada doesn’t even get built until 600 pages in.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Cheryl

    Karen Miller isn't a bad writer, but she needs to learn that a stronger author would be able to tell the same story in fewer pages. I suppose she's trying to break the trend of plucky teenagers who flounce through a book's plot ordained by powers beyond that of mortals with nary a thought about their emotional state BUT she goes too far in the opposite direction. There's just page after page of characters saying "I don't like this situation!" "Well you don't have to like it, you just have to man Karen Miller isn't a bad writer, but she needs to learn that a stronger author would be able to tell the same story in fewer pages. I suppose she's trying to break the trend of plucky teenagers who flounce through a book's plot ordained by powers beyond that of mortals with nary a thought about their emotional state BUT she goes too far in the opposite direction. There's just page after page of characters saying "I don't like this situation!" "Well you don't have to like it, you just have to manage through it." "What if I can't manage through it?" "God says you have to." "Fine, I'll try but I won't like it!" only to come back to this exact same conversation in another 30 pages. It's almost like Miller tossed in such conflicts just for the sake of having conflict. For the record, I'm not against lengthy novels. I just don't people wasting my time with unnecessary scenes. I feel that every scene in a book should be moving the plot forward or doing some world-building, not treading and retreading the characters complaints and fears and hang-ups in some facade of character building. I really enjoyed Empress and the Riven Kingdom (although I question if Empress couldn't have been incorporated in Riven Kingdom instead of being a book on its own) but Hammer of God was a big disappointment. In the Godspeaker trilogy I'd read over 1500 pages waiting to see the battle between Mijak and Ethrea, and in the end nothing could have lived up to that build-up. Miller shouldn't have allowed herself to get so bogged down in the minutia of the court and the continual whining of the characters.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nikko Lee

    Why I read this book: Hammer of God is the last book in Karen Miller's Godspeaker trilogy. Having read the first two books and enjoyed them, I had to read the last. It's always satisfying to have a series taken to its end, even if it is hard to say good-bye to beloved characters. My one sentence summary: Rhian, queen of a peace-loving nation, must find a way to protect her kingdom against the blood thirsty Mijak empire using any means at her disposal. Kuddos: I love this series. Most of the main char Why I read this book: Hammer of God is the last book in Karen Miller's Godspeaker trilogy. Having read the first two books and enjoyed them, I had to read the last. It's always satisfying to have a series taken to its end, even if it is hard to say good-bye to beloved characters. My one sentence summary: Rhian, queen of a peace-loving nation, must find a way to protect her kingdom against the blood thirsty Mijak empire using any means at her disposal. Kuddos: I love this series. Most of the main characters are unique and fully developed. I wanted to know what happened to the she-girl, slave to no man, Hekat who became empress. I wanted to see how Rhian would wrestle the cantankerous trading nations to her cause and deal with a husband forced into her shadow. I wanted to see Zandakar face off against his mother and brother. The complex relationship that develops between Rhian and Han forces these two rulers to trust each other even though that goes against their every instinct. The romantic tension between Rhian, Alasdair, and Zandakar was riveting. Miller's ability to blend political and religious plots creates a high tension, high stakes atmosphere that drives the story forward at a quick pace despite the lengthiness of her novels. Quibbles: Even though the story didn't end as I wanted it to end, I did not feel cheated or unfulfilled. My only irritation was the meager explanation of the 'god in the world' idea. Chalava is chalava, as the Mijak say. Like the previous book, I would have enjoyed a more abridged version of many of the debates between characters and internal hand wringing. However, it was not nearly as tedious as in the second book of the series. Final verdict: I want to learn to write like Miller. Her plots are complex yet clearly explained to the reader. Her characters are unique and true to their personalities. This is a highly recommended series for me, and I am curious to read her other series.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Dani

    The weird: "Chalava! Chalava! Chalava zho!" Translated that means "God! God! God yes!" It seems more like a Sex chant than something people would shout to war. But what do I know? All the rest: I'm so sad about this series because I really liked the first books despite the weird mistakes that editors should've caught. Like putting "he" instead of "be". The first two books really had me turning the pages and forgetting about all the weird mistakes. The way it was put was well done and I liked the The weird: "Chalava! Chalava! Chalava zho!" Translated that means "God! God! God yes!" It seems more like a Sex chant than something people would shout to war. But what do I know? All the rest: I'm so sad about this series because I really liked the first books despite the weird mistakes that editors should've caught. Like putting "he" instead of "be". The first two books really had me turning the pages and forgetting about all the weird mistakes. The way it was put was well done and I liked the fact that, despite being a god of death, Mijak's god was actually present in the world and in everyday life. Then we come to the third book where everything great about the first two seems to just be tossed out the window. The main conflicts in the book are as follows: 1. Mijak 2. The Armada 3. Boo-hoo I'm a girl 4. My King and I fight These are repeated over and over and over and over and I could go on and on for 500 pages. It gets boring. Hearing "Can we really make it through this?", "Just because I'm a woman!" and "Can our marriage ever be fixed." Gets old. Fast. After the first 200 pages its just like blah blah blah can we get on with the plot already. People have already said this but Miller really does drag on with things. It's almost like she made this a 3 book series because that's what other fantasy authors do. Very little seems to go into the 3rd book. There are 2 battles in the book. Together they don't even equal 100 pages. Less than 100 pages in a 700 page book is actually committed to action between the two countries. I was left wanting a lot more than this book gave me. It fizzled to an end and even though I did like the climatic battle I still found myself thinking "is it over yet?" If it had been condensed and less time was spent whining and worrying it probably could've been a really great series, sadly this wasn't the case. Maybe next time. Maybe next time. . .

  6. 4 out of 5

    Clay Kallam

    Karen Miller’s lengthy trilogy concludes with “Hammer of God” (Orbit, 784 pages). Miller hinted in the first book (“Empress”) that the gods that drive The Godspeaker Trilogy might actually make an appearance – but instead they, like so many gods, did only enough to move the plot along, and never explained themselves. Clearly, the gods have power, and can do much to shape the world, but if so, then there must be an explanation for evil, which never comes. That said, Miller does pull off an interes Karen Miller’s lengthy trilogy concludes with “Hammer of God” (Orbit, 784 pages). Miller hinted in the first book (“Empress”) that the gods that drive The Godspeaker Trilogy might actually make an appearance – but instead they, like so many gods, did only enough to move the plot along, and never explained themselves. Clearly, the gods have power, and can do much to shape the world, but if so, then there must be an explanation for evil, which never comes. That said, Miller does pull off an interesting trick, switching up our expectations of heroism by shifting the ground drastically from book one to book three, and also having the gods tab some unlikely characters as their emissaries. In the end, though, the success of any long trilogy (“The Riven Kingdom” is book two) depends on the narrative skill and character building of the author, and Miller does better in the second than the first. But she is simply too wordy, and all the books could have been trimmed by at least a hundred pages with no loss in effectiveness, especially “The Hammer of God.” And then, despite all those words, the climactic battle between good and evil ends in an almost throwaway line. Just once, I would like a fantasy author to explain the source of the mysterious prophecies, or the mechanism by which the gods interact with the world, or why the gods allow evil to flourish to the point that so much blood must flow to contain it. Miller seemed to be on the brink of such a move, and in fact has witch-men travel to a kind of twilight zone where the gods might live, but never quite realizes that vision – and in falling short of that, the Godspeaker Trilogy also falls short of what it might have been.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kara Babcock

    And we arrive now at the final instalment of my reviews of the Godspeaker trilogy. Picking up soon after the end of The Riven Kingdom , Hammer of God is the epic battle between Mijak and Ethrea, between Hekat and Dmitrak (for Mijak) and Zandakar and Rhian (for Ethrea). Portents, prophecies, faith, and family are all important parts of this book, as Karen Miller propels her plot towards its final, brutal confrontation. Miller spent the first two books building up Mijak as not just a credible th And we arrive now at the final instalment of my reviews of the Godspeaker trilogy. Picking up soon after the end of The Riven Kingdom , Hammer of God is the epic battle between Mijak and Ethrea, between Hekat and Dmitrak (for Mijak) and Zandakar and Rhian (for Ethrea). Portents, prophecies, faith, and family are all important parts of this book, as Karen Miller propels her plot towards its final, brutal confrontation. Miller spent the first two books building up Mijak as not just a credible threat but an overwhelming, nigh-invincible one. Not only are they aligned with demons and practising human sacrifice, but the people of Mijak are just fierce (and not in the fashion way). Time and again, Rhian or other Ethreans moan about how, with no standing army, Ethrea will fall before the Mijak warhost without mounting any real resistance. So the majority of this book concerns the struggle to cobble together that resistance. Before she can create an army, Rhian must secure permission from the trading nations that do business with Ethrea—part of its treaty with these nations prohibits the development of an army. She also needs to persuade these nations to lend their fleets to her cause. But the threat of Mijak is far-off and far from apparent. And even if it weren’t, Rhian would still have to deal with the ambassadors’ prejudices against her age and sex. She has a hard enough time with her own dukes, and even her husband. I’m ambivalent about the way Miller deals with Rhian and Alastair’s relationship in this book. In many ways it feels like a rehash of what happened in The Riven Kingdom. It would be nice to see Alastair’s character develop further—though, to be fair, he starts to come round by the end. Theirs is not the only relationship that seems trapped in a complicated epicycle of quick-tempered indignation. Rhian and her dukes (especially when discussing Han or Zandakar), Dexterity and Ursa, Hekat and Vortka, all display the same characteristics. Miller’s characters, when angry, always seem to be angry in exactly the same way. Once again, Hammer of God strikes me as somewhat longer than ideal. As with the characters’ relationships, the plot orbits a very complex yet very repetitive set of conditions. It just seems like there isn’t actually as much story here as there should be for a book this size. I was eternally waiting for Miller to get on with it, for Mijak to show up, and for the battle to begin. Yet when an author builds up an enemy as virtually unstoppable, it’s very difficult to then defeat that enemy without a clunky deus ex machina or equivalent. Miller has already waded deeply into such territory by invoking prophets and miracles, but she stops short of declaring everything destined and ordained. Rather, God sends a little help, but we have to do the rest. Somehow, she manages to avoid making her resolution too clumsy. Instead, it comes down to the personal conflict between Zandakar and his surviving family members. He tries to reconcile with them rather than kill them, and his inability to do so is both tragic and essential for the conclusion of the story. Zandakar is the only one who can stop the Mijak warhost, turn it around, and return to remake Mijak in a more beneficent image. It all makes sense. I love it when endings make sense. As far as conclusions to a trilogy go, Hammer of God does what one would expect. However, it drags on a little longer than it should. I can’t praise it for keeping me on the edge of my seat. Neither can I complain that it’s boring, confusing, or poorly written. Like a good deal of fantasy, it’s a series I’ve enjoyed but not one that will stick with me in much detail. Empress presents a high barrier to entry for a lot of readers, but the other two books definitely change the tone and footprint of the series. My reviews of the Godspeaker trilogy: ← The Riven Kingdom

  8. 4 out of 5

    Jae

    Ugh. Okay, as my overall review for the trilogy, the first book (Empress) was great, the second book (The Riven Kingdom) was alright... and this one fell so flat. Such a shame. I literally just finished reading this book, so I've got some... passionate opinions about things, and it will include spoilers. Don't read ahead if you don't want spoilers. The series on its own was... decent. A decent, fairy-tale, typical little wrap-up to what started out as an amazing, unique story. But the whole series Ugh. Okay, as my overall review for the trilogy, the first book (Empress) was great, the second book (The Riven Kingdom) was alright... and this one fell so flat. Such a shame. I literally just finished reading this book, so I've got some... passionate opinions about things, and it will include spoilers. Don't read ahead if you don't want spoilers. The series on its own was... decent. A decent, fairy-tale, typical little wrap-up to what started out as an amazing, unique story. But the whole series is a downward curve. It starts out great and progressively gets worse as you read on, leading to an unsatisfying, typical ending. Honestly, I have a few bones to pick with Karen Miller over this book. First, I will say, this is the first "fantasy" novel series that I have read, so I don't have a lot of experience with other fantasy stories or novels. But seriously, why this ending? Why? I mean, it would have been so much cooler if... Ethrea fell, maybe Rhian was spared because of Zandakar and became a slave, taken back to Mijak.... It could start a whole new little plot in itself. Just an idea. But how it ended... just... everyone's happy, la-dee-da.... Ugh. Second, Alasdair. God, Alasdair. Why didn't he get killed off? Am I the only one who really disliked him as a character? He was constantly described as being plain in appearance. He's constantly wracked with jealousy over Zandakar. Why wasn't he just killed off and done with? I'm not going to lie, I was hoping for it, I really was. Which brings me to my third point of Zandakar and Rhian's romance. This romance was seriously hinted at starting in the second book. I mean, Karen Miller REALLY made a point of specifying how into each other Zandakar and Rhian were. Yet nothing happened from all the hints and discussions and writing of how much they liked one another. Why? What was the point? I feel like it was a huge tease for NOTHING to come from this. Yes, I shipped them as a couple, but damn... why put something like that in your book if you don't intend anything to come from it? Why did I waste my time reading those sections? Fourth, how many stupid council meetings do we have to read about to get the gist of what's happening? The Duchy men are in disagreement with Rhian, and Rhian is always right. That's every single council meeting. I was tempted to skip them at times, but I didn't, and now I wish I had. It seemed like a lot of unnecessary detail when it was basically the same scene repeated fifteen times. Why are we reading the same scene over and over? Can't the author just sum it up with a brief paragraph about what happened in said council meeting? I'm completely torn on whether or not to read another Karen Miller novel, which would be The Innocent Mage (again, recommended and borrowed). I'm so disappointed with how "Disney" this ending was that I can't really work up the ambition to try another series. Is it going to end in the same boring fashion? Will nothing come from the tension described? Is everyone just going to say, "I'm going to do &&&&", and it will happen exactly in that way? I know I'm criticizing the hell out of this novel, but I feel like the ending of a series really MAKES the whole series. Maybe I'm just not that experienced in fantasy novels, I don't know, but I was expecting less of a fairytale, Disney-esque ending. Something a little more brutal or drawn-out or... scandalous. Something! But it wasn't. Oh le sigh. At the very least, I will say I enjoyed the storyline of Hekat and Vortka. They were always interesting. Dmitrak and Zandakar as well. Mijak was great to read about, and I really enjoyed the world Karen Miller created for it. It was an interesting tale to see how everything came to an end with their family and Mijak, but I could have done without Rhian and the whole kingdom of Ethrea, as it was dreadfully plain, boring, and too reminiscent of the typical Medieval English setting for fantasy stories. OK, end rant. In a brief conclusion, read the first book a love it? Great! Expect the other two books in the series to be downhill, because it's not nearly as creative and enjoyable to read as Empress.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Emma

    I thought this book concluded the trilogy brilliantly. I laughed I cried and I was shocked and surprised. If I had any problem it was the focus on the political aspect, but this was essential considering Rhian had to have a council to organise how they were going to defeat the darkness of Mijak. Although this book was not a journey like that of The Riven Kindom, it was in its own right. It was the journey of Zandakar, Rhian, Alasdair, Dexterity, Ursa and Helfred who had travelled so far to protect I thought this book concluded the trilogy brilliantly. I laughed I cried and I was shocked and surprised. If I had any problem it was the focus on the political aspect, but this was essential considering Rhian had to have a council to organise how they were going to defeat the darkness of Mijak. Although this book was not a journey like that of The Riven Kindom, it was in its own right. It was the journey of Zandakar, Rhian, Alasdair, Dexterity, Ursa and Helfred who had travelled so far to protect their Kingdom in their own way from the evil of Mijak. And this was hardest for Zandakar, as he wanted to save his father and mother, even his brother who hated him. I was thrilled to find out that the Mijaki people had been believing in a dark power, rather than a God. And for the fact that Zandakar realised and was determined to save Ethrea and the ones he loved. I was also very thankful that Dexterity Jones did not die. I had the worst feeling that he was going to save Ethrea with Zandakar and perish. But alas no, he lived and was able to save Zandakar from loneliness and the Mijaki people from worshipping the wrong God. Not to mention he had a much bigger part to play in the whole series than I thought which made me happier. Not all people of power are here to help the world. The humble and kind are sometimes more powerful than we could imagine! A part of me was unhappy that Zandakar and Rhian were not able to be together, because honestly I am a soppy romantic at heart, but looking at the bigger picture I realised that his destiny was to lead Mijak and his people in the right direction again and Rhian had to stand for Ethrea as a Warrior Queen, so they could never be together. One last point that I pondered after I finished the book and was trying to get to sleep. I had this nagging feeling that Rhian, at the end of this book showed an inkling of Hekat in her. When she in essence forced Zandakar to choose, to kill his brother and save her. This reminded me of Hekat pressuring Raklion to get rid of Hanochek. It was not entirely the same situation I admit but part of me couldn't help but hate her for one becoming an image of Hekat in a way and two using his love for her to overrule his love for his brother. To conclude I felt that Karen Miller is an amazing writer who can put all the right elements to keep me especially hooked. I look forward to the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker series! There we go, I apologise if anyone reads this and just thinks I am rambling. When it comes to books I ramble and no one will listen so I thought best to stick it as my review. :]

  10. 5 out of 5

    Mel

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I should start by saying that I really like the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker duology and adore Karen Miller’s Rogue Agent series under the name K.E. Mills. However, in total the whole Godspeaker trilogy left me somewhat underwhelmed. From a purely technical side it is extremely well done with the first book Empress focusing on Mikak’s rise from slave to Empress of the desert nation and her relationship with the god. The action in the second book switches entirely to the island kingdom of Ethrea where I should start by saying that I really like the Kingmaker, Kingbreaker duology and adore Karen Miller’s Rogue Agent series under the name K.E. Mills. However, in total the whole Godspeaker trilogy left me somewhat underwhelmed. From a purely technical side it is extremely well done with the first book Empress focusing on Mikak’s rise from slave to Empress of the desert nation and her relationship with the god. The action in the second book switches entirely to the island kingdom of Ethrea where Rhian fights for her crown against a society which expects men to rule. The parallels between these two strong women who have such similar journeys but end up in completely different places really comes to the fore in this book. Everything from their relationship with god and being ‘chosen’, to their warrior queen reputation is mirrored – even to their facial scars! I full appreciate what Karen Miller did in the whole trilogy – and you need to rad all three to fully appreciate the scale - but what was slightly disappointing was the lack of action in this final book. The vast majority of the story was set at council meetings where people argued. A lot. I like a bit of political intrigue but there wasn’t much in here – simply people disagreeing with each other. Eventually this all ended in a huge battle, but even that was washed over with many key characters fates decided ‘off screen’. There was something about the whole series that I didn’t click with – it’s not bad at all and rather cleverly done, but I didn’t invest much into the story or care deeply for the characters

  11. 5 out of 5

    Autumn Nicole

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. There were some structural problems. The middle section of the book lagged a fair bit as the Rhain-vs-Ambassadors plot sagged. The problem wasn't so much that it was slow, but that the wrap up to that plot was nearly instantaneous and jarringly fast. Like a rubber band snapping. But not in a good tension-and-release way, in a foreshadowed-but-difficult-to-justify-deus-ex-machina way. Rhian's relationship with Alastair borders on turning him into an antagonist, and in light of that, it's a little There were some structural problems. The middle section of the book lagged a fair bit as the Rhain-vs-Ambassadors plot sagged. The problem wasn't so much that it was slow, but that the wrap up to that plot was nearly instantaneous and jarringly fast. Like a rubber band snapping. But not in a good tension-and-release way, in a foreshadowed-but-difficult-to-justify-deus-ex-machina way. Rhian's relationship with Alastair borders on turning him into an antagonist, and in light of that, it's a little surprising that more wasn't done with the Zandakar part of that triangle. It was interesting to see a flawed marriage that showed the real ebb and flow of feelings rather than it all being one-way toward estrangement with nothing holding it back. Hekat needs to die, but I would have liked a moment where *she* realizes her mistake, and not just the mistake of killing Vortka. I think the slow road back to acknowledging her love for Zandakar and Vortka was beautifully done. It could have just done with one more step before the end to make it all the more powerful. Still, the conclusion is beautifully tragic, and it wouldn't have been so satisfying if we hadn't had all of book 1 to learn Hekat's mind.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cindy

    I have mixed emotions about this book. I really loved the characters because Miller does such a great job building them up to the readers. However the ending, just left me not feeling very complete. I feel as though there is a fourth book or something. I didn't hate the ending and such but I just didn't feel fullfilled (And after reading over 1500 pages for this trilogy I kinda wanna feel that.) Another thing I didn't like is there are a lot of questions raised about plot in this book, There's a I have mixed emotions about this book. I really loved the characters because Miller does such a great job building them up to the readers. However the ending, just left me not feeling very complete. I feel as though there is a fourth book or something. I didn't hate the ending and such but I just didn't feel fullfilled (And after reading over 1500 pages for this trilogy I kinda wanna feel that.) Another thing I didn't like is there are a lot of questions raised about plot in this book, There's a lot of stuff that happens that doesn't get pursued further in the book. It was an alright read. Miller's writing makes it for a quick read to get through (800 pages in a few days) and there is the factor that I couldn't put it down.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    This trilogy started out promising. By the end, however, it was nothing more than a racist fantasy where the nation clearly based on Western European history was unproblematically "good". The only characters in the opposing nation (which seem to be based on a confusing mix of Egyptian myths and various tribal societies) who are "good" are those who adopt the Western view - and are even LIGHTER SKINNED than siblings, other family members and friends. I've rarely finished a book as angry as I finis This trilogy started out promising. By the end, however, it was nothing more than a racist fantasy where the nation clearly based on Western European history was unproblematically "good". The only characters in the opposing nation (which seem to be based on a confusing mix of Egyptian myths and various tribal societies) who are "good" are those who adopt the Western view - and are even LIGHTER SKINNED than siblings, other family members and friends. I've rarely finished a book as angry as I finished this one.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Guillermo

    The ending of this book was disappointing. Which is a shame, because for most of its length, I think the book managed to combine the best things of the first and second books, while for the most parts avoiding its flaws. But the pace, awkward from the very first book in the series, faltered again, getting increasingly worse as the story neared its climax, until near the very end it started skimming and summarizing and jumping around like a monkey only at the last realizing he had squandered his The ending of this book was disappointing. Which is a shame, because for most of its length, I think the book managed to combine the best things of the first and second books, while for the most parts avoiding its flaws. But the pace, awkward from the very first book in the series, faltered again, getting increasingly worse as the story neared its climax, until near the very end it started skimming and summarizing and jumping around like a monkey only at the last realizing he had squandered his allotted length of rope and had to make for a crash landing. Thats how the ending, and in some regards most, of Hammer of God felt to me. There was so much wasted space. So much time spent either on unimportant details or on hyping and building up Mijak's invasion- only to have that invasion summarised and fast-forwarded in the most unappealing of ways. Some plot threads also felt unimportant on the whole. Like the trip to Mijak's base, the scorpion knife, Ethrea's god telling the true to Zandakaar's father and his subsequent promise to help. That one never really pays up. Sure, we get to see Vortka's frustration and grief, but that in itself is nothing new. He has always been, as Hekat would say, a soft man. There really isn't any new development in him. Seeing him come to the realization that Mijak's god was a demon would have been worth it, except again the scene is Deux-ex-machina'd in a way that while perhaps not boring, does steal some of the climatic feeling by stealing some of the conflict from the story. Honestly, I loved Dexterity's character. He and Vortka are probably my favourite ones, but I really hate the fomer's miracles, and I never failed to feel like they were doing more harm than good to the story. I also particularly hate-loved the resolution between Zandakaar and Rhyan. (view spoiler)[ On one side, I think most people were expecting they would fall together from the very beginnings of the first book. To see that particular cliché avoided was good. On the other hand, I do wish Zandakaar had gotten a little closer. The story tells us that they are close and have a connection, but it doest actually shows this to us, other than their very brief scenes together and the many moments when Rhyan defends him to everyone else. (hide spoiler)]

  15. 5 out of 5

    Elizabeth

    As a whole the Godspeaker Trilogy is a resounding "okay." Miller's prose is smooth and pretty, yet it's so repetitive that each book in this trilogy could shed about two hundred pages and still retain their poignancy. This book is, by far, the weakest installment. I would have given it one star if not for a surprisingly satisfying conclusion. Everyone is SO mad at each other the entire time, they do nothing but fight and yell and whine, and Rhian cries sexism in many situations where I find it un As a whole the Godspeaker Trilogy is a resounding "okay." Miller's prose is smooth and pretty, yet it's so repetitive that each book in this trilogy could shed about two hundred pages and still retain their poignancy. This book is, by far, the weakest installment. I would have given it one star if not for a surprisingly satisfying conclusion. Everyone is SO mad at each other the entire time, they do nothing but fight and yell and whine, and Rhian cries sexism in many situations where I find it unnecessary. All foreign relations in this book reek of xenophobia, and, though the forms of good and evil in this book are creative, the physiological and geographical parallels this book holds with the real world are disturbing (AKA brown desert people bad, white churchgoing people good). The first two books are both better than this one in their own ways. There are a handful of characters that you can learn to love and intriguing places to go. I recommend reading the first two in their entirety and then reading the final forty pages of this one.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Francina Simone

    I haven't finished it. I became so angry in the middle of the book because of the SAME argument, "Oh Im a queen and me and my husband are having issues regarding everything about that." I dropped the book because it was to much. I wanted to scream, "I don't care anymore, for the love of cupcakes! Get over yourself, grow a sack, and stop crying about everything!" The book lost intensity and I decided I was done with the characters and the book. I'll finish it one day because It's on the shelf but I haven't finished it. I became so angry in the middle of the book because of the SAME argument, "Oh Im a queen and me and my husband are having issues regarding everything about that." I dropped the book because it was to much. I wanted to scream, "I don't care anymore, for the love of cupcakes! Get over yourself, grow a sack, and stop crying about everything!" The book lost intensity and I decided I was done with the characters and the book. I'll finish it one day because It's on the shelf but, I'm still a little angry.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Liviu

    The last book (hopefully) in the series, suffers again from ultra-bloat saved only by the energetic style. Still telling a 100 page story in 550+ pages takes skill :) Maybe in the next book the author would bother to write a plot better than at a second grade level

  18. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    Great conclusion to the Godspeaker trilogy.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carina

    My friend Heather lent me the first two books in this series which I read pretty darn quickly last month. I mentioned to my other friend, Sophie, how much I wanted to read the third and, bless her heart, she only went and got me a copy! I'm glad she did because this book concludes the series pretty much perfectly. To recap from my review of The Riven Kingdom there were a few things I wanted to happen in this book: - Hekat and Zandekar to reunite - to see how Rhian copes with the threat of Mijak and My friend Heather lent me the first two books in this series which I read pretty darn quickly last month. I mentioned to my other friend, Sophie, how much I wanted to read the third and, bless her heart, she only went and got me a copy! I'm glad she did because this book concludes the series pretty much perfectly. To recap from my review of The Riven Kingdom there were a few things I wanted to happen in this book: - Hekat and Zandekar to reunite - to see how Rhian copes with the threat of Mijak and how she allies (or not) with the trade countries - Zandekar to stike his brother down Now obviously a proper discussion of these falls into spoiler territoy so if you want to know if the things I wanted to happen did then click below! (view spoiler)[All three things happened (the middle one clearly had to if you think about it...) but perhaps not how I wanted... In chronological order then, Rhian does really well in terms of accepting the threat, though I think her... annoyance... at Zandakar and Jones is rather unQueenly. Though that does show how new she is to that role. I really, really enjoyed the alliance between Rhian and Han of T-somethingorother - I thought the way their relationship developed was awesome and I would love for their to be a series about Han and his country. The reunion between Hekat and Zandakar ... it happened as it needed to for these characters (i.e. it did not go down well) but I just wish there had been some more time for them, for Zandakar to have spent a few more minutes with his Yuma, maybe for Hekat to realise that she was freaking crazy in the same way that (view spoiler)[Vortka did (hide spoiler)] . As for the Zandakar v Dimmy show down, well again I wish some more time had been devoted to it, but what happened and how it happened is perfect for the book. (hide spoiler)] Rhian certainly grows into her role as Queen, I really enjoyed seeing the evolution that she undertakes, from a head-strong girl to Queen in Riven Kingdom, from Queen to Warrior to Ruler in this book. She isn't quite as fierce as Hekat is, but she's certainly as strong in her own way. Alasdair is... annoying comes to mind but he improves as the book goes on. You can understand why he is as petulant or childish as he is at times, but it doesn't come across as being particularly noble. But guess what - nobles are human beings too and he certainly comes off as being human! I think what Miller does well is creating characters that are human and flawed, in a way that doesn't come across as being pointless or there for plot reasons. Zandakar is, Zandakar. He doesn't really change all that much - his big character moment came in Riven Kingdom. I do wish he had been a bit more emotive at certain moments though (for example when (view spoiler)[he found out that Vortka was his father, or that his country had started human sacrifice, or that the god he had served all his life was actually a demon, and what his culture thought of as demons were actualy on the side of good (though that raises questions about good and evil and... I'm not a theology student so I'm so not going in that territory (hide spoiler)] . Jones and Ursa are another pair that haven't changed much really since Riven Kingdom. They're okay, but Ursa can be more than a little grating. Han... now, he is interesting. I didn't like him in Riven Kingdom, but then he did only turn up at the last moment and spoil things for Zanakar so... maybe that is understandable. But in this he goes from being a cold, manipulative ruler to someone desperately trying to do the best for his people and country. His relationship with Rhian goes from one of a man who thinks he knows best, to a somewhat ally, to a potential threat, to a friend. I really wish there was more of him in this book, and part of me hopes that Miller has included him and/or his nation in other books of hers. Overall, a very strong finish to a series I wasn't sure I'd want to read in full. I'm looking forward to reading more by this author in the future.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Andrew

    I know people have said pushing through book 1 was worth it for 2 and 3. I don't agree, but I'm glad I did. As with most of Karen's books once I get into the story, I'm hooked. I know people have said pushing through book 1 was worth it for 2 and 3. I don't agree, but I'm glad I did. As with most of Karen's books once I get into the story, I'm hooked.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Christina

    Welp. I got sucked in to the story enough to finish the whole thing, but I'm warning you now: don't waste your time. I believe this book contains the shortest sea battle in the history of fantasy books. Oh, also, you know that 'conflict' that the entire trilogy has been building towards? Resolved in about 3 paragraphs. That's. It. I was so upset that I read "the god sees you in its eye" and "no, Alasdair, we need him" 100 times each to get to three whole paragraphs of conflict resolution. Just, no Welp. I got sucked in to the story enough to finish the whole thing, but I'm warning you now: don't waste your time. I believe this book contains the shortest sea battle in the history of fantasy books. Oh, also, you know that 'conflict' that the entire trilogy has been building towards? Resolved in about 3 paragraphs. That's. It. I was so upset that I read "the god sees you in its eye" and "no, Alasdair, we need him" 100 times each to get to three whole paragraphs of conflict resolution. Just, no.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Shaye

    I am so glad that Mijak wins. Mijak. MIJAK! I couldn't believe they all died. It was refreshing to see Hekat and V's affection in this book. What I found most interesting was that they deemed the Mijak god bad and the Ethrean god good. Ok? The blood sacrificing was a bit much but was the Ethrea god any better. I am so glad that Mijak wins. Mijak. MIJAK! I couldn't believe they all died. It was refreshing to see Hekat and V's affection in this book. What I found most interesting was that they deemed the Mijak god bad and the Ethrean god good. Ok? The blood sacrificing was a bit much but was the Ethrea god any better.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    I read most of this book in one sitting. This is the second series by Karen Miller that I've read, and I love her characters - I can't help getting attached to them. I liked the glimpses into the other countries that Rhian deals with, especially Tzhung-tzhungchai. I read most of this book in one sitting. This is the second series by Karen Miller that I've read, and I love her characters - I can't help getting attached to them. I liked the glimpses into the other countries that Rhian deals with, especially Tzhung-tzhungchai.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Joey Woolfardis

    [Short and quick review from memory before I re-read and re-review at a later date: Loved this series quite a lot, but I don't remember much from the latter two books. Definite re-read, and I think it was relatively quick-read fantasy, too, which is basically what it's there for.] [Short and quick review from memory before I re-read and re-review at a later date: Loved this series quite a lot, but I don't remember much from the latter two books. Definite re-read, and I think it was relatively quick-read fantasy, too, which is basically what it's there for.]

  25. 5 out of 5

    Tracy

    This was a satisfying conclusion to this rousing trilogy. While at times the books seemed too long I very much enjoyed all of them.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Martynior

    Quite disappointed. The third book of the series is, in my opinion, the most boring. Instead of being packed with action and wrap up the entire trilogy, it drags on and on and on replying the same scenes of council meetings, arguments, self-doubt and marital issues. The ending, after such a buildup of three lengthy books, is flat. Expecting something spectacular and twisted, I was disappointed at a very "and they lived happily ever after" closing scene. It was Mijak attacking a peaceful country Quite disappointed. The third book of the series is, in my opinion, the most boring. Instead of being packed with action and wrap up the entire trilogy, it drags on and on and on replying the same scenes of council meetings, arguments, self-doubt and marital issues. The ending, after such a buildup of three lengthy books, is flat. Expecting something spectacular and twisted, I was disappointed at a very "and they lived happily ever after" closing scene. It was Mijak attacking a peaceful country that had just a handful of warriors trained at a very last minute, yet they prevail. Zandakar promises Rhian to fight for her kingdom yet runs away at the very beginning of the battle just to spend nearly all day looking for his brother amidst the destruction his people inflict on the city. Witch-men are a mystery to the very end and nothing is explained. The godspeaker Vortka is a static character that doesn't develop into anything interesting and, in my opinion, is just a waste of time to read about how he can't accomplish anything and does exactly what Hekat wants him to because he's scared and he loves her. Miracles are convenient and take away a lot of action that, if approached without them, would be so much more interesting and would allow better development of characters. Overall it's a good read with an interesting world of Mijak, but a very standard fantasy setting and plot afterwards.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kes

    There are quite a few parallels between Hekat and Rhian - both are women determined to steamroll their way through objections. The difference is that Hekat is the empress, but Rhian needs to cajole and practice diplomacy as well. Rhian is also married - and wow, her marriage to Alisdair doesn't look good, what with her announcing her decisions concerning him before open council so that he can't argue in front of her, him making unilateral decisions that undermine her position, like revealing (vi There are quite a few parallels between Hekat and Rhian - both are women determined to steamroll their way through objections. The difference is that Hekat is the empress, but Rhian needs to cajole and practice diplomacy as well. Rhian is also married - and wow, her marriage to Alisdair doesn't look good, what with her announcing her decisions concerning him before open council so that he can't argue in front of her, him making unilateral decisions that undermine her position, like revealing (view spoiler)[Dexterity and Zandakar stopped San-Dao from raising a storm to destroy Mijak's ships (hide spoiler)] . So most of the book is filled with the straightforward politicking, or Rhian realising that her dukes have been discussing things behind her back. (Strangely, she doesn't try to meet with them individually.) Even with the ambassadors, she prefers to deal with them as a group, rather than individually. She is twenty, but still... This is one of the books where I'm not sure how they succeeded. I did love the writing for this - the phrasing of Hekat's chapters (or the chapters in Mijak) are different, with Hekat's chapters having more run on sentences. It's those little details that are great. 3.5/5 stars

  28. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Miller

    I have now finished re-reading this series through listening to the audio version of it. My final say is that Empress is my favorite of the three because as evil as Hekat is, she's engaging and so is her world. I love Zandikar almost as much, so seeing his final battle in this book was nice, but what it's missing for me is so spoilery that I have to hide it.(view spoiler)[ I totally wanted the two nations to join through marriage in the end. Oh, sure, she's already married, but her husband is rea I have now finished re-reading this series through listening to the audio version of it. My final say is that Empress is my favorite of the three because as evil as Hekat is, she's engaging and so is her world. I love Zandikar almost as much, so seeing his final battle in this book was nice, but what it's missing for me is so spoilery that I have to hide it.(view spoiler)[ I totally wanted the two nations to join through marriage in the end. Oh, sure, she's already married, but her husband is really not the best match for her and Zandikar was drug through a minefield by life. I wanted some happiness for him, even if it was scarred by his family. I don't know if the author finished it this way because she's too kind or if she finished it this way because she's cruel enough to have written Hekat to begin with. (hide spoiler)]

  29. 4 out of 5

    Tavia

    This book took me oh so long to get through. But I was determined finish. The details are so drawn out. It just made it a drag at times. I felt like I was given the boring side of people who rule. The most tedious parts of what goes on in the background of other stories which we hardly ever see cause we are on an adventure somewhere else. That’s the best I can explain without spoilers. So even though I love the first book in this series it’s best to say it’s a walk in the park compared to the th This book took me oh so long to get through. But I was determined finish. The details are so drawn out. It just made it a drag at times. I felt like I was given the boring side of people who rule. The most tedious parts of what goes on in the background of other stories which we hardly ever see cause we are on an adventure somewhere else. That’s the best I can explain without spoilers. So even though I love the first book in this series it’s best to say it’s a walk in the park compared to the the last two. The ending wasn’t expected cause I loved the characters from the beginning but made to hate them at the end. Hekat. Oh Hekat. Sigh.......

  30. 5 out of 5

    A.L. DeLeon

    This is probably my favorite series by Karen Miller. I’m sorry to see the story end in this third book, but I did enjoy reading them all. I found there was much food for thought within this tale and well worth the time to read. It’s not an easy task to write a fantasy novel that’s centered around the faces of God, how people view the world, and act within their own set of beliefs. The Godspeaker Trilogy, in my opinion, was an incredible feat from a writing perspective and it was done very, very This is probably my favorite series by Karen Miller. I’m sorry to see the story end in this third book, but I did enjoy reading them all. I found there was much food for thought within this tale and well worth the time to read. It’s not an easy task to write a fantasy novel that’s centered around the faces of God, how people view the world, and act within their own set of beliefs. The Godspeaker Trilogy, in my opinion, was an incredible feat from a writing perspective and it was done very, very well.

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