Please tell me you can see what the author is doing with this series. The names of the books, when in order, will create a coherent sentence. That is clever, and symptomatic of this author's thinking.
It would be easy to say this is no less than I would have expected from someone as talented as Bruce Blake, but there is more to writing a book than expectation. This author is a man completely invested in his writing, so deeply involved with every story and each character that nothing short of exceptional prose will ever be printed under his name. An admirable personality. Back to story now, and I can tell you the second installment of the Small Gods Series is advancing at the same action-packed pace as book one. We learn more about Ailyssa, the barren Mother left to fend for herself in the middle of the wilderness, blind and hopeless, by the only people she had known and trusted in her life. Her faith is still strong, but her new circumstances require that she make significant adjustments - and when is that easy? Thorn, the little grey man who dropped from the skies, also takes a more significant share of the story. Princess Danya and Prince Teryk, too, continue on their quests, and while one is making some progress in untangling the meaning of the prophecy, the other is at the mercy of the fates. Add to the cast a golem on a rampage, and you have the makings of a book you won't be able to put down. I know I couldn't. Once again, I was awed at the skill and elegance with which the many strands of this story were braided together. Will the Small Gods return and therefore endanger the whole of mankind, or will the Goddess win? The original question still stands, and the adventures of the characters mentioned in the prophecy are more and more heart-stoppingly intense. The back-story intrigue is thick with deep-seated implications, showing an exceptional knack on the part of the author for observing and understanding human nature. I wholeheartedly recommend this series. It is epic fantasy at its best. From what I can see, Bruce Blake is a prolific author, so you won't have long to wait until the next book. Five shiny stars - and I would give it ten if I only could - for a book I cannot fault in any way. It sucked me in and allowed me to dream. Loved it.