________________ CM . . . . Volume XXIII Number 33 . . . . May 5, 2017


Gods of Nabban.

K. V. Johansen.
Amherst, NY: PYR/Prometheus Books, 2016.
575 pp., trade pbk. & Ebook, $17.00 USD (pbk.), $9.99 USD (Ebook).
ISBN 978-1-63388-203-4 (pbk.), ISBN 978-1-63388-204-1 (Ebook).

Subject Headings:

Grades 9 and up / Ages 14 and up.

Review by Ronald Hore.

*** /4



He remembered. They had been stalked through the hills all that day, since early in the morning. The Lady was dead. Six riders on horseback, never closing in, never letting themselves, they thought, be seen. Ghu had kept the dogs, white and grey Jui and dun Jiot, in close, though they had been alert and bristling, wanting to investigate. Most likely the six were after the camels and, if they had seen it, Ahjvar's sword and the rings in his ears; they couldn't think Ahjvar and Ghu had any other wealth, just two more masterless wanderers come east from the defeat of Marakand's mercenaries at the Orsamoss. They might be ragged and growing gaunt with short commons, but to such men they would still be worth robbing. There was the gold and sea-ivory of the sword's hilt and the camels were still in good condition, better fed than their masters. Ghu cared for them well and had stolen only the best to start with, not but what the Praitannec kings had owed him more than the price of two camels for their victory.

      A standalone epic fantasy novel, Gods of Nabban consists of 572 pages plus acknowledgements and a page on the author. The book opens with two pages of maps, a page outlining the world in which the story is set, and eight pages of dramatis personae. The story, itself, is divided into three parts subdivided into 46 chapters and an epilogue.

      The gods of Nabban are dying, and the story revolves around the adventures of Ghu, a fugitive slave who may be a god, and Ahjvar, an assassin who may also be dead. There are heroes and villains, human, demon, and otherwise. The Empire of Nabban has fallen into the hands of an usurper who is possessed by something evil. There are gory scenes, and scenes that touch lightly on sex.

      Ahjvar is tortured by memories of things he has done in his past, Ghu is returning to a place he fled from as a boy. This is a novel set in a dark fantasy world the author has explored before. It is packed with a cast of characters, both human and other. Gods of Nabban is a book for the reader who loves a well-written wordy exploration of the grim world of swords and sorcery.


Ronald Hore, involved with writer's groups for several years, dabbles in writing fantasy in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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