Last year one of the first books I was lucky enough to review was The Gutter Prayer by Gareth Hanrahan. It was one of my favourite fantasy novels of the year and knowing a second book was coming had me beyond excited. Now it’s January 2020 and low and behold my first review of 2020 on my blog page is The Shadow Saint, the sequel to The Gutter Prayer.
Writing this review has proved to be difficult because I’m so overwhelmed at how brilliant it was and my brain is fried so please bare with me 🤣
So The Shadow Saint continues on more or less after the first book. The city of Guerdon is basically recovering from a secret event that occured known as “The Crisis”. The public don’t know the jist of what exactly happened but it is engraved in the memory of those who witnessed the events.
The city has also very much changed since then as we now have the city of “New Guerdon” which is the central hub for refugees and the underbelly of Guerdon. Two things haven’t changed though, one is the coming of the Gods War. In simple terms, it’s basically a war raging on between clashing gods. Secondly, people are still a bunch of greedy shits lol. Whispers speak of dangerous weapons capable of killing the gods in one go are hidden under the city of Guerdon protected by Ghouls. But, this doesn’t stop two nations, the city of Ishmere and Haith from wanting to take the weapons for themselves.
Tensions are about to implode between these three cities. Death is inevitable, the Gods War coming to Guerdon is looking more likely but can someone stop what is about to happen? You’ll have to read to find out🙇🏽♂️
So this time around, the character of Eladora Duttin from The Gutter Prayer takes a more central role in this sequel. But the story is also told from the point of view of two new characters. Firstly, we have a man simply known as “The Spy” who has been sent from Ishmire to Guerdon. He can effortlessly slip from one personality to another in order to prevent his true origins being known. We also have the character of Terevant Erevesic who is the brother of Olthic, the current ambassador of the city of Haith.
Now I’m not even going to lie, I was pretty sad that the characters from the first book, Carillion, Rat and Spar didn’t take centre stage in this one. I truly loved them as characters and would’ve loved to have seen more of them in this book. But what we do see of them in this book made me glad they weren’t totally gone.
Now let me get to the characters in the sequel. Firstly, I really liked the character of Eladora who is a returning character from the first book. She comes across as someone who is timid and not confident in her abilities. But, when she does come out of this shell of hers she is an absolute badass. Her character development was stupendous and as the story went on you really got to see that she is not only has a great mind, but she is also courageous and brave.
We also have Terevant who again was an absolutely fantastic character. I really liked how he was basically protrayed to be an outcast/underdog. His brother Olthic is basically loved by everyone in the city of Haith and is considered a legend for what he’s done on the battlefield. Whereas Terevant is overlooked and pushed aside due to some things that made people doubt him. He knows his brother is everything he is not
“While Terevant was getting his men
killed in a futile charge on the temple of the Lion Queen, Plastic was
capturing the Ishmeric flagship in the harbour. While Terevant was
testifying to the committee of inquiry, Ethic was being made the new ambassador to Guerdon. Just some of those little ironies that makes life worth throwing under a train.They’ll write novels about Olthic one day.”
His character development skyrockets throughout the book as he slowly becomes more confident in himself and comes out of his brothers shadow.
Last but not least we have The Spy. His character arc for me was perfection personified. As he is a spy he lives on a web of lies and deceat, squirming his way into the centre of Guerdon. Even though he has been sent to infiltrate Guerdon, he’s must battle with his morals and what is right and wrong. If the Oscars were a thing in Guerdon, this man would’ve won best actor, director, producer you name it! He was such an interesting and intriguing character because at no point did I know his true agenda. And when you do finally find out what there is to know about him i was shooketh!
All in all a fantastic group of central characters who I easily got used to. Usually it can take time when new characters pop up but It so easy to adapt to the change.
Now in terms of the overall story and world building, this was a fantastic follow-up to the Gutter Prayer. In fact, this is one of the best follow ups I’ve read in so long and I have my fingers, toes and eyes crossed that there will be a third book! It felt so good being back in Guerdon and returning felt like I had never even left. Guerdon is more than just a city it’s live and kicking and basically a character in itself. The way in which Gareth Hanrahan has intricately built this amazing world and the atmosphere throughout should be praised by everyone in my humble opinion. I could genuinely picture the setting in my imagination and it was so precise that if I closed my eyes I could picture myself there probably in a market place selling exotic fruits or something 🤣
Anyway, there is no point in me going on and on. This sequel was Fantastic! I have nothing but praise for Gareth Hanrahan for writing this phenomenal series. I can’t wait to see what more is to come from him✊🏽
Finally, thank you so much to Nazia for sending me this. The Gutter Prayer was the first ever book that Orbit sent me and since then I’ve been nothing but grateful for the follow-ups I’ve received. So special about out to Nazia and Orbit ☺️
The Shadow Saint is out on the 09.01.2020