Knights of the Dead God (Broken Redemption #1) by James Jakins Book Review

Write on: Thu, 10 Jan 2019 by  in Charles' Reviews Read 2555

KNIGHTS OF THE DEAD GOD is the sequel to JACK BLOODFIST: FIXER but its own separate series. This is interesting because they're two separate genres. Jack Bloodfist: Fixer is a urban fantasy while Knights of the Dead God is a more traditional fantasy. The two can be together because travel between worlds is a real thing in this setting and plays a major role in the story. Like if a story took place in both Narnia as well as New York. This is the Narnia section where Arthur Shield, an antagonist of the first book, must undergo a fascinating as well as gut-wrenching bit of soul searching after his god dies.

Yes, gods can die in this world and Arthur Shield has suffered proof positive of it. Nevermind his god was kind of a dick and a racist who wanted to exterminate all orcs, witches, and other not-so-evil creatures of the night. Arthur devoted himself to Saban with a paladin's purity and it's only after the not-so-immortal kicked the bucket does he start questioning whether that was a good idea. This is ultimately a story of redemption and reminds me of Westerns where the ex-Confederate soldiers find themselves with oddball entourages that wouldn't have been at home in lily-white company like THE OUTLAW JOSIE WALES (though, thankfully, James Jakins shares none of that works' writers' politics).

Arthur is accompanied by half-orc Mikaia Goretusk and witch Hazel Midd. Both of whom are prime targets on the list of "people the Knights of Saban would slaughter for the crime of being born." It's to Arthur's credit he realizes this was insane even as Hazel is appropriately distrusting of a man who belonged to the order that slaughtered her family. Nevertheless, they're trapped on a strange world and their only hope is Arthur might lead them to a wizard who will give them passage back to Earth.

I very much enjoyed this work from beginning to end and have to say James Jakins is one of my new favorite self-published authors. I reviewed Jake Bloodfist: Fixer for the Self-Published Fantasy Blog-Off last year and it made it all the way to the finals. I actually think this is a better novel and doesn't require you to have read the original work to understand it. We're all sufficiently versed in fantasy that the idea of a paladin who has just lost his god isn't a hard concept to grasp. Arthur Shield's crisis of faith and regrets over what he did in the name of his religion are universal themes.

This is very much an action adventure novel and Arthur Shield is a bonafide badass despite his age. The aging paladin channels Barristan Semly in terms of just how much he can throw around against hags, zombies, evil knights, and even necromantic undead divine figures. It reminded me a bit of the old Dragonlance and Forgotten Realm novels by TSR, back when they weren't afraid to be just fun.

The book is very much about faith and the icons that we put in it. Some people believe that faith is good whether there's something to the thing being worshiped or not (after all, you need heroes) while others believe it's important that you place your faith in something real. Here, Arthur has to question whether faith in Saban was ever worth it and whether it's good to carry out his will posthumously.

In conclusion, I give this one a full 5 stars out of 5. It's a fun book which touches on much deeper themes. If you want an enjoyable traditional high fantasy novel that deals with topics of faith while also not skipping out on the action then this is the work for you.

Last modified on Tuesday, 01 October 2019 20:29
C.T. Phipps

C.T Phipps is a lifelong student of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. An avid tabletop gamer, he discovered this passion led him to write and turned him into a lifelong geek. He is a regular blogger on "The United Federation of Charles".

He's written Agent G, Cthulhu Armageddon, Lucifer's Star, and The Supervillainy Saga.