This is a sequel and there will be spoilers for book one.
Ruthless Gods by Emily A. Duncan
Darkness never works alone…
Nadya doesn’t trust her magic anymore. Serefin is fighting off a voice in his head that doesn’t belong to him. Malachiasz is at war with who–and what–he’s become.
As their group is continually torn apart, the girl, the prince, and the monster find their fates irrevocably intertwined. They’re pieces on a board, being orchestrated by someone… or something. The voices that Serefin hears in the darkness, the ones that Nadya believes are her gods, the ones that Malachiasz is desperate to meet—those voices want a stake in the world, and they refuse to stay quiet any longer.
Expected publication: April 7th 2020 by Macmillan
There will be spoilers for book one (Wicked Saints) in my review.
Wicked Saints was one of my favorites last year, so I had pretty high expectations going into Ruthless Gods. It didn’t disappoint me. I *may* have even liked it more. The book took me about two hours longer than normal to read, but there was so much to take in. This book is dark and detailed. I love Emily’s writing.
Ruthless Gods starts off months after Wicked Saints ended. Malachiasz is gone and Nadya had been hiding out with Serefin. He is back from the dead and needs to be the king. Serefin isn’t sure why he’s hiding an enemy, but he does it anyway. Until someone decides they want to take over and they know Nadya is there. The witch had some predictions before they left.
Nadya hasn’t been hearing from the Gods anymore. Serefin has an old God living inside of him. There are actually two people and they use his eye to make him see. The voices are constant and getting to Serefin. Malachiasz is lost being the Black Vulture. His humanity is almost gone. He and Nadya are connected somehow through magic. She has to find him, make him realize who he is, and take him to a holy place that will likely kill him. Nadya both loves and hate Malachiasz. The boy she fell in love with is still there, but the Vulture is always there, too. She has to choose between her country and the gods and her love for this boy. Nadya woke up something dark that she needs to stop.
“Things are waking up. Old things, dark things. The old ones who have slept for so very very long. You set it into motion. You and that Vulture.”
Everyone in the book is battling something in their heads. Serefin is getting worse every day. The God inside him is slowly taking over. Nadya is battling with her feelings for Malachaisz, her new power, and that she had been kept in the dark about a lot of things by the people who loved her. Malachaisz battles to keep any part of himself. Parj has a secret she battles with. So many enemies are working together for different outcomes. There is a closeness between all of them. None of them are all good or all bad. They believe their reasoning is right, even when it tears them up inside.
“But things are as simple as good and evil.” “Are they?” Nadya thought about the voice, about her dreams filled with monsters.
The old Gods were banished and kept secret from Nadya. They are not content and seek revenge. Malachaiz is needed for it in some ways. For Serefin, Velyos needs Serefin to kill Malachaiz. Nadya needs him to enter into a forest that will likely kill him. Malachaiz has this power inside of him, begging to come out. Nothing good can come out of the plans any of them made.
“What happens when a monster tries to become a god?”
My review is so very random and vague, but I don’t want to ruin the story for anyone. So much happens. There is so much blood and death. The darkness is larger in this one. Betrayal is definitely a big theme and I had to remember that I couldn’t trust anyone. And again, we were left with a twist at the end of the book. I am so sad that I’ll have to wait over a year for the third book, but I know it will be worth the wait.
Warnings for cutting, blood magic, war, and death. Pretty much everything from Wicked Saints.
Thank you to the publisher and Netgalley for my earc. I gave this book 5 stars. Quotes were taken from an early copy and may change before final publication.
Have you read Wicked Saints yet? Have you had the chance to read Ruthless Gods yet? I’m so curious to see what everyone thinks after seeing some very mixed reviews.