Although The Broken God can be read alone, it is better to read A Thread in the Tangle and King’s Folly first.
Some characters hit me harder than others. In The Broken God that was the boy Zoshi. There really isn’t anything unique about Zoshi. He’s just another “street-rat” among many others. Like street-rats everywhere, hunger, homelessness and poverty are his companions.
“The street rat had survived eight years in the docks, and he knew what danger felt like. This was it. All prickling over his body, making his legs want to run.”
We first met Zoshi in King’s Folly. His plight broke my heart. Zoshi’s story in The Broken God is just as difficult for me to read.
“… The light wavered with his shaking. Zoshi gripped his own arm, trying to keep it still. He was falling, he was sure of it, and his stomach had been left at the cave wall.
Tears slipped down his cheeks and piss seeped down his leg – the smell of courage. It was strangely reassuring in the void of time and space. …”
Courage is like that, and I love that Flynn recognizes this. I also love that one of the bravest people in her story is this 8-year old boy who had just been through one terror and now tries to muddle through his another. All alone, except for the dog/mammoth/crow Crumpet.
Marsais is a mess. Being at least 2000 years old and a seer will do that to you. His mind travels all potential futures and “endless hallways of memory“. Keeping track of when he is has become almost impossible. His meddling left one of his stabilizers behind. Isiilde did not get on the ship with him. Marsais may come to regret that decision; but like all meddlers, he feels he has done what needed to be done. At least Oenghus is with him. Oen is a rock. Yet even stone can crack. Being without his daughter has also destabilized him. But both men have seriously underestimated Isiilde.
“Finally,” she said, “you’re treating me like an equal rather than a pet to be indulged. I will not become one of Syre’s pet nymphs and I am no longer yours.”
A nymph fighting for the humans who view her as an animal is a struggle for Isiilde. Lieutenant Rivan is probably the only one of the Sacred Order who does not. He is also the only man, other than her father, who is not distracted by her presence. Unless you count challenging his faith. Blind faith is a dangerous thing. It is easy to forget that knowledge must have precedence. Rivan viewing Isiilde as equal to humans makes him heretic in the eyes of his Order. He is not alone in questioning old beliefs. Captain Acacia Mael keeps on learning that what her Order claims does not add up with what she observes.
In the meantime, healer must become warrior again. Morigan, and the rest of the Isle of the Wise, are beset by betrayal and the Fey. The Fey are phantoms whose whispers invade a person’s mind and leave them incapable of fighting back. Most become mad or die. Morigan does neither. She and Brynhilde are amazing women who do their best for the people they are in charge of.
I think that what I liked most about The Broken God and The Legend of Fyrsta series was that while there were a huge number of endings, there were no happy endings. There were, however, new beginnings. Occasionally, death is postponed and, instead, another chance was given. Not to make things over or better than before, but to continue trying to make a go of it. We can’t really ask for more than that. Except maybe strawberries.
Absolutely loved it. Definitely recommended.
I was asked to review The Broken God by Sabrina Flynn
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