#HallofSmoke by @hannah_m_long

Epic fantasy featuring warrior priestesses and fickle gods at war, for readers of Brian Staveley’s Chronicles of the Unhewn Throne. Hessa is an Eangi: a warrior priestess of the Goddess of War, with the power to turn an enemy’s bones to dust with a scream. Banished for disobeying her goddess’s command to murder a traveller, she prays for forgiveness alone on a mountainside.

While she is gone, raiders raze her village and obliterate the Eangi priesthood. Grieving and alone, Hessa – the last Eangi – must find the traveller and atone for her weakness and secure her place with her loved ones in the High Halls. As clans from the north and legionaries from the south tear through her homeland, slaughtering everyone in their path Hessa strives to win back her goddess’ favour.

Beset by zealot soldiers, deceitful gods, and newly-awakened demons at every turn, Hessa burns her path towards redemption and revenge. But her journey reveals a harrowing truth: the gods are dying and the High Halls of the afterlife are fading. Soon Hessa’s trust in her goddess weakens with every unheeded prayer.

Thrust into a battle between the gods of the Old World and the New, Hessa realizes there is far more on the line than securing a life beyond her own death. Bigger, older powers slumber beneath the surface of her world. And they’re about to wake up.

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The shrine in the meadow before me was little more than a weather collection of beams and titles and stark angles.

ONE

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(@TitanBooks, 19 January 2021, 432 pages, ebook, copy from the publisher via #NetGalley and voluntarily reviewed)

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This is a new author for me. I thought it was a great book and thoroughly enjoyed the time spent between its pages. I really enjoyed the Viking-inspired world of the book, something I haven’t really come across before. It’s clear the author has been inspired by Vikings as well as Celtic and Norse mythology, elements which add up to a well-written and engaging book. The characters are also well-written and fleshed out and I was impressed by the world building.

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