Following the death of his father, Narcel longs to escape the ongoing violence and wars of the land of Braze. It doesn't help that his mother is mayor of Valhia and his older brother the top advocate for war. Another point against Narcel is his devious cousin, and the fact that they both love the same girl.
His world is thrown upside down when first his brother goes missing, and then Narcel's taken by the warrior Mawtu and made to become one of their slaves and fighters.
At first he's all alone, caught between his will to live and his hatred for these people. But soon allegiances form and the legends of the gods begin to tempt him and his brothers. If he can survive through training and establish himself in these warrior ranks, Narcel may be able to bring this land and its people to the peace he believes it deserves.
When his two worlds collide, the warrior brothers he's trained with and learned to love, and the village of his youth, Narcel is forced to make a choice that will inevitably bring Braze to levels of war it has never seen.
If you love such epic fantasy books as Prince of Thorns, Game of Thrones, or Way of Kings, you'll feel at home with this series.
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Keep Reading/Listening - Totally Worth It!!
- Michelle Titherington VanDaley
Military Fantasy that stands out!
Justin Sloan’s Land of Gods is a fantasy story that combines many of the elements I liked best from the movie 300 with the first half of Full Metal Jacket. It is part ancient Greek adventure, part military basic training story, and part love triangle.
One of the underlying themes in Land of Gods is the bond between brother in arms. Narcel experiences this not just with the other conscripts, but also with his Mawtu trainers. As they ride to war against his homeland, Narcel is torn between his loyalty to the blood thirsty Mawtu and his revulsion of their actions.
“You have friends like me that are like this lake here, always calm and relaxed, always there for you. Then you have our Mawtu trainers. Like the rivers, they are always raging. And the ocean, well, I can’t think of something as perfect at times and insane at others, except for women.” -Semreh to Narcel
Jeff Hays does an excellent job as the narrator. The different "voices" he uses fits the individual characters and make it easy to know who is talking at any time. Narrators can make or break even the best story, and Hays's performance makes this one even better.
Justin Sloan does an excellent job using his experience as a United States Marine to describe the training Narcel goes through at the hands of his Mawtu abductors. This is obvious to anyone who has served in the military. The loneliness and hopelessness Narcel feels has been felt by everyone who has ever attended basic training or boot camp. He befriends two other boys, who both later make great sacrifices for their friendship. Initially, all of the conscripts fear and hate their Mawtu trainers. However, as time passes Narcel grows to respect them and eventually somewhat care for them.
I read the ebook version of Land of Gods last summer, and I've read the rest of the books in the series. I was pretty excited when this one came to Audible, but I was a little surprised by how much I enjoyed listening to it. There were things that I either missed the first time around or must have forgotten. I hope that Sloan brings the other books to Audible and uses Jeff Hays again as the narrator.
- Aloysius Kling